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Algebra is a branch of mathematics concerning the study of structure, relation and quantity. The name is derived from the treatise written by the Persian mathematician, astronomer, astrologer and geographer, Muḥammad ibn Mūsā al-Khwārizmī titled Kitab al-Jabr al-Muqabala (meaning "The Compendious Book on Calculation by Completion and Balancing"), which provided operations for the systematic solution of linear and quadratic equations.

Together with geometry, analysis, combinatorics, and number theory, algebra is one of the main branches of mathematics. Elementary algebra is often part of the curriculum in secondary education and provides an introduction to the basic ideas of algebra, including effects of adding and multiplying numbers, the concept of variables, definition of polynomials, along with factorization and determining their roots.

In addition to working directly with numbers, algebra covers working with symbols, variables, and set elements. Addition and multiplication are viewed as general operations, and their precise definitions lead to structures such as groups, rings and fields.

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The graph of a real-valued quadratic function of a real variable x, is a parabola.

A quadratic equation is a polynomial equation of degree two. The general form is

where a ≠ 0 (if a = 0, then the equation becomes a linear equation). The letters a, b, and c are called coefficients: the quadratic coefficient a is the coefficient of x2, the linear coefficient b is the coefficient of x, and c is the constant coefficient, also called the free term.

Quadratic equations are called quadratic because quadratus is Latin for "square"; in the leading term the variable is squared.

A quadratic equation has two (not necessarily distinct) solutions, which may be real or complex, given by the quadratic formula:

These solutions are roots of the corresponding quadratic function

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Tetrahedral group ca

A tetrahedron can be placed in 12 distinct positions by rotation alone. These are illustrated above in the cycle graph format, along with the 180° edge (blue arrows) and 120° vertex (reddish arrows) rotations that permute the tetrahedron through those positions.

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Topics in algebra

General Elementary algebra Key concepts Linear algebra
Algebraic structures Groups Rings and Fields Other

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