math vocab

ch. 9

parabola

A special curve, shaped like an arch.

Quadratic

An equation where the highest exponent of the variable (usually "x") is a square (2).

It is usually written ax2+bx+c = 0

Example: 2x2+5x-3 = 0

Vertex

A point where two or more straight lines meet. A corner.

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 largest value on the parabola

Minimum value

The smallest value on the parabola

term


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

first differences

When the x-differences are all constant, then the y-differences (or first differences) are useful in telling if a set of data is nearly linear or not.

second differences

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

zeros(roots)

Where a function equals the value zero (0).

Example: -2 and 2 are the zeros of the function x2 - 4