Q:

# What is a vertex form converter?

A:

A vertex form converter is a computer program or a web application that converts between the standard form of a quadratic equation and its vertex form. Because vertex form is easier to visualize and plot than standard form, such converters are especially helpful when manual plotting needs to be done.

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To use a vertex form converter, students must first be able to recognize the coefficients a, b and c of the standard-form quadratic equation that is to be converted. These are the numbers that precede the square of x, x itself and the unaffiliated coefficient, respectively. Next plug these coefficients into the converter in their respective order. Misplacing the order of the coefficients in the converter yields a completely different vertex form, so it is important that students pay attention to what they are entering and where.

After the three coefficients have been entered, the student has to press a button, usually titled "solve" or "calculate," to conduct the conversion. This yields the h,k values for the equivalent vertex form of the standard quadratic equation. Algebra.com, Virtual Nerd and Tutor Vista are math tutoring websites that have converters which are able to convert between the standard form of a quadratic equation and its vertex form.

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