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Key Concepts

2.1 The Rectangular Coordinate Systems and Graphs

  • We can locate, or plot, points in the Cartesian coordinate system using ordered pairs, which are defined as displacement from the x-axis and displacement from the y-axis. See Example 1.
  • An equation can be graphed in the plane by creating a table of values and plotting points. See Example 2.
  • Using a graphing calculator or a computer program makes graphing equations faster and more accurate. Equations usually have to be entered in the form y=_____. See Example 3.
  • Finding the x- and y-intercepts can define the graph of a line. These are the points where the graph crosses the axes. See Example 4.
  • The distance formula is derived from the Pythagorean Theorem and is used to find the length of a line segment. See Example 5 and Example 6.
  • The midpoint formula provides a method of finding the coordinates of the midpoint dividing the sum of the x-coordinates and the sum of the y-coordinates of the endpoints by 2. See Example 7 and Example 8.

2.2 Linear Equations in One Variable

  • We can solve linear equations in one variable in the form ax+b=0 ax+b=0 using standard algebraic properties. See Example 1 and Example 2.
  • A rational expression is a quotient of two polynomials. We use the LCD to clear the fractions from an equation. See Example 3 and Example 4.
  • All solutions to a rational equation should be verified within the original equation to avoid an undefined term, or zero in the denominator. See Example 5 and Example 6 and Example 7.
  • Given two points, we can find the slope of a line using the slope formula. See Example 8.
  • We can identify the slope and y-intercept of an equation in slope-intercept form. See Example 9.
  • We can find the equation of a line given the slope and a point. See Example 10.
  • We can also find the equation of a line given two points. Find the slope and use the point-slope formula. See Example 11.
  • The standard form of a line has no fractions. See Example 12.
  • Horizontal lines have a slope of zero and are defined as y=c, y=c, where c is a constant.
  • Vertical lines have an undefined slope (zero in the denominator), and are defined as x=c, x=c, where c is a constant. See Example 13.
  • Parallel lines have the same slope and different y-intercepts. See Example 14 and Example 15.
  • Perpendicular lines have slopes that are negative reciprocals of each other unless one is horizontal and the other is vertical. See Example 16.

2.3 Models and Applications

  • A linear equation can be used to solve for an unknown in a number problem. See Example 1.
  • Applications can be written as mathematical problems by identifying known quantities and assigning a variable to unknown quantities. See Example 2.
  • There are many known formulas that can be used to solve applications. Distance problems, for example, are solved using the d=rt d=rt formula. See Example 3.
  • Many geometry problems are solved using the perimeter formula P=2L+2W, P=2L+2W, the area formula A=LW, A=LW, or the volume formula V=LWH. V=LWH. See Example 4, Example 5, and Example 6.

2.4 Complex Numbers

  • The square root of any negative number can be written as a multiple of i. i. See Example 1.
  • To plot a complex number, we use two number lines, crossed to form the complex plane. The horizontal axis is the real axis, and the vertical axis is the imaginary axis. See Example 2.
  • Complex numbers can be added and subtracted by combining the real parts and combining the imaginary parts. See Example 3.
  • Complex numbers can be multiplied and divided.
    • To multiply complex numbers, distribute just as with polynomials. See Example 4 and Example 5.
    • To divide complex numbers, multiply both numerator and denominator by the complex conjugate of the denominator to eliminate the complex number from the denominator. See Example 6 and Example 7.
  • The powers of i i are cyclic, repeating every fourth one. See Example 8.

2.5 Quadratic Equations

  • Many quadratic equations can be solved by factoring when the equation has a leading coefficient of 1 or if the equation is a difference of squares. The zero-product property is then used to find solutions. See Example 1, Example 2, and Example 3.
  • Many quadratic equations with a leading coefficient other than 1 can be solved by factoring using the grouping method. See Example 4 and Example 5.
  • Another method for solving quadratics is the square root property. The variable is squared. We isolate the squared term and take the square root of both sides of the equation. The solution will yield a positive and negative solution. See Example 6 and Example 7.
  • Completing the square is a method of solving quadratic equations when the equation cannot be factored. See Example 8.
  • A highly dependable method for solving quadratic equations is the quadratic formula, based on the coefficients and the constant term in the equation. See Example 9 and Example 10.
  • The discriminant is used to indicate the nature of the roots that the quadratic equation will yield: real or complex, rational or irrational, and how many of each. See Example 11.
  • The Pythagorean Theorem, among the most famous theorems in history, is used to solve right-triangle problems and has applications in numerous fields. Solving for the length of one side of a right triangle requires solving a quadratic equation. See Example 12.

2.6 Other Types of Equations

  • Rational exponents can be rewritten several ways depending on what is most convenient for the problem. To solve, both sides of the equation are raised to a power that will render the exponent on the variable equal to 1. See Example 1, Example 2, and Example 3.
  • Factoring extends to higher-order polynomials when it involves factoring out the GCF or factoring by grouping. See Example 4 and Example 5.
  • We can solve radical equations by isolating the radical and raising both sides of the equation to a power that matches the index. See Example 6 and Example 7.
  • To solve absolute value equations, we need to write two equations, one for the positive value and one for the negative value. See Example 8.
  • Equations in quadratic form are easy to spot, as the exponent on the first term is double the exponent on the second term and the third term is a constant. We may also see a binomial in place of the single variable. We use substitution to solve. See Example 9 and Example 10.
  • Solving a rational equation may also lead to a quadratic equation or an equation in quadratic form. See Example 11.

2.7 Linear Inequalities and Absolute Value Inequalities

  • Interval notation is a method to indicate the solution set to an inequality. Highly applicable in calculus, it is a system of parentheses and brackets that indicate what numbers are included in a set and whether the endpoints are included as well. See Table 1 and Example 2.
  • Solving inequalities is similar to solving equations. The same algebraic rules apply, except for one: multiplying or dividing by a negative number reverses the inequality. See Example 3, Example 4, Example 5, and Example 6.
  • Compound inequalities often have three parts and can be rewritten as two independent inequalities. Solutions are given by boundary values, which are indicated as a beginning boundary or an ending boundary in the solutions to the two inequalities. See Example 7 and Example 8.
  • Absolute value inequalities will produce two solution sets due to the nature of absolute value. We solve by writing two equations: one equal to a positive value and one equal to a negative value. See Example 9 and Example 10.
  • Absolute value inequalities can also be solved by graphing. At least we can check the algebraic solutions by graphing, as we cannot depend on a visual for a precise solution. See Example 11.
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