Document Type


Publication Title

Mathematics of Computation


American Mathematical Society

Publication Date



Given a polynomial equation of degree d over the complex domain, the Fundamental Theorem of Algebra tells us that there are d solutions, assuming that the solutions are counted by multiplicity. These solutions can be approximated by deforming a standard n th degree equation into the given equation, and following the solutions through the deformation. This is called the homotopy method. The Fundamental Theorem of Algebra can be proved by the same technique.

In this paper we extend these results and methods to a system of n polynomial equations in I complex variables. We show that the number of solutions to such a system is the product of the degrees of the equations (assuming that infinite solutions are included and solutions are counted by multiplicity)*. The proof is based on a homotopy, or deformation, from a standard system of equations with the same degrees and known solutions. This homotopy provides a computational method of approximating all solutions. Computational results demonstrating the feasibility of this method are also presented.




First published in Mathematics of Computation in 44(169), published by the American Mathematical Society.