2016-05-03 15:09:07 +0100 asked a question Simplify characteristic equation I have a symbolic equation of the form f(x) = 0 where f(x) is a polynomial in x that arises from a horrible symbolic determinant. I need to extract the coefficients of the first few powers of x. Calling simplify on these causes Sage to run out of memory (even if the Maxima heap size is raised) or not terminate. Is there anything I can do that takes advantage of the form of the equation? 2016-05-03 15:09:07 +0100 asked a question Simplify characteristic equation I have a rather unwieldy symbolic expression of the form f(x) = 0, where the left hand side is a (low-degree) polynomial in x. I need to extract the constant term and the coefficients of a few powers of x in f(x). If I try to simplify either f(x) itself or each coefficient, Sage runs out of memory (even after increasing the Maxima heap size) or doesn't ever seem to terminate. Is there something I can do that takes advantage of the special form of the equation to simplify the coefficients?