Date: 12/3/95 at 9:6:9 From: Anonymous Subject: Quadratic terminology My students want to know why an equation of the second degree is referred to as a quadratic equation. What does the prefix quad have to do with second degree equations??
Date: 12/3/95 at 10:52:36 From: Doctor Sarah Subject: Re: Quadratic terminology Hello there - Webster says 'quadratic' means 'of, pertaining to, or resembling a quadrate or square' - or just 'square'. In algebra, then, quadratic means something marked by terms of second degrees as the highest, so that a quadratic equation is one in which the highest power of the unknown quantity is a square. Sometimes it's surprising what a good dictionary can tell you, but you will need one of the really comprehensive ones with very thin pages or very small print - or both - for math terms. -Doctor Sarah, The Geometry Forum
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