Saturday, September 11, 2004

Finding the y-intercept

The link counter i put on this page tells me that many people accessing this site want to know how to find the y-intercept. This seems stange to me. Basically, the y-intercept is the value of a function at 0. The value of y = mx + c at x = 0 is y = m0 + c or y = c.

On my math site, I just started a page called Finding the y-intercept. Please leave a comment on this blog or on my forum if my page fails to answer the reason why you just did a search on y-intercept.

There are deeper reasons why I called this blog yintercept. I will get into those later. I just wanted to get a page up to help answer the questions of people hitting this site.


Mary said...

I am interested in the reason that the letter b seems to be the most popular one used for the y-intercept. Why is this? Is there a reason or is it just convention?

Kevin said...

I've always used "c" as I like the looks of the formula y = mx + c . This formula seems to make both the slope "m" and y-intercept "c" stand out more. I guess some people like to start their variables with the first letter of the alphabet. For example: y = ax + b. In this case b is the y-intercept because it is the second letter in the alphabet. I would not be surprised if there is a group of politicians in the AMA practicing General Symantics and trying to force every one to use the same notation. Personally, I think it is better to mix the variables around a bit since the math is more important than the symbols used to express the ideas of math.