Welcome to Princeton Splash, a student-run organization at Princeton University

# Splash Biography

## TIM RATIGAN, Princeton freshman studying Mathematics

Major: Mathematics

College/Employer: Princeton

We all know the quadratic formula: if $$ax^2+bx+c=0$$, then $$x=\frac{-b\pm\sqrt{b^2-4ac}}{2a}$$. We might not have memorized the corresponding formula for cubic polynomials, but we know it's there. The formula for quartics is a monster, but, nevertheless, there is one. Breaking the trend, in 1823 it was proven that it is literally impossible find a general formula for any polynomial more complicated than a quartic. How? Why? Come and find out!