I'm going through Wallace Clarke Boyden's A First Book in Algebra, and there's a section on finding the square root of a perfect square polynomial, eg. $4x^2-12xy+9y^2=(2x-3y)^2$. He describes an algorithm for finding the square root of such a polynomial when it's not immediately apparent, but despite my best efforts, I find the language indecipherable. Can anyone clarify the process he's describing? The example I'm currently wrestling with is $x^6-2x^5+5x^4-6x^3+6x^2-4x+1$.
It's a lot of language to parse, but if anyone wants to take a stab at it, here's the original text:
To find the square root of a polynomial, arrange the terms with reference to the powers of some number; take the square root of the first term of the polynomial for the first term of the root, and subtract its square from the polynomial; divide the first term of the remainder by twice the root found for the next term of the root, and add the quotient to the trial divisor; multiply the complete divisor by the second term of the root, and subtract the product from the remainder. If there is still a remainder, consider the root already found as one term, and proceed as before.
I did some hunting online but didn't turn up anything useful. Is it possible this is an outdated method that's been abandoned for something cleaner?