2020 USOJMO Problems/Problem 6


Let $n \geq 2$ be an integer. Let $P(x_1, x_2, \ldots, x_n)$ be a nonconstant $n$-variable polynomial with real coefficients. Assume that whenever $r_1, r_2, \ldots , r_n$ are real numbers, at least two of which are equal, we have $P(r_1, r_2, \ldots , r_n) = 0$. Prove that $P(x_1, x_2, \ldots, x_n)$ cannot be written as the sum of fewer than $n!$ monomials. (A monomial is a polynomial of the form $cx^{d_1}_1 x^{d_2}_2\ldots x^{d_n}_n$, where $c$ is a nonzero real number and $d_1$, $d_2$, $\ldots$, $d_n$ are nonnegative integers.)

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