Brightstorm is like having a personal tutor for every subject

See what all the buzz is about

Check it out

Rectangular Coordinate System - Concept 16,297 views

Teacher/Instructor Carl Horowitz
Carl Horowitz

University of Michigan
Runs his own tutoring company

Carl taught upper-level math in several schools and currently runs his own tutoring company. He bets that no one can beat his love for intensive outdoor activities!

In Algebra, we often use the rectangular coordinate system to graph lines, parabolas and other formulas. Important terms to be familiar with include the y-axis, the x-axis, y-coordinates, x-coordinates and points.The rectangular coordinate system can also be called the coordinate system or the x-y axis.

The rectangular coordinate system is a general way that we graph a lot of information. You hear it call called the rectangular coordinate system; you'll hear it called the coordinate system sometimes you call the xy axis. There's different ways of phrasing it all of which are always going to be referring to this sort standard grid that you probably seen before, so the few things that we need to talk about this are there's an x axis and a y axis.
The x axis is the one on a horizontal the y axis is the one that goes up and down. Okay how we refer to specific points is, is an x coordinate and a y coordinate okay? So if I say the point 3, -2 what that means is we go down the x axis 3 so positive is in the right direction so we go over three 1, 2, 3 and then we go down 2, 1, 2 so the point -3, 2 is roughly here my drawing is incomplete with the scale so I might be a little bit off but it's going to be right around this point.

Okay some other terminology that we want to do is describe is see here that's four different areas to this graph, I refer to them is quadrants okay? And so for reasons unbeknown to me this is quadrant 1 and then we go counter clockwise, so this is 2 quadrant 3 and that point that we plotted is in quadrant 4 okay? So it's a really easy way for us to sort of distinguish when we're referring to a point there's a number of points going on, we could say "oh! The point in quadrant 2 we know we're talking about something over here."
So that's sort of the brief overview of the rectangular coordinate system, as we go on we'll explore lot more graphs and we'll see lot more of this.