Education Technology

Precalculus: Polar Coordinates
by Texas Instruments

Updated on March 23, 2015

Objectives

  • Students will develop a basic understanding of the polar coordinate system and locate points given in polar form.
  • Students will convert points between polar and rectangular coordinates.
  • Students will sketch graphs of polar equations.

Vocabulary

  • polar coordinates
  • pole
  • polar axis
  • absolute value
  • argument
  • rectangular coordinates

About the Lesson

This lesson involves a brief introduction to the polar coordinate system.
As a result, students will:

  • Determine the location (quadrant) of various points given in polar form.
  • Recognize cases in which a point lies on an axis.
  • Convert points between polar and rectangular form.
  • Discover that the polar coordinates for a point are not unique.
  • Sketch the graphs of polar equations.
  • Use their calculators to check graphs sketched using paper and pencil.