UConn Math Club

The General Partial Fraction Decomposition

Keith Conrad (University of Connecticut)

Wednesday, September 6, 2017 5:45 pm
MONT 314

The partial fraction decomposition of a rational function is familiar to students in calculus as yet another technique of integration. It is usually only taught in special cases, with no description of the full result.

In this talk we will explain what partial fraction decompositions look like in the general case by presenting the basic algebraic principle behind them. We will also discuss the analogous partial fraction decomposition of a rational number and some of its applications, such as explaining the image below, where a purple arc that is 1/15th of a full circle is constructed by suitably overlaying a regular pentagon and an equilateral triangle.

Comments: Free pizza and drinks!