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ERIC Number: EJ1121410
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 11
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0819-4564
Ghosts of Mathematicians Past: Paolo Ruffini
Fitzherbert, John
Australian Senior Mathematics Journal, v30 n2 p27-37 2016
Paolo Ruffini (1765-1822) may be something of an unknown in high school mathematics; however his contributions to the world of mathematics are a rich source of inspiration. Ruffini's rule (often known as "synthetic division") is an efficient method of dividing a polynomial by a linear factor, with or without a remainder. The process can be generalised to non-linear divisors. Ruffini's rule can be further generalised to evaluation of derivatives at a given point, does not require technology and, most importantly, it is not beyond the reach of high school mathematics students to prove why the rule works for polynomials of a specific degree. In this article, the author discusses Paolo Ruffini's rule of "synthetic division" and the benefits to teaching it.
Australian Association of Mathematics Teachers (AAMT). GPO Box 1729, Adelaide 5001, South Australia. Tel: +61-8-8363-0288; Fax: +61-8-8362-9288; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Secondary Education; High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A