Linear regression for two variables is based on a linear equation with one independent variable. The equation has the form:

where *a* and *b* are constant numbers.

The variable ** x is the independent variable, and y is the dependent variable.** Typically, you choose a value to substitute for the independent variable and then solve for the dependent variable.

### Example 12.1

The following examples are linear equations.

Is the following an example of a linear equation?

*y* = â€“0.125 â€“ 3.5*x*

The graph of a linear equation of the form *y* = *a* + *bx* is a **straight line**. Any line that is not vertical can be described by this equation.

### Example 12.2

Graph the equation *y* = â€“1 + 2*x*.

Is the following an example of a linear equation? Why or why not?

### Example 12.3

Aaron's Word Processing Service (AWPS) does word processing. The rate for services is $32 per hour plus a $31.50 one-time charge. The total cost to a customer depends on the number of hours it takes to complete the job.

Find the equation that expresses the **total cost** in terms of the **number of hours** required to complete the job.

Emmaâ€™s Extreme Sports hires hang-gliding instructors and pays them a fee of $50 per class as well as $20 per student in the class. The total cost Emma pays depends on the number of students in a class. Find the equation that expresses the total cost in terms of the number of students in a class.

### Slope and *Y*-Intercept of a Linear Equation

For the linear equation *y* = *a* + *bx*, *b* = slope and *a* = *y*-intercept. From algebra recall that the slope is a number that describes the steepness of a line, and the *y*-intercept is the *y* coordinate of the point (0, *a*) where the line crosses the *y*-axis.

### Example 12.4

Svetlana tutors to make extra money for college. For each tutoring session, she charges a one-time fee of $25 plus $15 per hour of tutoring. A linear equation that expresses the total amount of money Svetlana earns for each session she tutors is *y* = 25 + 15*x*.

What are the independent and dependent variables? What is the *y*-intercept and what is the slope? Interpret them using complete sentences.

Ethan repairs household appliances like dishwashers and refrigerators. For each visit, he charges $25 plus $20 per hour of work. A linear equation that expresses the total amount of money Ethan earns per visit is *y* = 25 + 20*x*.

What are the independent and dependent variables? What is the *y*-intercept and what is the slope? Interpret them using complete sentences.