Terms
Asymptote

A line that a function approaches but never
intersects.
Axis

The line of symmetry of a parabola.
Constant Function

A polynomial function of degree zero in which the constant term
≠ 0
.
Constant Term

The coefficient of
x
^{0}
in a polynomial.
Degree

The value of
n
in a polynomial
f (x) = a
_{n}
x
^{n} + a
_{n1}
x
^{n1} + ^{ ... } + a
_{1}
x + a
_{0}
, where
a
_{n}≠ 0
. If
f (x) = 0
, then the degree is undefined.
Descartes' Rule of Signs

Descartes' Rule of Signs states that the number of positive real roots is less
than or equal to the number of variations in the function
f (x)
. It also states that
the number of negative real roots is less than or equal to the number of variations
in the function
f ( x)
.
Leading Coefficient

The value of
a
_{n}
in a polynomial
f (x) = a
_{n}
x
^{n} + a
_{n1}
x
^{n1} + ^{ ... } + a
_{1}
x + a
_{0}
, where
a
_{n}≠ 0
unless
f (x) = 0
.
Linear Function

A firstdegree polynomial.
Multiplicity

If
(x  c)^{n}
is a factor of a polynomial but
(x  c)^{n+1}
is not, the
root
c
is said to be a root of multiplicity
n
.
Parabola

Another name for the graph of a quadratic function.
Polynomial

An expression of one variable of the form
a
_{n}
x
^{n} + a
_{n1}
x
^{n1} + ^{ ... } + a
_{2}
x
^{2} + a
_{1}
x + a
_{0}
, where
a
_{n}, a
_{n1},..., a
_{1}, a
_{0}
are real numbers,
n
is a nonnegative integer, and
a
_{n}≠ 0
.
Polynomial Function

A function that is defined by a polynomial;
it is of the form
f (x) = a
_{n}
x
^{n} + a
_{n1}
x
^{n1} + ^{ ... } + a
_{2}
x
^{2} + a
_{1}
x + a
_{0}
, where
a
_{n}, a
_{n1},…, a
_{1}, a
_{0}
are real numbers,
n
is a
nonnegative integer, and
a
_{n}≠ 0
.
Quadratic Function

A seconddegree polynomial.
Rational Function

A function which can be expressed as the
quotient of two polynomial functions.
Rational Root Theorem

The Rational Root Theorem is a useful tool in finding the roots of a
polynomial function
f (x) = a
_{n}
x
^{n} + a
_{n1}
x
^{n1} + ... + a
_{2}
x
^{2} + a
_{1}
x + a
_{0}.
If the coefficients of a polynomial are all integers, and a root of the
polynomial is rational (it can be expressed as a fraction in lowest terms), the Rational Root
Theorem states that the numerator of the root is a factor of
a
_{0}
and the denominator of the root is a
factor of
a
_{n}
.
Root

Values of the independent variable for which a polynomial function
equals zero.
Variation

Consecutive terms of a polynomial whose coefficients have opposite signs.
Vertex

The point on a parabola at which the quadratic function reaches its
minimum or maximum value.
Zero Polynomial

The polynomial
f (x) = 0
.
Quadratic Formula

If
ax
^{2} + bx + c = 0
, then
x =
.
