Math Definitions


A symmetrical open plane curve formed by the intersection of a cone with a plane parallel to its side. The path of a projectile under the influence of gravity ideally follows a curve of this shape.


Involving the second and no higher power of an unknown quantity or variable.


Each angular point of a polygon, polyhedron, or other figure.

axis of symmetry

A line through a shape so that each side is a mirror image.

If the shape were to be folded in half along the axis of symmetry, then the two halves would be the same, they would match up.

Maximum value

The maximum value of a quadratic function f(x) = ax2 + bx + c where a< 0,="" is="" the="">y- coordinate of the vertex.

Minimum value

The minimum value of a quadratic function f(x) = ax2 + bx + c where a > 0, is the y- coordinate of the vertex.


In Algebra a term is either:
a single number, or
a variable, or
numbers and variables multiplied together.

First differences

A finite difference is a mathematical expression of the form f−f. If a finite difference is divided by b−a, one gets a difference quotient.

Second differences

For a sequence defined by a quadratic formula, the second differences will be constant and equal to twice the number of n2 .


Where a function equals the value zero (0).