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INSTRUCTORS Carleen Eaton Grant Fraser Eric Smith
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For more information, please see full course syllabus of Algebra 1
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Rational Expressions

  • A rational expression is a fraction whose numerator and denominator are polynomials.

  • Any values of the variable that make the denominator equal to zero produce an undefined expression. So these values must be excluded when we consider the rational expression.

  • To simplify a rational expression, factor the numerator and denominator completely. Then cancel the common factors.

  • If two factors in the numerator and denominator look almost the same, factor –1 out of either of the factors and see if you get two identical factors.

  • Excluded values are always determined using the original expression, not the simplified one.

Rational Expressions

Lecture Slides are screen-captured images of important points in the lecture. Students can download and print out these lecture slide images to do practice problems as well as take notes while watching the lecture.

  • Intro 0:00
  • Rational Expression 0:55
    • Example
  • Excluded Values 1:29
    • Examples
  • Simplifying Rational Expressions 5:36
    • Greatest Common Factor (GCF)
    • Example
    • Example
  • Simplifying and Excluded Values 9:34
  • Lecture Example 1 9:50
  • Lecture Example 2 13:55
  • Additional Example 3
  • Additional Example 4