BASIC ALGEBRA GLOSSARY
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Title  Description  

Lambda  Lambda is the eleventh letter of the Greek alphabet and is used for wavelength in physics. 

Leading Coefficient  Most typically we write polynomials with the first term having the highest order, or power. The coefficient of this leading term is literally the Leading Coefficient. 

Leading Term  The first term in a polynomial, most typically the highestorder term, is the Leading Term of the polynomial. 

Least Common Denominator  When two or more fractions are being summed we want the LCD to facilitate the operation of addition. 

Least Common Multiple  The LCM is most typically applied to integers. It is the smallest value evenly divisible by each number for which we seek the LCM. 

Leg, Triangle  Most generally the legs of a triangle refer to the perpendicular sides of a right triangle only. 

Like Terms  Like Terms have the same variables raised to identical powers. 

Line  A collection of points that comprise the shortest path between two points in Euclidean geometry is a Line; all points in a Line are collinear and, of course, coplanar. 

Line Segment  A section of a line, with endpoints on both ends, is a Line Segment. 

Linear  As the first four letters imply, Linear means "of a line" or "lined up" in a collinear fashion. 

Local Maximum  A Local Maximum is a high spot on the graph of a function. Also termed a relative maximum, it is the greatest value within a defined neighborhood. 

Local Minimum  A Local Minimum is a low spot on the graph of a function. Also termed a relative minimum, it is the least value within a defined neighborhood. 

Loci  The points that comprise a function (or graph thereof) are its Loci. 

Locus  A single point on a function or on its graph is a Locus. 

Logarithm  A Logarithm is a number associated with a power and a base; the function is the inverse of an exponential function. 

Logic  Logic takes many forms and is instrumental in understanding the language of mathematics. 

Lower Quartile  Also first quartile, it is the 25th percentile, where 75 percent of the data is greater than this value. 

Lower Quintile  The 20th percentile; also first quintile. 
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