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The Ellipse - Problem 8

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Teacher/Instructor Alissa Fong
Alissa Fong

MA, Stanford University
Teaching in the San Francisco Bay Area

Alissa is currently a teacher in the San Francisco Bay Area and Brightstorm users love her clear, concise explanations of tough concepts

If an ellipse is centered at the origin, we need to determine whether the major axis is vertical (meaning the y^2 term will be over a^2,) or horizontal (meaning x^2 will be over a^2.) In this particular example, the given focus is on the y-axis, which tells us that there is a vertical major axis. The y-intercept represents a point on the ellipse, which tells us the "a" value. Using the relation a^2 - b^2 = c^2, we solve for b^2 to find the last information needed to write the standard form equation.

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