# Glossary of mathematics terms meaning and definition

## Glossary of mathematics terms meaning and definition

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# Glossary of mathematics terms meaning and definition

 Mathematics Glossary of Terms
 absolute value: number's distance from zero on a number line (e.g., the absolute value of 2 and the absolute value of -2 are both 2, i.e., |2| = 2 and |-2| = 2)
 additive inverse: two numbers are additive inverses of each other if their sum is 0 (e.g., since -4 + 4 = 0, then -4 and 4 are additive inverses of each other)
 algebraic expression: numeral and/or variable joined by any combination of the four basic operations (+, -, x, /) and involving any power(s) of numeral and/or variable (e.g., 3-8, 7x4, 4+x, y/2, n-2, 3(4+8)-7, y 2 -2)
 angle measure: the measure in degrees or radians of the radial distance between two rays that meet at a point
 area: the size of a region measured in number of square units
 arithmetic sequence: a sequence with a constant difference between consecutive terms (e.g., 2, 5, 8, 11,... is an arithmetic sequence with a constant difference of 3)
 associative property: a property of addition or multiplication in which the regrouping of the addends or factors does not change the outcome of the operations [i.e., (a + b) + c = a + (b + c) and (ab)c = a(bc)]
 attribute: a characteristic of an object, such as color, shape, or size
 bar graph: a graphical display representing data in different categories or groups. The length of a
 rectangle or bar is used to represent the numerical amount
 bionomial: a polynomial which is the sum of two terms
 box and whisker plot: a graphical display that shows the median, quartiles, and extremes of a set of data,
 the spread of the data and the concentration of the data. the display does not show any other specific data values
 capacity: the maximum amount that can be contained by an object. Often refers to measurement of liquid
 cardinal numbers: the counting numbers (1, 2, 3...)
 centroid: the point of intersection of the medians of a triangle
 circle graph: a graphical display that shows data as parts of a whole circle
 circumcenter: the point of intersection of the perpendicular bisectors of a triangle
 circumference: the distance around a circle; the formula for circumference of a circle is pi times the diameter (c = ðd)
 closed figure: the boundary of a simple 2-dimensional region, including shapes with straight and curved sides
 collinear points: a set of points lying on the same line combinations: a set of items selected, without regard to order, from a given set of items commutative: property a property of addition or multiplication in which the sum or product stays the
 same when the order of the addends or factors is changed (i.e., a + b = b + a and ab = ba)
 concrete: physical objects used to represent mathematical situations
 congruency: geometric figures having the same size and shape; all corresponding parts of congruent
 figures have the same measure
 concurrent lines: lines that have a common point
 coordinate plane: a 2-dimensional system in which the coordinates of a point are its distances from two
 intersecting perpendicular lines called axes. The formal name for this system is cartesian coordinate system
 counting technique: methods to determine the number of possible outcomes of an event. Some of the methods are tree diagram, list, rules for multiplication, combinations, and permutations
 curve fitting: the sketching of a line or curve to best describe a relationship between two variables on a scatter plot
 deductive reasoning: a series of logical steps in which a conclusion is drawn directly from a set of statements that are known or assumed to be true. (e.g., if 5 + 4 = 9 and 6 + 3 = 9 , then 5 + 4 = 6 + 3)
 diagonal: for a polygon in the plane, any line segment joining non-adjacent vertices. For a polyhedron in space, a line segment joining two vertices not in the same face
 dilation: a transformation which produces a figure similar to the original by proportionally shrinking or stretching the figure
 dimensional analysis: a method of converting units within a measurement system
 direct variation: a relationship in which the ratio of two variables is constant
 discrete mathematics: the study of mathematical properties of sets and systems that have only a finite number of elements.
 distributive property: a property which establishes a relationship between multiplication and addition such that multiplication distributes across the addition [i.e., a(b+c) = ab + ac]
 divisibility (rules of): special tests to determine if a particular integer is a factor of a given number, (e.g., a
 number is divisible by 10 if it ends in a 0)
 domain: the set of input values for a function
 elapsed time: the amount of time between a beginning time and an ending time
 equally likely outcomes: events in a sample space that have the same probability of occurring
 equation: a mathematical sentence of equality between two expressions (e.g., n + 50 = 75 or 75 = n + 50 means that n + 50 must have the same value as 75)
 equivalent: numbers or expressions that have the same value
 estimation: the process of finding a number close to an exact amount
 euclidean geometry: the geometry (plane and solid) based on Euclid’s postulates
 event: one of the many occurrences that can take place during a probability activity
 expanded notation: the sum of terms representing a quantity
 explicit relationship: a sequence rule using the number of the term to define the function [e.g., in the sequence 3, 6, 9,..., the explicit rule is f(n) = 3n where n is the number of the term and f(n) is the value of the term]
 experimental probability: a probability calculated from the results of an experiment
 exponent: a number which is placed to the right of and above another number (base). the value of the exponent determines how many times the base is used as a factor (e.g., 3 4 = 3 x 3 x 3 x3; {3 is the base and is used as a factor 4 times} the exponent is 4)
 exponential function: a function whose general equation is a y=ab x or y=ab kx , where a, b, and k
 stand for constants.
 expression: a mathematical phrase with no equal sign such as 6, 3n, or + 4
 face: a plane surface of a three-dimensional figure
 factors: the numbers or terms multiplied in an expression
 formula: an equation that states a fact or rule (e.g., a=l w)
 frequency table: a display to show how often items, numbers, or a range of numbers occur
 function: a relationship in which every value of x has a unique value of y (e.g., the relation y = 2x + 1 is a
 function because for every different x, there is one and only one y)
 function notation: a notation that describes a function. for a function ƒ, when x is a member of the domain, the symbol ƒ(x) denotes the corresponding member of the range [e.g., an equation of a function might be ƒ(x) = x+3]
 geometric sequence: a sequence with a constant ratio between two consecutive terms. Each successive term is found by multiplying the preceding term by the preceding term by the ratio. (e.g., 1, 2, 4,
 8, 16, …is a geometric sequence with a ratio of 2.)
 graph: a pictorial representation of information or relationships between numbers
 histogram: a graphical display representing continuous data in different categories or groups
 incenter: the point of intersection of the angle bisectors of a triangle
 indirect measurement: a measurement which is found by using a formula or other strategy and not actually measuring something (e.g., finding the height of a tree without actually holding a ruler next to it)
 inductive reasoning: a type of type of mathematical reasoning which involves observing patterns and using those observations to make generalizations
 inequality: a mathematical sentence in which the value of the expressions on either side of the relation symbol are unequal. relation symbols include > (greater than), < (less than), ≥greater than or
 equal to), < (less than or equal to), (e.g., x < y, 7 > 3, n =4).
 inference: a conclusion drawn from data
 integer: a set of whole numbers and its opposites (i.e. …..-3, -2, -1, 0, 1, 2, 3, ….)
 inverse operations: two operations that “undo” each other (e.g., addition and subtraction)
 inverse variation: a relationship in which the product of two variables is constant
 irrational numbers: numbers which cannot be represented by an exact ratio of two integers. (e.g., the
 square root of 2) line graph: a graphical representation using points connected by line segments to show how something
 changes over time
 line of best fit: a line drawn on a scatter plot to estimate the relationship between two sets of data
 line plot: a graph using marks (e.g., x, ) above a number on a number line to show the frequency of data
 linear function: a function with no exponents other than one and with no products of the variables (e.g.,
 y=x+4, y= -4, and 3x-4y = 1/2 are linear functions); in a rectangular coordinate system, the graph of a linear function is a line
 manipulatives: tools, models, blocks, tiles, and other objects which are used to explore mathematical ideas and solve mathematical problems
 matrices: rectangular arrays of numbers arranged in rows and columns
 maxima: the greatest value in a data set or the greatest value of a function
 mean: in a collection of data, the sum of all the data divided by the number of data
 measures of central tendency: numbers which tend to cluster around the “middle” of a set of values. three such numbers are mean, median, and mode
 median: the middle number (or the mean of the two middle numbers when necessary) in a collection of numbers that is arranged in order from least to greatest
 minima: the least value in a data set or the least value of a function mode: the number(s) that occur(s) most often in a collection of data model: to represent or show mathematical ideas and relationships and real-world situations using objects,
 pictures, graphs, tables, functions, and other methods
 monomial: a polynomial with only one term
 multiple: the product of a whole number and any other whole number
 multiplicative inverse: two numbers are multiplicative inverses of each other if their product is 1 (e.g.,
 since 4 x 1/4 = 1, 1/4 and 4 are multiplicative inverses)
 one-dimensional: a figure that has length but no width or height
 ordinal numbers: numbers used to express order (e.g., 1st, 2nd, 3rd)
 orthocenter: the point of intersection of the altitudes of a triangle
 outcome of an event: one of the possible occurrances in a probability situation
 parallel(ism): lines that lie in the same plane and never meet. also, planes lying in space that never meet
 patterns: regularities in situations such as those in nature, events, shapes, designs, and sets of numbers
 (e.g., spirals on pineapples, geometric designs in quilts, the number sequence 3, 6, 9, 12, . . . ) percent: a special ratio that compares a number to 100 and uses the % sign (e.g., 1/2 = 50% and 2/3 = 66
 2/3%)
 perimeter: the distance around a geometric shape
 perpendicular(ity): lines in the same plane which intersect to form a right angle
 pictograph: a graphical representation that shows numerical information by using picture symbols
 place value: the value of a digit as determined by its position in a number (e.g., in the number "11" the
 one is worth either 10 or 1, depending on the position) polynomial: a mathematical expression consisting of a sum of terms each of which is a product of a
 constant and one or more variables
 polynomial degree: the highest power or sum of powers in any term of a given polynomial
 polynomial term: an algebraic expression that is an addend in a polynomial expression
 population: a group of people, objects, or events that fit a particular description
 power: a number expressed using an exponent (e.g., the number 5 3 is read five to the third power or five
 cubed)
 precision: the smallest place value to which an approximate number or measurement is expressed (e.g., if pi is represented as 3.14, then its precision is .01)
 prism: a three-dimensional figure with parallelogram faces and two parallel, congruent bases
 probability of an event: a number that represents the likelihood that the event will occur
 properties of operations: mathematical principals that are always true (e.g., commutative, associative, distributive, inverses)
 proportion: an equation of the form a/b=c/d which states that the two ratios are equivalent
 pythagorean theorem: the sum of the squares of the lengths of the two legs (a, b) of a right triangle is equal to the square of the length of the hypotenuse (c). The formula is a 2 + b 2 = c 2
 quadratic function: a function of the second degree [i.e., a function of the form f(x) = ax 2 + bx + c]; in a rectangular coordinate system, the graph of a quadratic function is a parabola
 radical: another name for the roots of numbers, such as the square root of 5 or √5
 range: the set of output values for a function
 range (of data set): the difference between the greatest and the smallest numbers in a set of data (e.g., the range of 2, 7, 13, and 17 is 15)
 rate: a ratio comparing two different units (e.g., miles per hour)
 ratio: a comparison of two whole numbers by division
 rational number: a real number that can be written as a quotient/ratio of two integers a/b, where b does not equal 0; a repeating or terminating decimal, integer, fraction, or whole number
 real number: any number that is either rational or irrational
 recursive relationship: a function rule which uses the value of the preceding term in the definition
 reflection (flip): a transformation which produces the mirror image of a figure (i.e., flipping a figure across a line)
 rotation (turn): a transformation obtained by rotating a figure around a fixed point (i.e., turning a figure about a point)
 sample space: the set or collection of all possible outcomes of a probability experiment
 scale: choice of increments and range of numbers on an axis
 scale drawing: a scaled representation of physical objects or drawings
 scatter plot: a graphical representation consisting of ordered pairs possibly showing a relationship between two variable quantities
 scientific notation: representation of a number as the product of a number between 1 and 10 and a power of 10; used especially for very small or very large numbers (e.g., 6,900,000 = 6.9 x 10 6 or .00069 = 6.9 x10 -4 )
 similarity: two or more figures having the same shape but not necessarily the same size
 simulation: a representation of a situation or problem with a similar but simpler model or a more easily
 manipulated model in order to determine experimental results
 slides: a transformation in which the figures moves in a linear direction
 slope: the ratio of the rise to the run of any two distinct points on a line
 solutions: the values of a variable that make an equation or inequality a true statement
 statistical investigation: a procedure for obtaining data and drawing conclusions or making decisions on
 the basis of available data stem and leaf plot: a method of organizing data for the purpose of comparison where the "leaf" is the
 number in the smallest place value and the "stem" includes the numbers in the larger place values
 surface area: the sum of the areas of the faces of a solid figure
 symmetry: a figure has symmetry if there exists some line or point through which all points of the figure
 can be reflected to generate another point on the figure theoretical probability: a probability of a given event calculated from mathematical counting techniques.
 (e.g., the chance of getting heads when flipping a coin is 1 out of 2.)
 three-dimensional: an object that has length, width, and height
 transformation: a rule for moving every point in a plane figure to a new location.
 translation (slide): a transformation that slides a figure a given distance in a given direction
 trend: the general drift, tendency, or direction of a set of data
 trigonometric ratio: a comparison of the measures of the lengths of two sides of a right triangle expressed
 in fractional or decimal form; there are six trigonometric ratios (sine, cosine, tangent, cotangent, secant, and cosecant) associated with any angle
 trigonometry: the study of right triangle measurements and ratios, useful for calculating indirect measurements
 two-dimensional: a figure that has length and width but not height (i.e., a plane figure such as a rectangle or circle)
 valid argument: an explicit demonstration or proof that has been shown to be true
 validate: to give evidence that a solution or process is correct
 variable: a letter or symbol which represents one or more numbers variability: numbers that describe how spread out a set of data is. (e.g., range and quartile) vertex (vertices): the points where two line segments come together (corners) volume: the amount of space enclosed in a three-dimensional figure, measured in cubic units whole numbers: the numbers in the set {0, 1, 2, 3, …}

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