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Perplexing Polynomial Puzzle (Posted on 2005-06-13) Difficulty: 3 of 5
Ask an opponent to choose a polynomial p(x) with nonnegative integer coefficients (of any degree). Tell him you can determine what it is (degree and coefficients) with just two values: you choose a and ask for p(a), then choose b and ask for p(b). What is a winning strategy?

See The Solution Submitted by Bractals    
Rating: 4.3333 (12 votes)

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Solution Yet another way | Comment 3 of 6 |

Ask for p() or some such non-algebraic number.

In the example p(x)=(5x+6x+2)

p()= 5+6+2

Since this is the only reasonable way of expressing the value, you have the solution with only one value.

 


  Posted by Jer on 2005-06-14 17:25:58
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