# Basis of Span in Vector Space of Polynomials of Degree 2 or Less

## Problem 367

Let $P_2$ be the vector space of all polynomials of degree $2$ or less with real coefficients.
Let
$S=\{1+x+2x^2, \quad x+2x^2, \quad -1, \quad x^2\}$ be the set of four vectors in $P_2$.

Then find a basis of the subspace $\Span(S)$ among the vectors in $S$.

(Linear Algebra Exam Problem, the Ohio State University)

## Solution.

Let $B=\{1, x, x^2\}$ be the standard basis of the vector space $P_2$.
With respect to the basis $B$, the coordinate vectors of vectors in $S$ are
$[1+x+2x^2]_B=\begin{bmatrix} 1 \\ 1 \\ 2 \end{bmatrix}, \quad [x+2x^2]_B=\begin{bmatrix} 0 \\ 1 \\ 2 \end{bmatrix}, \quad [-1]_B=\begin{bmatrix} -1 \\ 0 \\ 0 \end{bmatrix}, \quad [x^2]_B=\begin{bmatrix} 0 \\ 0 \\ 1 \end{bmatrix}.$ Let
$T=\left\{\, [1+x+2x^2]_B, [x+2x^2]_B, [-1]_B, [x^2]_B \,\right\}$ be the set of these coordinate vectors.

We then find a basis of $\Span(T)$ among vectors in $T$ by the leading 1 method.
We reduce the augmented matrix by elementary row operations as follows. We have
\begin{align*}
\begin{bmatrix}
1 & 0 & -1 & 0 \\
1 &1 & 0 & 0 \\
2 & 2 & 0 & 1
\end{bmatrix}
\xrightarrow{R_3-2R_2}
\begin{bmatrix}
1 & 0 & -1 & 0 \\
1 &1 & 0 & 0 \\
0 & 0 & 0 & 1
\end{bmatrix}
\xrightarrow{R_2-R_1}
\begin{bmatrix}
1 & 0 & -1 & 0 \\
0 &1 & 1 & 0 \\
0 & 0 & 0 & 1
\end{bmatrix}.
\end{align*}

The last matrix is in reduced row echelon form and the first, the second, and the fourth columns contain the leading 1’s.
Therefore, it follows that
$\left\{\, [1+x+2x^2]_B, [x+2x^2]_B, [x^2]_B \,\right\}$ is a basis of $\Span(T)$, and hence
$\{1+x+2x^2, \quad x+2x^2, \quad x^2\}$ is a basis of $\Span(S)$ consisting of the vectors of $S$.

## Linear Algebra Midterm Exam 2 Problems and Solutions

### More from my site

• Find a Basis of the Subspace Spanned by Four Polynomials of Degree 3 or Less Let $\calP_3$ be the vector space of all polynomials of degree $3$ or less. Let $S=\{p_1(x), p_2(x), p_3(x), p_4(x)\},$ where \begin{align*} p_1(x)&=1+3x+2x^2-x^3 & p_2(x)&=x+x^3\\ p_3(x)&=x+x^2-x^3 & p_4(x)&=3+8x+8x^3. \end{align*} (a) […]
• Given All Eigenvalues and Eigenspaces, Compute a Matrix Product Let $C$ be a $4 \times 4$ matrix with all eigenvalues $\lambda=2, -1$ and eigensapces E_2=\Span\left \{\quad \begin{bmatrix} 1 \\ 1 \\ 1 \\ 1 \end{bmatrix} \quad\right \} \text{ and } E_{-1}=\Span\left \{ \quad\begin{bmatrix} 1 \\ 2 \\ 1 \\ 1 […] • Find a Basis of the Vector Space of Polynomials of Degree 2 or Less Among Given Polynomials Let P_2 be the vector space of all polynomials with real coefficients of degree 2 or less. Let S=\{p_1(x), p_2(x), p_3(x), p_4(x)\}, where \begin{align*} p_1(x)&=-1+x+2x^2, \quad p_2(x)=x+3x^2\\ p_3(x)&=1+2x+8x^2, \quad p_4(x)=1+x+x^2. \end{align*} (a) Find […] • Hyperplane Through Origin is Subspace of 4-Dimensional Vector Space Let S be the subset of \R^4 consisting of vectors \begin{bmatrix} x \\ y \\ z \\ w \end{bmatrix} satisfying \[2x+3y+5z+7w=0. Then prove that the set $S$ is a subspace of $\R^4$. (Linear Algebra Exam Problem, The Ohio State […]
• Vector Space of Polynomials and Coordinate Vectors Let $P_2$ be the vector space of all polynomials of degree two or less. Consider the subset in $P_2$ $Q=\{ p_1(x), p_2(x), p_3(x), p_4(x)\},$ where \begin{align*} &p_1(x)=x^2+2x+1, &p_2(x)=2x^2+3x+1, \\ &p_3(x)=2x^2, &p_4(x)=2x^2+x+1. \end{align*} (a) Use the basis […]
• True or False Problems of Vector Spaces and Linear Transformations These are True or False problems. For each of the following statements, determine if it contains a wrong information or not. Let $A$ be a $5\times 3$ matrix. Then the range of $A$ is a subspace in $\R^3$. The function $f(x)=x^2+1$ is not in the vector space $C[-1,1]$ because […]
• Vector Space of 2 by 2 Traceless Matrices Let $V$ be the vector space of all $2\times 2$ matrices whose entries are real numbers. Let $W=\left\{\, A\in V \quad \middle | \quad A=\begin{bmatrix} a & b\\ c& -a \end{bmatrix} \text{ for any } a, b, c\in \R \,\right\}.$ (a) Show that $W$ is a subspace of […]
• Subspace of Skew-Symmetric Matrices and Its Dimension Let $V$ be the vector space of all $2\times 2$ matrices. Let $W$ be a subset of $V$ consisting of all $2\times 2$ skew-symmetric matrices. (Recall that a matrix $A$ is skew-symmetric if $A^{\trans}=-A$.) (a) Prove that the subset $W$ is a subspace of $V$. (b) Find the […]

### 7 Responses

1. 04/06/2017

[…] Problem 4 and its solution: Basis of span in vector space of polynomials of degree 2 or less […]

2. 04/07/2017

[…] Problem 4 and its solution: Basis of span in vector space of polynomials of degree 2 or less […]

3. 04/07/2017

[…] Problem 4 and its solution: Basis of span in vector space of polynomials of degree 2 or less […]

4. 04/07/2017

[…] Problem 4 and its solution: Basis of span in vector space of polynomials of degree 2 or less […]

5. 04/07/2017

[…] Problem 4 and its solution: Basis of span in vector space of polynomials of degree 2 or less […]

6. 04/07/2017

[…] Problem 4 and its solution: Basis of span in vector space of polynomials of degree 2 or less […]

7. 07/03/2017

[…] Problem 4 and its solution: Basis of span in vector space of polynomials of degree 2 or less […]

##### Orthonormal Basis of Null Space and Row Space

Let $A=\begin{bmatrix} 1 & 0 & 1 \\ 0 &1 &0 \end{bmatrix}$. (a) Find an orthonormal basis of the null...

Close