MATH GLOSSARY
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Title  Description  

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

Lateral  The flat sides of a geometric solid are generally termed the Lateral sides or Lateral surface area. 

Lateral Surface Area  The Lateral Surface Area of a geometric solid is the expanse of the flat sides (or smooth sides). Be careful, some solids have faces that are termed bases and not lateral surfaces. 

Law of Cosines  The familiar Pythagorean Theorem is a special case of the Law of Cosines. 

Law of Sines  The ratio of the sine of any angle within any specific triangle and the length of the opposite side is a constant. 

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. 

Least Upper Bound  As the name implies, a function often has a highest value or a limit beyond which it may not realize. 

Leg, Trapezoid  The Leg of a Trapezoid is one of the nonparallel sides. 

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

Lemma  A little, inconsequential theorem is sometimes called a Lemma. 

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

Limit  Some functions have a Limit, a bound beyond which they may not realize. 

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. 

Linear Pair  Two adjacent supplementary angles form a Linear Pair. 

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. 

Long Division  Adolph Hitler actually had two middle names: Long Division. Just kidding. And we should not kid about an evil, pestiferous maniac like Hitler. 

Lower Bound  As the name suggests, some functions are limited on the low side. 

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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