Math Vocab

By: Cade Conner


A parabola is a special curve on a graph that is shaped like an arch. Any point on a parabola is at an equal distance from a fixed point (the focus), and a fixed straight line (the directrix).


An equation where the highest exponent of the variable (usually "x") is a square (2). It is usually written ax^2+bx+c = 0

Example: 2x^2+5x-3 = 0


The vertex of a parabola is the point where the parabola crosses its axis of symmetry.

Axis of Symmetry

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

Maximum Value

Maximum Value is the greatest point on a parabola.

Minimum Value

Minimum Value is the least greatest point on a parabola.


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

First Differences

The differences between the y numbers.

Second Differences

The differences between the first differences.

Zeros (root)

Where a function equals the value zero (0).
Example: -2 and 2 are the zeros of the function x^2 - 4
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