Synthetic Division and what’s wrong with Education

Iota Delta

Today one of my coworkers came to me and asked if I could help her out with synthetic division.  She’s taking a College Algebra Course in her spare time, as part of her efforts to earn a degree in Computer Science.  I of course said I could help her, mistaking synthetic division for polynomial long division, then once we started talking about her problem, I realized I didn’t know how to do synthetic division.

It’s a shortcut for the process which I do know how to do, Polynomial Long Division.  My teachers tried to teach me how to do it back in high school, but I couldn’t grasp the concept.  I’m sure in college someone even tried to impart the knowledge upon me but it never stuck.  I began to wonder why it was that I never learned this simplistic process which you’re first taught in Algebra II courses, when…

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