coordinate geometry

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coordinate geometry (algebraic geometry) Branch of mathematics combining the methods of pure geometry with those of algebra. Any geometrical point can be given an algebraical value by relating it to coordinates, marked off from a frame of reference. Thus, if a point is marked on a square grid so that it is x1 squares along the x axis and y1 squares along the y axis, it has the coordinates (x1, y1). Polar coordinates can also be used. It was first introduced in the 17th century by René; Descartes. See also Cartesian coordinates