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Old 2004-04-27, 12:53   #15
xilman's Avatar
May 2003
Down not across

245338 Posts

Originally Posted by Bob Silverman
This just begs the question. When you say "simplify" what does this mean?
What else are you looking for? You have not defined what "simplify" means.
You must state what form you expect the final answer to take before you
can "simplify".
My guess is something like: express as an integer, if possible, as a rational if it's not possible as an integer, otherwise using the lowest n-th root of (integers if possible, rationals if not). There is presumably also some implied measure of simplicity based on the number of such terms, otherwise one could give any of a large number of weird and wonderful continued fractions.

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