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Evaluating and Graphing Polynomial Functions
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Polynomial Function
• A function is a polynomial function if…
– Exponents are all whole numbers – Coefficients are all real numbers
• Standard Form of Polynomial Function
– All terms are written in descending order of exponents from left to right
f ( x)
an x
n
an 1 x
n 1
a1 x a0
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Parts of Polynomial Function
• Leading coefficient
– Coefficient on highest power of x
• Constant term
– Term that has no variable (no x)
• Degree of the polynomial
– Exponent of the highest power of x
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• Classify based on highest power of x • Power of x
– Zero: Constant – One: Linear – Two: Quadratic – Three: Cubic – Four: Quartic
Classifying Polynomial Functions
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Examples
• Decide whether the function is a polynomial function. If it is, write the function in standard form and state its degree, type, and leading coefficient.
1. f ( x)
2x
2
x
2
No, because negative exponent.
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Examples
2. g ( x)
0.8 x
3
x
4
5
Yes 4 3 f ( x) x 0.8 x 5 Degree: 4 Type: Quartic Leading Coefficient: 1
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Synthetic Substitution (Synthetic Division)
• Gives another way to evaluate a function • Also used to divide polynomials
– This will be discussed in later sections
• The last entry is the value of the function
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Examples
• Use synthetic division to evaluate.
3. f ( x) 3x
5
x
4
5 x 10 when x
2
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3. f ( x) 3x
Number you are evaluating goes in front
5
x
4
5 x 10 when x
2
Coefficients of x written in order Missing power of x, zero coefficient!
2 3
Drop 1st number down
1 0 0 5 10 6 14 28 56 102
3
7 14 28 51
92
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4. f ( x) 5 x
3
x
2
4 x 1; f (4)
4 5
5
1 20
4 1 84 320
21
80 321
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Assignment
• p.333 #1526 all, 3746 all (22 problems)
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What happens to the graph when x gets very small or x gets very large?
As x gets very large the graphs is rising As x gets very small the graphs is falling
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What happens to the graph when x gets very small or x gets very large?
As x gets very small the graphs is rising
As x gets very large the graphs is rising
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End Behavior of Graphs of Polynomial Functions
• What the function’s graph does as x approaches positive and negative infinity
x
“as x approaches negative infinity” OR as x gets very small OR as we move forever to the left
“as x approaches positive infinity” OR as x gets very large OR as we move forever to the right
x
f ( x)
“f(x) approaches negative infinity” OR y gets very small OR the graph falls
f ( x)
“f(x) approaches positive infinity” OR y gets very large OR the graph rises
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End Behavior of Polynomial Functions
f ( x)
an x
n
an 1 x
n 1
... a1 x a0
• Leading term and degree tell end behavior • Follow these rules…
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End Behavior of Polynomial Functions
f ( x)
an
an x
n
an 1 x
n 1
... a1 x a0
0 and n even, and f ( x) and f ( x) as x as x
f ( x) as x an 0 and n even, f ( x) as x
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End Behavior of Polynomial Functions
f ( x)
an an
an x
n
an 1 x
n 1
... a1 x a0
0 and n odd, as x as x and f ( x) and f ( x) as x as x 0 and n odd,
f ( x) f ( x)
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End Behavior of Polynomial Functions
Leading Degree Coefficient + Even
+ Odd Even
Left Behavior Rises
Falls Falls
Right Behavior Rises
Rises Falls

Odd
Rises
Falls
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End Behavior of Polynomial Functions
Leading Degree Coefficient
+ + Even Odd Even
as x
as x
f ( x) f ( x) f ( x) f ( x)
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f ( x) f ( x) f ( x) f ( x)

Odd
Examples
• Describe the end behavior of the function.
1. f ( x) x 2 x x 3 Leading Coefficient: + Degree: Odd
f ( x) f ( x) as x as x
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Assignment
• p.334 #5364 all, 6579 odds (20 problems)
• #6579 odds (draw sketches of graphs using graphing calculator, trace the curve to get fairly accurate graphs)
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