Date: Apr 9, 1996 5:40 PM
Author: Jeffrey Darrow
Subject: Quadratic Equations
Today I had a student in my college algebra class ask me why

"Quadratic Equations" are so named. If we have a polynomial of

degree 3 set equal to zero, we call it a cubic equation and that

makes sense to these students. However, this particular student is

curious because she sees "Q-U-A-D" in quadratic and thinks of four,

yet the polynomial in such an equation is only of degree 2. I've

never encountered this question before and I was at a loss for an

explanation. Does anyone know the origin of the term "quadratic

equation"? I would be very grateful to receive an answer.

Thank you in advance.

Jeff Darrow

Idaho State University