Algebra 2: Section 6.

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Evaluating and Graphing Polynomial Functions

1

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 #15-26 all, 37-46 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
20

3

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Assignment
• p.334 #53-64 all, 65-79 odds (20 problems)
• #65-79 odds (draw sketches of graphs using graphing calculator, trace the curve to get fairly accurate graphs)

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