Posted by **Tonya** on Friday, November 4, 2011 at 5:47pm.

How can I tell what direction this parabola open up

-2x^2 +16x+24y-224=0

We just started this in class today do I need to change this into another format

- Algebra -
**MathMate**, Saturday, November 5, 2011 at 8:04am
The leading coefficient tells the story.

The leading coefficient of a polynomial is the coefficient (number) associated with the variable of the highest power, in this case, x².

If the leading coefficient (-2) is negative, it is *concave down*, i.e. it opens downwards. If the leading coefficient is positive, it is *concave up*.

An easy way to remember is the concavity follows the same direction along the y-axis as the leading coefficient. Positive => upwards, negative => downwards.

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