Re: small math problem
hmm... I haven't done this in awhile but I don't think that (a+1)(a+1)(a-1)(a-1) is the right answer.
The problem: a^4-2a^2+1 is easy to factor. All you do is find what the powers have in common. They both have a power of 2, so you'd factor out A^2.
After A^2 is factored out, you'd get A^2(A^2 -2 + 1) and then you solve -2+1 and that's it. I'm kinda tired and I'm not sure that's completely right since it's been awhile since I've done factoring, but I think that's how to do it.
Desktop: Dell Dimension E510, 2.5GB RAM, Intel P4 3.0GHZ, 250GB HDD, Windows Vista Premium. Might not be the best, but the old girl is still running good.