- 1.1.1. Use functional notation to evaluate a function.
- 1.1.2. Determine the domain and range of a function.
- 1.1.3. Draw the graph of a function.
- 1.1.4. Find the zeros of a function.
- 1.1.5. Recognize a function from a table of values.
- 1.1.6. Make new functions from two or more given functions.
- 1.1.7. Describe the symmetry properties of a function.
In this section, we provide a formal definition of a function and examine several ways in which functions are represented—namely, through tables, formulas, and graphs. We study formal notation and terms related to functions. We also define composition of functions and symmetry properties. Most of this material will be a review for you, but it serves as a handy reference to remind you of some of the algebraic techniques useful for working with functions.
Given two sets and a set with elements that are ordered pairs where is an element of and is an element of is a relation from to A relation from to defines a relationship between those two sets. A function is a special type of relation in which each element of the first set is related to exactly one element of the second set. The element of the first set is called the input; the element of the second set is called the output. Functions are used all the time in mathematics to describe relationships between two sets. For any function, when we know the input, the output is determined, so we say that the output is a function of the input. For example, the area of a square is determined by its side length, so we say that the area (the output) is a function of its side length (the input). The velocity of a ball thrown in the air can be described as a function of the amount of time the ball is in the air. The cost of mailing a package is a function of the weight of the package. Since functions have so many uses, it is important to have precise definitions and terminology to study them.
A function consists of a set of inputs, a set of outputs, and a rule for assigning each input to exactly one output. The set of inputs is called the domain of the function. The set of outputs is called the range of the function.
For example, consider the function where the domain is the set of all real numbers and the rule is to square the input. Then, the input is assigned to the output Since every nonnegative real number has a real-value square root, every nonnegative number is an element of the range of this function. Since there is no real number with a square that is negative, the negative real numbers are not elements of the range. We conclude that the range is the set of nonnegative real numbers.
For a general function with domain we often use to denote the input and to denote the output associated with When doing so, we refer to as the independent variable and as the dependent variable, because it depends on Using function notation, we write and we read this equation as equals of For the squaring function described earlier, we write
Visit this applet link to see more about graphs of functions.
We can also visualize a function by plotting points in the coordinate plane where The graph of a function is the set of all these points. For example, consider the function where the domain is the set and the rule is In Figure 1.5, we plot a graph of this function.
Every function has a domain. However, sometimes a function is described by an equation, as in with no specific domain given. In this case, the domain is taken to be the set of all real numbers for which is a real number. For example, since any real number can be squared, if no other domain is specified, we consider the domain of to be the set of all real numbers. On the other hand, the square root function only gives a real output if is nonnegative. Therefore, the domain of the function is the set of nonnegative real numbers, sometimes called the natural domain.
For the functions and the domains are sets with an infinite number of elements. Clearly we cannot list all these elements. When describing a set with an infinite number of elements, it is often helpful to use set-builder or interval notation. When using set-builder notation to describe a subset of all real numbers, denoted we write
We read this as the set of real numbers such that has some property. For example, if we were interested in the set of real numbers that are greater than one but less than five, we could denote this set using set-builder notation by writing
A set such as this, which contains all numbers greater than and less than can also be denoted using the interval notation Therefore,
The numbers and are called the endpoints of this set. If we want to consider the set that includes the endpoints, we would denote this set by writing
We can use similar notation if we want to include one of the endpoints, but not the other. To denote the set of nonnegative real numbers, we would use the set-builder notation
The smallest number in this set is zero, but this set does not have a largest number. Using interval notation, we would use the symbol which refers to positive infinity, and we would write the set as
It is important to note that is not a real number. It is used symbolically here to indicate that this set includes all real numbers greater than or equal to zero. Similarly, if we wanted to describe the set of all nonpositive numbers, we could write
Here, the notation refers to negative infinity, and it indicates that we are including all numbers less than or equal to zero, no matter how small. The set
refers to the set of all real numbers.
Some functions are defined using different equations for different parts of their domain. These types of functions are known as piecewise-defined functions. For example, suppose we want to define a function with a domain that is the set of all real numbers such that for and for We denote this function by writing
When evaluating this function for an input the equation to use depends on whether or For example, since we use the fact that for and see that On the other hand, for we use the fact that for and see that
For the function evaluate
For evaluate and
Finding Domain and Range
For each of the following functions, determine the i. domain and ii. range.
Find the domain and range for
Typically, a function is represented using one or more of the following tools:
- A table
- A graph
- A formula
We can identify a function in each form, but we can also use them together. For instance, we can plot on a graph the values from a table or create a table from a formula.
Functions described using a table of values arise frequently in real-world applications. Consider the following simple example. We can describe temperature on a given day as a function of time of day. Suppose we record the temperature every hour for a 24-hour period starting at midnight. We let our input variable be the time after midnight, measured in hours, and the output variable be the temperature hours after midnight, measured in degrees Fahrenheit. We record our data in Table 1.1.
|Hours after Midnight||Temperature||Hours after Midnight||Temperature|
We can see from the table that temperature is a function of time, and the temperature decreases, then increases, and then decreases again. However, we cannot get a clear picture of the behavior of the function without graphing it.
Given a function described by a table, we can provide a visual picture of the function in the form of a graph. Graphing the temperatures listed in Table 1.1 can give us a better idea of their fluctuation throughout the day. Figure 1.6 shows the plot of the temperature function.
From the points plotted on the graph in Figure 1.6, we can visualize the general shape of the graph. It is often useful to connect the dots in the graph, which represent the data from the table. In this example, although we cannot make any definitive conclusion regarding what the temperature was at any time for which the temperature was not recorded, given the number of data points collected and the pattern in these points, it is reasonable to suspect that the temperatures at other times followed a similar pattern, as we can see in Figure 1.7.
Sometimes we are not given the values of a function in table form, rather we are given the values in an explicit formula. Formulas arise in many applications. For example, the area of a circle of radius is given by the formula When an object is thrown upward from the ground with an initial velocity ft/s, its height above the ground from the time it is thrown until it hits the ground is given by the formula When dollars are invested in an account at an annual interest rate compounded continuously, the amount of money after years is given by the formula Algebraic formulas are important tools to calculate function values. Often we also represent these functions visually in graph form.
Given an algebraic formula for a function the graph of is the set of points where is in the domain of and is in the range. To graph a function given by a formula, it is helpful to begin by using the formula to create a table of inputs and outputs. If the domain of consists of an infinite number of values, we cannot list all of them, but because listing some of the inputs and outputs can be very useful, it is often a good way to begin.
When creating a table of inputs and outputs, we typically check to determine whether zero is an output. Those values of where are called the zeros of a function. For example, the zeros of are The zeros determine where the graph of intersects the -axis, which gives us more information about the shape of the graph of the function. The graph of a function may never intersect the x-axis, or it may intersect multiple (or even infinitely many) times.
Another point of interest is the -intercept, if it exists. The -intercept is given by
Since a function has exactly one output for each input, the graph of a function can have, at most, one -intercept. If is in the domain of a function then has exactly one -intercept. If is not in the domain of then has no -intercept. Similarly, for any real number if is in the domain of there is exactly one output and the line intersects the graph of exactly once. On the other hand, if is not in the domain of is not defined and the line does not intersect the graph of This property is summarized in the vertical line test.
Given a function every vertical line that may be drawn intersects the graph of no more than once. If any vertical line intersects a set of points more than once, the set of points does not represent a function.
We can use this test to determine whether a set of plotted points represents the graph of a function (Figure 1.8).
Finding Zeros and -Intercepts of a Function
Consider the function
- Find all zeros of
- Find the -intercept (if any).
- Sketch a graph of
Using Zeros and -Intercepts to Sketch a Graph
Consider the function
- Find all zeros of
- Find the -intercept (if any).
- Sketch a graph of
Find the zeros of
Finding the Height of a Free-Falling Object
If a ball is dropped from a height of ft, its height at time is given by the function where is measured in feet and is measured in seconds. The domain is restricted to the interval where is the time when the ball is dropped and is the time when the ball hits the ground.
- Create a table showing the height when Using the data from the table, determine the domain for this function. That is, find the time when the ball hits the ground.
- Sketch a graph of
Note that for this function and the function graphed in Figure 1.9, the values of are getting smaller as is getting larger. A function with this property is said to be decreasing. On the other hand, for the function graphed in Figure 1.10, the values of are getting larger as the values of are getting larger. A function with this property is said to be increasing. It is important to note, however, that a function can be increasing on some interval or intervals and decreasing over a different interval or intervals. For example, using our temperature function in Figure 1.6, we can see that the function is decreasing on the interval increasing on the interval and then decreasing on the interval We make the idea of a function increasing or decreasing over a particular interval more precise in the next definition.
We say that a function is increasing on the interval if for all
We say is strictly increasing on the interval if for all
We say that a function is decreasing on the interval if for all
We say that a function is strictly decreasing on the interval if for all
For example, the function is increasing on the interval because whenever On the other hand, the function is decreasing on the interval because whenever (Figure 1.11).
Now that we have reviewed the basic characteristics of functions, we can see what happens to these properties when we combine functions in different ways, using basic mathematical operations to create new functions. For example, if the cost for a company to manufacture items is described by the function and the revenue created by the sale of items is described by the function then the profit on the manufacture and sale of items is defined as Using the difference between two functions, we created a new function.
Alternatively, we can create a new function by composing two functions. For example, given the functions and the composite function is defined such that
The composite function is defined such that
Note that these two new functions are different from each other.
Combining Functions with Mathematical Operators
To combine functions using mathematical operators, we simply write the functions with the operator and simplify. Given two functions and we can define four new functions:
Combining Functions Using Mathematical Operations
Given the functions and find each of the following functions and state its domain.
For and find and state its domain.
When we compose functions, we take a function of a function. For example, suppose the temperature on a given day is described as a function of time (measured in hours after midnight) as in Table 1.1. Suppose the cost to heat or cool a building for 1 hour, can be described as a function of the temperature Combining these two functions, we can describe the cost of heating or cooling a building as a function of time by evaluating We have defined a new function, denoted which is defined such that for all in the domain of This new function is called a composite function. We note that since cost is a function of temperature and temperature is a function of time, it makes sense to define this new function It does not make sense to consider because temperature is not a function of cost.
Consider the function with domain and range and the function with domain and range If is a subset of then the composite function is the function with domain such that
A composite function can be viewed in two steps. First, the function maps each input in the domain of to its output in the range of Second, since the range of is a subset of the domain of the output is an element in the domain of and therefore it is mapped to an output in the range of In Figure 1.12, we see a visual image of a composite function.
Compositions of Functions Defined by Formulas
Consider the functions and
- Find and state its domain and range.
- Find and state its domain and range.
In Example 1.7, we can see that This tells us, in general terms, that the order in which we compose functions matters.
Let Let Find
Application Involving a Composite Function
A store is advertising a sale of off all merchandise. Caroline has a coupon that entitles her to an additional off any item, including sale merchandise. If Caroline decides to purchase an item with an original price of dollars, how much will she end up paying if she applies her coupon to the sale price? Solve this problem by using a composite function.
If items are on sale for off their original price, and a customer has a coupon for an additional off, what will be the final price for an item that is originally dollars, after applying the coupon to the sale price?
Symmetry of Functions
The graphs of certain functions have symmetry properties that help us understand the function and the shape of its graph. For example, consider the function shown in Figure 1.13(a). If we take the part of the curve that lies to the right of the y-axis and flip it over the y-axis, it lays exactly on top of the curve to the left of the y-axis. In this case, we say the function has symmetry about the y-axis. On the other hand, consider the function shown in Figure 1.13(b). If we take the graph and rotate it about the origin, the new graph will look exactly the same. In this case, we say the function has symmetry about the origin.
If we are given the graph of a function, it is easy to see whether the graph has one of these symmetry properties. But without a graph, how can we determine algebraically whether a function has symmetry? Looking at Figure 1.14 again, we see that since is symmetric about the -axis, if the point is on the graph, the point is on the graph. In other words, If a function has this property, we say is an even function, which has symmetry about the y-axis. For example, is even because
In contrast, looking at Figure 1.14 again, if a function is symmetric about the origin, then whenever the point is on the graph, the point is also on the graph. In other words, If has this property, we say is an odd function, which has symmetry about the origin. For example, is odd because
If for all in the domain of then is an even function. An even function is symmetric about the y-axis.
If for all in the domain of then is an odd function. An odd function is symmetric about the origin.
Even and Odd Functions
Determine whether each of the following functions is even, odd, or neither.
Determine whether is even, odd, or neither.
One symmetric function that arises frequently is the absolute value function, written as The absolute value function is defined as
Some students describe this function by stating that it “makes everything positive.” By the definition of the absolute value function, we see that if then and if then However, for Therefore, it is more accurate to say that for all nonzero inputs, the output is positive, but if the output We conclude that the range of the absolute value function is In Figure 1.14, we see that the absolute value function is symmetric about the y-axis and is therefore an even function.
Working with the Absolute Value Function
Find the domain and range of the function
For the function find the domain and range.
Section 1.1 Exercises
For the following exercises, (a) determine the domain and the range of each relation, and (b) state whether the relation is a function.
For the following exercises, find the values for each function, if they exist, then simplify.
a. b. c. d. e. f.
For the following exercises, find the domain, range, and all zeros/intercepts, if any, of the functions.
For the following exercises, set up a table to sketch the graph of each function using the following values:
For the following exercises, use the vertical line test to determine whether each of the given graphs represents a function. Assume that a graph continues at both ends if it extends beyond the given grid. If the graph represents a function, then determine the following for each graph:
- Domain and range
- -intercept, if any (estimate where necessary)
- -Intercept, if any (estimate where necessary)
- The intervals for which the function is increasing
- The intervals for which the function is decreasing
- The intervals for which the function is constant
- Symmetry about any axis and/or the origin
- Whether the function is even, odd, or neither
For the following exercises, for each pair of functions, find a. b. c. d. Determine the domain of each of these new functions.
For the following exercises, for each pair of functions, find a. and b. Simplify the results. Find the domain of each of the results.
The table below lists the NBA championship winners for the years 2001 to 2012.
|2003||San Antonio Spurs|
|2005||San Antonio Spurs|
|2007||San Antonio Spurs|
- Consider the relation in which the domain values are the years 2001 to 2012 and the range is the corresponding winner. Is this relation a function? Explain why or why not.
- Consider the relation where the domain values are the winners and the range is the corresponding years. Is this relation a function? Explain why or why not.
[T] The area of a square depends on the length of the side
- Write a function for the area of a square.
- Find and interpret
- Find the exact and the two-significant-digit approximation to the length of the sides of a square with area 56 square units.
[T] The volume of a cube depends on the length of the sides
- Write a function for the volume of a cube.
- Find and interpret
[T] A rental car company rents cars for a flat fee of $20 and an hourly charge of $10.25. Therefore, the total cost to rent a car is a function of the hours the car is rented plus the flat fee.
- Write the formula for the function that models this situation.
- Find the total cost to rent a car for 2 days and 7 hours.
- Determine how long the car was rented if the bill is $432.73.
[T] A vehicle has a 20-gal tank and gets 15 mpg. The number of miles N that can be driven depends on the amount of gas x in the tank.
- Write a formula that models this situation.
- Determine the number of miles the vehicle can travel on (i) a full tank of gas and (ii) 3/4 of a tank of gas.
- Determine the domain and range of the function.
- Determine how many times the driver had to stop for gas if she has driven a total of 578 mi.
[T] The volume V of a sphere depends on the length of its radius as Because Earth is not a perfect sphere, we can use the mean radius when measuring from the center to its surface. The mean radius is the average distance from the physical center to the surface, based on a large number of samples. Find the volume of Earth with mean radius m.
[T] A certain bacterium grows in culture in a circular region. The radius of the circle, measured in centimeters, is given by where t is time measured in hours since a circle of a 1-cm radius of the bacterium was put into the culture.
- Express the area of the bacteria as a function of time.
- Find the exact and approximate area of the bacterial culture in 3 hours.
- Express the circumference of the bacteria as a function of time.
- Find the exact and approximate circumference of the bacteria in 3 hours.
[T] An American tourist visits Paris and must convert U.S. dollars to Euros, which can be done using the function where x is the number of U.S. dollars and is the equivalent number of Euros. Since conversion rates fluctuate, when the tourist returns to the United States 2 weeks later, the conversion from Euros to U.S. dollars is where x is the number of Euros and is the equivalent number of U.S. dollars.
- Find the composite function that converts directly from U.S. dollars to U.S. dollars via Euros. Did this tourist lose value in the conversion process?
- Use (a) to determine how many U.S. dollars the tourist would get back at the end of her trip if she converted an extra $200 when she arrived in Paris.
[T] The manager at a skateboard shop pays his workers a monthly salary S of $750 plus a commission of $8.50 for each skateboard they sell.
- Write a function that models a worker’s monthly salary based on the number of skateboards x he or she sells.
- Find the approximate monthly salary when a worker sells 25, 40, or 55 skateboards.
- Use the INTERSECT feature on a graphing calculator to determine the number of skateboards that must be sold for a worker to earn a monthly income of $1400. (Hint: Find the intersection of the function and the line
[T] Use a graphing calculator to graph the half-circle Then, use the INTERCEPT feature to find the value of both the - and -intercepts.