You can (if equipped with one of the latest Java-enabled browsers - preferably with Sun's new plug-in for Java) use our Graph Explorer to see the effects of changing the parameters. (Any Computer Algebra System or Graphing Calculator would do as well of course but the detailed instructions might be a bit different.) You can also enter a quadratic as a product of linear factors and then also graph the factors separately to see how the x-intercepts of the product are related to those of its factors.
For guidance through a more detailed exploration you can work through
our on-line lab on
This "game" has you choose the coefficients a,b, and c to make the graph of y=a*x^2+b*x+c match a given parabola.
Here are some more links to material on quadratic functions:
If you have come across any more good web-based illustrations of these and related concepts,
please do let us know and we will add them here.
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