**Q:** What are parabolas?

**A:** Parabolas are conic sections. The standard form is

- The vertex is located atÂ
**(p,q)**

â™¦ Â Note that **(x-p)** means that the x-coordinate of the vertex is **p**

â™¦ Â Conversely, **(x+p)** means that the x-coordinate of the vertex is at **-p**

**a**is theÂ*‘slope’**‘fat or skinny’*, and if it opens downwards or upwards.

â™¦ Â IfÂ **a** is positive, the parabola opens upwards

â™¦Â IfÂ **a** is negative, the parabola opens downwards

Take a look at the graph of for example. Note that in this case, a=1 and the vertex is located at (p,q)=(0,0).

eg.

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Try making your own parabola by using the Equation Solver on the right. I generated this picture by simply typing in **y=x^2**. Try typing something like **y=3(x+4)^2-5**.

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