In mathematics, the Cartesian coordinate system is a coordinate system that specifies each point uniquely in a plane by a pair of numerical coordinates, which are the signed distances to the point from two fixed perpendicular directed lines, measured in the same unit of length. The origin (0,0) is usually located at the center of the grid formed by the points, but in some contexts (such as graphing) it is useful to define the coordinates so that the origin is "outside" the grid, allowing the coordinates to be interpreted as relative distances from the origin. The two perpendicular axes are called the "axes" of the Cartesian coordinate system, and the points where they meet are its "intercepts". The coordinates can also be defined as the positions of the perpendicular projections of the point onto the two axes, expressed as signed distances from the origin.

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Syracuse University
Catherine R.

Missouri State University

Heather Z.

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Kayleah T.

Harvey Mudd College