Suppose you just purchased a used car, and the number of miles on the odometer can be represented by the equation
So far, the term
has been used to describe many of the equations we have been graphing. The concept of a function is extremely important in mathematics. Not all equations are functions. To be a function, for each value of
Definition: A function is a relationship between two variables such that the input value has ONLY one unique output value.
Recall from a previous Concept that a function rule replaces the variable
If the function looks like this:
Using Function Notation
Function notation allows you to easily see the input value for the independent variable inside the parentheses.
Consider the function
The value inside the parentheses is the value of the variable
To use function notation, the equation must be written in terms of
The goal is to rearrange this equation so the equation looks like
Functions as Machines
You can think of a function as a machine. You start with an input (some value), the machine performs the operations (it does the work), and your output is the answer. For example,
When you use the function machine to evaluate
A function is defined as
Rewrite the equation
First we need to solve for
Now we just replace the
Now we can evaluate
Sample explanations for some of the practice exercises below are available by viewing the following video. Note that there is not always a match between the number of the practice exercise in the video and the number of the practice exercise listed in the following exercise set. However, the practice exercise is the same in both. CK-12 Basic Algebra: Linear Function Graphs (11:49)
- What does function notation allow you to do? Why is this helpful?
- Define function . How can you tell if a graph is a function?
In 4 – 7, tell whether the graph is a function. Explain your reasoning.
Rewrite each equation using function notation.
In 15 – 19, evaluate