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# Glossary: A Quick Guide to the Mathematical Jargon

• absolute maximum.  The all-time, one-and-only, single, absolute and total maximum value of a function over a specified domain of the function. (Although it is the unique maximum value, it could occur at more than one point, as when you have two mountain peaks of exactly the same height.) Not to be confused with a local maximum, which is to the absolute maximum as the police chief is to the army chief-of-staff. The absolute maximum is sometimes also called the global maximum.

absolute minimum.  Same definition as for the absolute maximum, only substitute the word ``minimum'' everywhere the word maximum occurs. Also substitute ``lawyer'' for ``police chief'' and (optionally, depending on your politics) ``politician'' for ``chief-of-staff''.

On a graph , it is a point that is having a really bad day. As low as it can get.

absolute value  Drop the negative sign if there is one. Otherwise, just leave the number alone.

acceleration.  Acceleration is the rate of change of the velocity. It causes that funny feeling in the pit of your stomach as you are mushed backward into the seat when somebody really puts the pedal to the metal. Since the rate of change of a function is its derivative, the acceleration is the derivative of the velocity function. Since the velocity function is itself the derivative of the function giving your position, the acceleration function is the second derivative of the function giving your position.(In mathese, a= dv/dt = d2s/dt2, where s is the position function).

algebra.  Hold it. If you don't know what algebra is (a bunch of letters like x and y and a bunch of rules for playing around with them), then you shouldn't be taking calculus. Return to GO, do not collect \$200.

antiderivative.  You guess

Next: Glossary: A Quick Guide Up: How to Ace Calculus Previous: Exponential Growth and Decay:
Joel Hass
1999-05-26