Difference between revisions of "Simon's Favorite Factoring Trick"

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== Introduction ==
 
== Introduction ==
'''Simon's Favorite Factoring Trick''' (abbreviated SFFT) is a special factorization first popularized by [[AoPS]] user [[user:ComplexZeta]], whose name is Simon.  [http://www.artofproblemsolving.com/Forum/viewtopic.php?highlight=factoring&t=8215 This] appears to be the thread where Simon's favorite factoring trick was first introduced.
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'''Simon's Favorite Factoring Trick''' (abbreviated SFFT) is a special factorization first popularized by [[AoPS]] user [[user:ComplexZeta | Simon Rubenstein-Salzedo]].  [http://www.artofproblemsolving.com/Forum/viewtopic.php?highlight=factoring&t=8215 This] appears to be the thread where Simon's favorite factoring trick was first introduced.
  
 
== Statement of the factorization ==
 
== Statement of the factorization ==

Revision as of 12:21, 20 June 2006

Introduction

Simon's Favorite Factoring Trick (abbreviated SFFT) is a special factorization first popularized by AoPS user Simon Rubenstein-Salzedo. This appears to be the thread where Simon's favorite factoring trick was first introduced.

Statement of the factorization

The general statement of SFFT is: ${xy}+{xk}+{yj}+{jk}=(x+j)(y+k)$. More oftenly however SFFT is introduced as $xy + x + y + 1 = (x+1)(y+1)$ or $xy - x - y +1 = (x-1)(y-1)$.

Applications

This factorization frequently shows up on contest problems, especially those heavy on algebraic manipulation. Usually ${x}$ and ${y}$ are variables and $j,k$ are known constants. Also it is typically necessary to add the ${j}{k}$ term to both sides to perform the factorization.

Examples

(AIME 1987/5) $m$ and $n$ are integers such that $m^2 + 3m^2n^2 = 30n^2 + 517$. Find $3m^2n^2$.

Outline Solution: Rearrange to $m^2 + 3m^2n^2 -30n^2= 517$. The key step is changing the equation to $m^2 + 3m^2n^2 -30n^2-10= 507$, where the equation factors to $(3n^2 + 1)(m^2 - 10) = 507 = 3\cdot 13^2$. This makes things much simpler. The rest of the problem is left as an exercise to the reader.

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