Pauls Online Notes
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Chapter 1 : Preliminaries

Here are a set of assignment problems for the Preliminaries chapter of the Algebra notes. Please note that these problems do not have any solutions available. These are intended mostly for instructors who might want a set of problems to assign for turning in. Having solutions available (or even just final answers) would defeat the purpose the problems.

If you are looking for some practice problems (with solutions available) please check out the Practice Problems. There you will find a set of problems that should give you quite a bit practice.

Here is a list of all the sections for which assignment problems have been written as well as a brief description of the material covered in the notes for that particular section.

Integer Exponents – In this section we will start looking at exponents. We will give the basic properties of exponents and illustrate some of the common mistakes students make in working with exponents. Examples in this section we will be restricted to integer exponents. Rational exponents will be discussed in the next section.

Rational Exponents – In this section we will define what we mean by a rational exponent and extend the properties from the previous section to rational exponents. We will also discuss how to evaluate numbers raised to a rational exponent.

Radicals – In this section we will define radical notation and relate radicals to rational exponents. We will also give the properties of radicals and some of the common mistakes students often make with radicals. We will also define simplified radical form and show how to rationalize the denominator.

Polynomials – In this section we will introduce the basics of polynomials a topic that will appear throughout this course. We will define the degree of a polynomial and discuss how to add, subtract and multiply polynomials.

Factoring Polynomials – In this section we look at factoring polynomials a topic that will appear in pretty much every chapter in this course and so is vital that you understand it. We will discuss factoring out the greatest common factor, factoring by grouping, factoring quadratics and factoring polynomials with degree greater than 2.

Rational Expressions – In this section we will define rational expressions. We will discuss how to reduce a rational expression lowest terms and how to add, subtract, multiply and divide rational expressions.

Complex Numbers – In this section we give a very quick primer on complex numbers including standard form, adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing them.