MPM2D Parabola terms 2016-11-01


We worked on describing parabolas using some technical math terms today.

Direction of opening

  • “up” is a cup shape
  • “down” is a frown shape

Vertex – the point at which the parabola changes direction

  • from decreasing to increasing, or
  • from increasing to decreasing

Optimal value – the y-value of the function at the vertex

  • the y-coordinate of the vertex
  • either a minimum or a maximum

Maximum value – the optimal value for parabolas that open down

Minimum value – the optimal value for parabolas that open up

Axis of symmetry – the vertical line through the vertex

  • the equation is always written x = (a number)
  • (a number) is always the x-coordinate of the vertex

Roots/zeros/x-intercepts – the x-values where the parabola crosses or touches the x-axis

  • the place(s) where the y-value is zero
  • can be no real roots, two distinct roots, or one root (really two equal roots)
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