Algebra Help and Definitions

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Algebra can be defined as the study of quantity, relation, and structure and is such a complex subject. It is the gateway to more rigorous courses. Most don’t realize how complex mathematics is until they are faced with courses that prepare them for scientific and engineering type careers. Personally, I had never heard of these rigorous types of math courses until I entered my first calculus course in college.

There are many concepts that must be learned in order to advance to a higher level of mathematics in general. Thus being a tutor if you are strong in mathematics or a tutee if you are weak in mathematics is necessary.

Throughout your algebra courses, which for most are numerous depending on your proficiency level in mathematics, you will be faced with many terms and definitions. On this page you will find a list of briefly described terms and definitions but will be able to access examples through the links on this page.

associative property – is a basic property in which three or more numbers are involved that deals with the use of parenthesis to group numbers “associated” in order to solve an equation involving order of operations.

commutative property – is a basic operation in which two numbers when changed around does not change the end result.

Algebra Help and Definitions

completing the square – a term that is used primarily for solving quadratic equations.

complex number – a number that can be written in a form in which one part of it is real and the other part is imaginary.

exponential equation – an equation that contains a variable for an exponent.

integers – all natural numbers and negative numbers that are not written in the form of fractions or decimals.

inverse operation – an operation that reverses another operation like addition to subtraction and multiplication to division.

logarithm – the power to which a given base number must be raised in order to obtain for a variable.

math variables – is (known as variables) a symbol that represents an unknown or changing number.

order of operations – used in solving problems correctly based on precedence.

polynomial – a variable like expression that uses addition, subtraction, and multiplication and whole number exponents.

quadratic equation – is a second degree (two as the highest power) polynomial equation.

real number – any number that can be placed on a number line excluding only imaginary numbers.

system of linear equations – a collection of linear equations involving the same set of variables.