# SOLVING QUADRATIC EQUATIONS - COMPARE THE FACTORING AC METHOD AND THE NEW TRANSFORMING METHOD (By Nghi H. Nguyen - Jan 18, 2015)

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1 SOLVING QUADRATIC EQUATIONS - COMPARE THE FACTORING AC METHOD AND THE NEW TRANSFORMING METHOD (By Nghi H. Nguyen - Jan 18, 2015) GENERALITIES. When a given quadratic equation can be factored, there are 2 best methods to solve it: the AC factoring Method (YouTube.com) and the recently introduced new Transforming Method. This article explains, in general, these two methods, and then compares them through specific examples. THE FACTORING AC METHOD This method only applies to quadratic equations that can be factored. It is also called the Box Method with a little variation (You Tube). Its concept is to make the given quadratic equation be factored into 2 binomials in x by replacing the term (bx) by the 2 terms (b1x) and (b2x) that satisfy the 2 conditions: 1) The product b1*b2 = a*c; and 2) The sum (b1 + b2) = b. Example 1. Solve x² - 23x 108 = 0. Solution. Find 2 numbers that their product is -108 and their sum is -23. Compose factor pairs of 104: (1, 108)(2, 54)(3, 36)(4, 27). The 2 numbers are 4 and -27 since their sum is 4-27 = -23. Next, replace in the equation the term (-23x) by the 2 terms (4x) and (-27x), then factor by grouping. x² - 23x 108 = x² + 4x 27x 108 = 0 x(x + 4) 27(x + 4) = (x + 4)(x 27) = 0 Next, solve the 2 binomials. (x + 4) = 0 x = -4 (x 27) = 0 x = 27. Example 2. Solve: 5x² + 6x 8 = 0 Solution. Find 2 numbers that the product is (a*c = -40) and the sum is b = 6. Proceeding: [(-1, 40),(1, -40),(-2, 20),(2, -20),(-4, 10) OK]. Next, substitute in the equation the term (6x) by the 2 terms (-4x) and (10x) and then factor by grouping: 5x² 4x + 10x 8 = 0 5x(x + 2) 4(x + 2) = (x + 2)(5x 4) = 0 Next, solve the 2 binomials for x: (x + 2) = 0 x = -2, and (5x 4) = 0 x = 4/5 Page 1 of 5

2 THE NEW TRANSFORMING METHOD This method uses 2 features in its solving process. 1. Recall The Rule of Signs for Real Roots of a quadratic equation. *If a and c have opposite signs, the 2 real roots have opposite signs. Example: the equation: 7x² 5x - 12 = 0 has 2 real roots (-1) and (12/7) with different signs * If a and c have the same sign, both real roots have same sign. - When a and b have same sign, both real roots are negative. - When a and b have opposite signs, both real roots are positive. Example: the equation: 6x² + 13x + 7 = 0 has 2 real roots (-1) and (-7/6), both negative Example: The equation: 5x² - 9x + 4 = 0 has 2 real roots (1) and (4/5), both positive 2. The Diagonal Sum Method to solve quadratic equation type x² + bx + c = 0, (a = 1). In this case, solving results in finding 2 numbers knowing their sum (-b) and their product (c). This method proceeds by composing factor pairs of c, following these 3 Tips. TIP 1. When roots have different signs (a and c different signs), compose factor pairs of c with all first numbers being negative. Example 3. Solve: x^2-23x = 0. Roots have different signs. Compose factor pairs of c = -108 with all first numbers being negative. Proceeding: (-1, 108), (-2, 54), (-3, 36)(-4, 27). OK. This sum is 27 4 = 23 = -b. The 2 real roots are -4 and 27. Compare with the AC method in Example 1, this method is faster and simpler. Important Note. If you can t find the factor pair whose sum equals to (-b), or b, then this quadratic equation can t be factored, and you should probably use the quadratic formula to solve it. TIP 2. When both roots are positive, compose factor pairs of c with all positive numbers. Example 4. Solve: x² - 28x + 96 = 0. Both roots are positive. Compose factor pairs of c = 96 with all positive numbers. Proceeding: (1, 96)(2, 48)(3, 32)(4, 24). This last sum is = 28 = -b. The 2 real roots are 4 and 28. TIP 3. When both roots are negative, compose factor pairs of c with all negative numbers. Example 5. Solve: x² + 39x = 0. Page 2 of 5

3 Both roots are negative. Compose factor pairs of c = 108 with all negative numbers. Proceeding: (-1, -108)(-2, -54)(-3, -36). This last sum is = -39 = -b. The 2 real roots are: -3 and -36. SOLVING STEPS OF THE NEW TRANSFORMING METHOD In general, this new method proceeds through 3 steps. STEP 1. Transformation of equation, from standard form ax² + bx + c = 0 (1) to the simplified form, with a = 1 and with the constant C = a*c. The transformed form is: x² + bx + a*c = 0. (2). STEP 2. Solve the transformed equation (2) by the Diagonal Sum Method that immediately obtains the 2 real roots: y1 and y2. STEP 3. Divide both y1 and y2 by the coefficient a to get the 2 real roots of the original equation (1): x1 = y1/a, and x2 = y2/a. COMPARE THE AC METHOD TO THE TRANSFORMING METHOD THROUGH EXAMPLES Example 6. Solve: 8x² 22x 13 = 0. (1) The Transforming Method. Transformed equation: x² 22x 104 = 0 (2). Roots have different signs. Solve the transformed equation (2) by composing factor pairs of a*c = Proceeding: (-1, 104)(-2, 53)(-4, 26). This last sum is = 22 = -b. The real roots are: y1 = 4 and y2 = 26. Then the 2 real roots of the original equation are: x1 = y1/8 = -4/8 = -1/2, and x2 = y2/8 = 26/8 = 13/4. The AC Method. Find 2 numbers, that their product is ac = -104, and their sum is -22. Proceeding: (-1, 104),(1, -104),(-2, 52),(2, -52), (-4, 26),(4, -26). Then, b1 = 4 and b2 = -26. Replace in the equation the term (-22x) by the 2 terms (4x) and (-26x) then, factor by grouping: 8x² + 4x 26x 13 = 4x(2x + 1) 13(2x +1) = (2x + 1) (4x 13) = 0. Next, solve the 2 binomials: (2x + 1) = 0 x = -1/2, and (4x 13) = 0 x = 13/4. Example 7. Solve: 12x² + 5x 72 = 0. (1) Transforming Method. Transformed equation: x² + 5x 864 = 0 (2). Roots have different signs. Compose factor pairs of a*c = Since b = 5 is too small as compared to a*c = -864, start composing from the middle of the factor chain. Proceeding:.. (-18, 48)(-24, 36)(-32, 27). This last sum is: = -5 = -b. The 2 real roots of (2) are y1 = -32, and y2 = 27. The 2 real roots of equation (1) are: x1 = y1/12 = -32/12 = -8/3, and x2 = y2/12 = 27/12 = 9/4. Page 3 of 5

4 The AC Method. In this case, solving becomes inconvenient because the product ac is a large number. Find 2 numbers: product ac = -864, and sum b = 5. Proceeding: [(-1, 864),(1, -864),(-2, 432),(2, -432),(-3, 288), (-18, 48),(18, -48),(-24, 36),(24, -36),(- 32, 27),(32, -27) OK]. Next, replace the term 5x by the 2 terms -27x and 32x, then factor by grouping. 12x² 27x + 32x 72 = 3x(4x 9) + 8(4x - 9) = (4x 9)(3x + 8) = 0. Next, solve the 2 binomials: (4x 9) = 0 x = 9/4, and (3x + 8) = 0 x = -8/3. Example 8. Solve: 24x² + 59x + 36 = 0. Transforming Method. Transformed equation: x² + 59x = 0 (2). Both roots are negative. Compose factor pairs of a*c = 864 with all negative numbers. Start composing from the middle of the chain. Proceeding:..(-18, -48)(-24, -36)(-27, -32). This last sum is -59 = -b. The 2 real roots of (2) are: y1 = -27, and y2 = -32. Back to the original (1), the 2 real roots are: x1 = -27/24 = -9/8, and x2 = -32/24 = -4/3. The AC Method. Find 2 numbers: product ac = 864; sum b = 59. Proceeding [(-1, -864)(1, 864),(- 2, -432),(2, 432),(-4, -216),(4, 216), (-18, - 48)(18, 48)(-24, -36) (24, 36),(-27, -32)(27, 32)]. Since the product ac = 864 is too large, the proceeding takes too much time to complete. Next, replace term (59x) by the 2 terms (27x) and (32x), then factor by grouping: 24x² + 32x + 27x + 36 = 8x(3x + 4) + 9(3x + 4) = (3x + 4)(8x + 9) = 0 (3x + 4) = 0 x = -4/3, and (8x + 9) = 0 x = -9/8. BEST METHOD TO SOLVE QUADRATIC EQUATIONS There are so far 8 existing common methods to solve quadratic equations in standard form ax² + bx = c = 0. They are: graphing, completing the squares, factoring FOIL method, quadratic formula, the Bluma method, The Diagonal Sum method, the factoring AC method, and the new Transforming Method. The best solving method to select depends on the factorability of the given quadratic equation. 1. If the equation can t be factored, the obvious choice would be the quadratic formula. How to know if a quadratic equation can or can t be factored? There are 2 way: The first way: Calculate the Discrinant D = b² - 4ac. If D is a perfect square, then the equation can be factored. The second way: Start solving with the new Transforming Method. If you can t find the factor pair of a*c (or c) whose sum equals to (-b), or b, then the equation can t be factored, and consequently the quadratic formula probably must be used to solve it. 2. If the equation can be factored, the new Transforming Method would be the best choice to select. Page 4 of 5

5 CONCLUSION AND REMARKS. 1. Both methods (AC method and Transforming Method) deserve to be studied because they provide students with opportunities to improve math skills and logical thinking that are the ultimate goals of learning math. However, the Transforming Method looks simpler and faster. Whenever the quadratic equation can be factored, it can immediately obtains the 2 real roots without factoring by grouping, and solving the 2 binomials. The strong points of the new Transforming Method are: simple, fast, systematic, no guessing, and no solving binomials. Especially, when solving the equation type x^2 + bx + c = 0 (a = 1), this new method can quickly obtain the 2 real roots. Compare Example 1 and Example The quadratic formula may be the obvious choice to solve any quadratic equations. However, solving by formula feels like boring and tedious. The ultimate goal of math teaching aims to improve students logical thinking and deductive reasoning. That is why, many quadratic equations written in books/exercises/exams are intentionally set up so that students must solve them by various solving methods in order to improve their math skills. References: - Solving quadratic equations by the Diagonal Sum Method (Google and Yahoo Search) - The Bluma Method (Google Search) - Factoring Trinomials Simplified AC Method ( - AC Method for Factoring Regent Exam Prep Center (Google or Yahoo Search) (This article was written by Nghi H Nguyen, author of the new Transforming Method to solve quadratic equations Updated Jan 18, 2015) Page 5 of 5

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