# ALGEBRA GLOSSARY

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Title Description
Abscissa The horizontal axis, or the first coordinate in an ordered pair.
Absolute Maximum The highest point on a graph, especially over a specified domain.
It is the greatest value of f(x) over a defined interval of x, provided y=f(x).
Absolute Minimum The lowest point on a graph, especially over a specified domain.
It is the least value of f(x) over a defined interval of x, provided y=f(x).
Absolute Value The distance on the real number line between an value and zero.
It applies best to things for which negative values have no meaning, such as mass or length.
Accuracy The quality of approaching an exact value.
Distinct from precision, accuracy means to approach correctness, to tend toward an established value.
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Algebra The branch of mathematics that allows manipulation of symbols and values to determine quantities that are not always fixed.
Variables are essential to algebra.
Algorithm A sequence of steps to accomplish a familiar task; a recipe.
Alpha The first letter of the Greek alphabet.
Alternating Series A series in which successive terms have opposite signs.
Every other term is positive; every other term is negative.
Argument of a Function The term or expression upon which a function operates.
In y=f(x), the argument of the function is x.
Argument of a Vector The angle at which a vector is directed.
Arithmetic Mean What we generally consider to be the average.
The sum of a set of values divided by the cardinal number of the set of values.
Arithmetic Progression Also Arithmetic Sequence.
A series of terms where successive terms are obtained by addition of a constant.
Arithmetic Sequence Also Arithmetic Sequence.
A series of terms where successive terms are obtained by addition of a constant.
Arithmetic Series Akin to Arithmetic Progressions and Arithmetic Sequences, the series typically reflects an addition operator between terms, as a sum.
Asymptote A line (or curve) that a function approaches without actually reaching the line as the domain either grows unbounded or approaches a limit.
Augmented Matrix A matrix form for a linear system of equations where the number of columns is one greater than the number of rows, the final column typically coming from the constants in the linear equations.
Average Most commonly, average means the arithmetic mean; we sum the values and divide that sum by the number of numbers.
The average between two real values is the midpoint between those values.
Average Rate of Change The change in value divided by elapsed time.
Axes Most simply, the plural of axis.
More generally, the horizontal x-axis and the vertical y-axis that comprise the skeleton of Cartesian Coordinates.
Axiom Accepted without proof (unlike a theorem), an axiom is readily understood and regarded as fact.
Axis In physics, a line about which a body rotates.
In mathematics, a line that divides a plane or space into two equal halves, typically demarcated in units.

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