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LESSON 1
Function Models Revisited
One of the most important and controversial problems in Earth and space science today
is measuring, understanding, and predicting global warming. There is deep concern that
the average annual surface temperature on Earth has been increasing over the past
century and that this change will have important consequences for industry, agriculture,
and personal lifestyles.
Many scientists believe that the most likely variable contributing to the increase in
world temperature is greenhouse gases that reduce radiation of energy from Earth’s
surface into space. The next graph gives data on change in atmospheric greenhouse
gases over the past 1,007 years.
Atmospheric Concentrations of Carbon Dioxide, 1000–2007

Source: www.earth-policy.org/Indicators/CO2/2008_data3.htm

The challenge for atmospheric scientists is deciding how current trends in greenhouse gas amounts
world temperature change should be projected into the future. Different projections imply different
corrective actions

a.
b.
c.

In what ways do you imagine that future global warming could change Earth’s atmosphere
Based on the data given in the graph on the previous page, what strategy for projecting ch
global temperature would make most sense to you?
Based on the data given in the graph above, what strategy for projecting change in atmosp
carbon dioxide makes most sense to you?

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Investigation 1: Variables Related by Data in Tables
One way to investigate particular relationships is to study a table of values containing
typical pairs of values, (input, output). Consider the following situation.
People can be found of many shapes and sizes. You may have noticed if you are taller,
shorter, or about the same height as your classmates. Some people, such as doctors,
have some concerns about what is average for people of various ages. Because of this,
many almanacs and reference sources include tables such as the following, showing
average heights of American females at specific ages
Age (yrs)
0
2
4
6
8
10
12
Height (cm)
51
84
99
112
127
137
147
Source: The World Almanac and Book of Facts. NY: Pharos Books. 1992
1.

14
158

What can you say about the relation between the age and the average height?

Age and height are numerical or quantitative variables, and we can say that height
depends on age or height is a function of age. Because height depends on age, it
should seem reasonable to think of age as the input variable and height as the output
variable in the relation. According to the table, the average height of 14-year-old
females is 158 centimeters. Mathematicians and scientists might use the symbolic
shorthand form H(14) = 158 to convey this information.
We read "H(14) = 158" as "H of 14 equals 158."
Use of notation like this indicates a relation in which one variable is a function of another. In this case, height is a function of age.
There are many interesting questions that you can answer by examining data in the
table For example:
2.

How much does the average height of females increase from birth to age
two? How does that increase compare to the increase between ages 16 and
20?
These changes may be calculated by subtraction:
Height at 2 — Height at 0 = H(2) — H(l) = 84 — 51 = 33.
Height at 20 — Height at 16 = H(20) — H(16) = 165 — 160 = 5.
Thus the average height increases by 33 centimeters in the first two years and
only by 5 centimeters in the four-year period between ages 16 and 20.

3.

At what age does the average height of females reach 100 cm?
The table shows that average height is 99 cm at age 4 and 112 cm at age 6; so
the average height reaches 100 cm for some age between 4 and 6 years.

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160

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4.

During which 2-year period shown in the table does the average height of
females increase the most? The following table shows the height differences,
and the largest one has been marked.

Age (yrs)
Change in height
(cm)
a.

0 to 2
84-51

2 to 4

4 to 6

6 to 8

8 to 10 10 to 12 12 to 14 14 to 16 16 to

When the greatest increase occurs? Why?

The age and height data given in the table of Situation 2.1 are averages. The actual
growth pattern for any individual girl might be quite different from those averages.
Consider the following data for Elda, who found the information in health checkup
records that her mother had kept
Age (years)
Height (cm)
5.

0
56

2
85

4
90

6
102

8
113

10
125

12
152

14
169

Elda's height is a function D of her age.
a. According to the table, what was Dawn's height at age 4? That is,
complete the following statement.
b. D (4) =_______
c. According to the table, at what age was Dawn's height 102 cm?
That is, complete the following statement.
d. D (______) = 102.
e. What information is conveyed by "D (18) = 183"?
f. Did Dawn grow more between the ages of 6 and 8 or between the
ages of 14 and 16?
g. Was Dawn shorter or taller than the average height for females at
age 4? What about at age 10? Age 12?
h. In which two-year interval did Dawn grow the fastest? By how
much did she grow and how does this compare with the increase
in average height for females between the same ages?

Summarize the mathematics

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1. The table below gives the average heights of American males at specific
ages
Age (years)
Height (cm)

0
52

2
87

4
6
8
10
12
14
103
116
127
138
150
163
Source: The World Almanac and Book of Facts. 1992.

16
174

18
177

The average height of males is a function M of age.
a. At what age is the average height of males 150 cm?

b.
c.
d.
e.
f.

Use functional notation to write the sentence, "The average height
of males at age 14 is 163 cm." Hint: M(
)=
Complete the following statement: M(2) =
Write in words the meaning of M(8) = 127.
In which of the two-year periods shown by the table does the
average height increase the most? What is that increase?
How does the pattern of change in average height for males
compare to that for females?

1. The Talent Show advisor found the following record of profits from
previous Talent Shows. Note: Negative profit means the show lost money.
Year
Profits (\$)

1980
-221

1981
-155

1982
-18

1983
233

1984
847

1985
1838

1986
1750

1987
2133

Profit can be considered a function P of the year.
a. In which year did the Talent Show make the greatest profit?

b.
c.
d.

e.
f.

2.

The amount of profit is a function of the year. What does P (1981)
= —155 tell about Talent Show profit?
In 1985 the Talent Show had a profit of \$1838. Using functional
notation, express this fact.
In which year did Talent Show profit increase the most from the
previous year? Write the calculations needed to find each year-toyear change as follows: P(1981) — P(1980) = (-155) — (-221) = 66.
Then use your calculator to find the results.
Between which consecutive years did the profit decrease?
Describe the overall trend in Talent Show profits shown in the table
and make a prediction about profit that could be expected from the
1988 show.

The following table gives the number of record albums sold in the United
States for some recent years.

Year
Albums solds
(millions)

a.

1973

1975

1977

1979

1981

1983

1985

1987

290

333

345

330

280

230

195

178

What trend, or pattern of change, do you see in the data in the table?
Offer a possible explanation for this trend.

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b.
c.
d.
e.
3.

The number of albums sold, A, is a function of the year. What
information does the following sentence, written in functional
notation, give about album sales? A (1981) = 280 million.
Write the following statement in functional notation: 330 million
albums were sold in 1979.
In which two-year period did the reported sales change the most?
What was that change?
What estimate do you believe is most reasonable for album sales
in 1989?

A fast-food restaurant found that the number of orders of french fries that it
sells depends on the price of an order of fries
Price (\$)
Orders of fries
per day
a.

0.60

0.70

0.80

0.90

1.00

1000

850

700

550

400

250

Describe the relation between price and number of orders that you
see in the table and explain why it is or is not reasonable to you.
Write functional notation for each of the following. Hint: Since the
number of orders depends on the price, a reasonable way to write the
relation might be N(price) = number of orders.

b.

i.
ii.

When the price is fifty cents, 1000 orders of fries are sold.

Only 250 orders are sold when one dollar is charged
Explain in words the meaning of each of these symbolic statements
i.
N(0.80) = 550
ii.
N(0.60) = 850

c.

4.

0.50

d.

If the manager wants to sell at least 500 orders each day,
what price (s) should the restaurant charge?

e.

If the restaurant chain will only allow the price of fries to be
between seventy and eighty cents an order, how many orders
of fries will be sold each day at this location?

Suppose that the manager of the restaurant in problem 4 decides to try a new
large size order of fries. Using the table and any trends that you observed with
regular size fries above, estimate the number of orders of large fries that might
be sold at the following prices.
Price (\$)
Orders of fries
per day

a.
b.
c.

0.80

0.90

1.00

1.10

1.20

1.30

List some factors besides price that might affect the
number of orders of large fries sold.
Suppose the manager wants to use a special to bring in
more customers. List some factors in the business that
might be changed.
Pick two variables from part b that might have a cause-and-effect
relationship. Indicate which you think would be the input variable
and which you think would be the output variable. Explain your

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Investigation 2: Variables Related by Data in Graphs
The ways in which two variables might be related are not always shown clearly by
tables of input-output data. Patterns in the data may be lost amid all the specific
numbers. However, when data are displayed in a graph, it is often much easier to see
trends and therefore to make predictions

1.

The table displays ordered pairs of data (age, height). Each pair also can be
considered as coordinates which locate exactly one point on the graph. For
example, the point with coordinates (16, 160) represents the fact that at age
16 the average height of females is 160 centimeters.

2.

It is customary to indicate values of the input variable on the horizontal (left
to right) axis and values of the output variable on the vertical (up and down)
axis. In our example, that means age is on the horizontal axis (each tic mark
represents one year), and height is on the vertical axis (each tic mark
represents 10 centimeters).

3.

To locate or interpret data pairs that do not hit given grid points exactly, it is
necessary to estimate position and coordinates. For example, the data pair (2,
84) corresponds to a point located about halfway between (2, 80) and (2, 90).
This means that the average height of females of age 2 is about midway
between 80 and 90 centimeters.

4.

A graph also shows patterns of change in related variables by the horizontal
and vertical movement needed to get from point to point. For example, the
graph of the function relating age and height shows that the average height of
females increases by 20 cm from age 8 to age 12. The difference in height
coordinates of (8, 127) and (12, 147) is 147 --127 = 20.

5.

You can also estimate pairs, (age, height), not given in the table. For
example, the following graph shows an in-between point with coordinates
approximately (7, 120), suggesting that the average height of 7-year-old

The exploration and homework exercises will sharpen your skills in constructing and

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A drought in the African veldt causes the death of many animals. For example, a
typical herd of wildebeest might suffer losses like those indicated in the following table
Length of
drought (months)
Number of
wildbeets

0

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

500

400

300

250

200

175

150

125

100

90

75

1.

Plot the

2.

Give the

ordered pairs of data given in the table above

coordinates for the points that answer the following questions
a. What was the population after three months of drought
b. How long had the drought been going on when the herd reached a
population of 125?
c. For what length of time did the population remain above 200?
3.

What pattern in the graph shows the drop in population?

Summarize the mathematics

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When NASA sends a space shuttle on a mission, scientists and
engineers monitor conditions on the shuttle with many different
instruments. For example, heat sensors in the nose cone steadily send
closely from several hours before liftoff until the shuttle lands safely.
The table below gives a sample of readings, (time, temperature), for a
typical mission. Temperature of the nose cone is a function of time in
the mission. Notice that time before liftoff is indicated by negative
numbers and that temperatures also take on both positive and negative
values
Mission time
(min)
Nose cone
temperature
(Celsius)

-25

-20

-15

-10

-5

0

5

10

15

20

25

30

35

40

45

50

-10

-10

-5

-5

0

10

75

90

115

130

105

80

20

-5

30

-40

1.

Plot the data pairs, (time,
temperature), given in the
table.
Notice that points
showing "negative time" (time
before liftoff) are located on
the left side of the vertical
axis and that points showing
negative temperature are
below the horizontal axis. The
axes divide a coordinate grid
quadrant. The point shown on this grid is in the third quadrant. Each
horizontal grid unit represents 5 minutes of time; each vertical grid unit
represents 10°C temperature.

2.

For parts a through d, temperature C (in degrees Celsius) is a function of time
in minutes. For each part, do the following.
i. Write the value that correctly completes the statement.
ii. Give the coordinates of the data point, (input, output), that supplies
iii. Write the completed statement in words.
a.
C(15) = ______
b.
C(-10) =______
c.
C(
) = —30.
d.
C(
) = 90.

3.

With your classmates, discuss the factors in a shuttle flight that affect nose
cone temperature. Explain the temperature pattern shown in the graph in terms
of flight conditions.

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1.

SET A
List the coordinates of each of the labeled
points as an ordered pair. Estimate where
necessary.

2.

On graph paper, draw a pair of
coordinate axes. Label the axes with
appropriate units, then plot the following ordered pairs. At each point, make a
heavy dot and write the coordinates
a.
b.
c.
d.
e.
f.
g.
h.
i.
j.
k.
l.

(0, 0)
(-3, 8)
(8, -3)
(-8, -3)
(-5, 0)
(0, -5)
(5, 0)
(6, -4)
(3, 3)
(7, 7)
(-5, -5)
(-7, -7)

1.
A certain
function has the graph
shown in the figure below.
a.
Copy
and complete the
following table for this
function
x
y

3.

0

1

List the coordinates of each labeled point as an ordered pair. Notice
that each horizontal grid unit represents 10 and each vertical grid unit
represents 25

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2

3

4

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4.
Time (min)
Altitude (m)

0
0

15
100

A hot-air balloon is launched at noon, and the balloonist records the altitude in
meters every 15 minutes. The recorded data are given in the following table
30
750

45
875
a.

60
900

75
950

90
900

105
920

120
500

135
625

c.

d.
e.
f.
g.

165
0

Choose reasonable scales for the horizontal (time) and vertical
(altitude) axes. Plot the data given in the tabl;e above on a pair of
coordinate axes using the scales you have chosen. Copy the diagram

give the coordinates, (input,
output), you used to get the
needed.

b.

150
300

What was the
altitude 1
hour into the
flight?
What was the
altitude 0.5
hour into the
flight?
What was the
altitude 2.25 hours into the flight?
At what time (s) was the altitude 750 meters?
At what times was the altitude under 300 meters?
What was the change in altitude during the first hour?

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h.
i.
j.
k.

5.

What was the change in altitude during the second hour?
What was the maximum altitude?
At what time (s) was the balloon rising most quickly?
When was the balloon falling most rapidly?
In each of the following situations you are given data relating two variables. In
each case, choose reasonable scales for axes on a graph and plot the given
data. Then write a sentence describing the pattern in the graph and what it
says about the relation between the two variables.
The mass of an average American young person, in kilograms, is a function of
the person's age in years. Here are some sample data
Age (years)
Mass (kg)

0
3

2
11

4
15

6
20

8
26

10
31

12
38

14
49

A newspaper delivery person’s weekly pay is a function of the number of
papers delivered each day. Here are some sample data.
Papers delivered
Pay dollars

50
70

100
120

150
170

200
220

300
320

500
520

Animal populations tend to rise and fall in cycles. Suppose the following data
shows how squirrel populations in a central Pennsylvania city varied from
1975 to 1984
Year
population

75
750

76
700

77
520

78
680

79
730

80
650

81
550

82
625

83
780

84
700

Set 2
1.

2.

Find the values of x and y.
a. (x, 2x) = (3, 6)

b.

( x+ y, x+5 )=(6, y)

( 2 x2 ,3 y+4 )=(x+1, y 2)

c.

(5x-1,

2 ) = (-11, 4)

d.

e.

(3x +1, 2y – 5) = (3, -2)

f.

x

The coordinate graph makes it possible
to study geometry figure by means of
numbers because each point of the figure
can be located by a pair of numbers. The
following graph shows a circle whose
center is (5, 5). What are the coordinates
of each point on the circle that is
identified by a letter.

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One of the most important and controversial problems in Earth and space science today
is measuring, understanding, and predicting global warming. There is deep concern that
the average annual surface temperature on Earth has been increasing over the past
century and that this change will have important consequences for industry, agriculture,
and personal lifestyles.
The graph that follows shows the pattern of change in average world temperature over
the past 147 years. While the average global temperature has increased by less than a
degree, this is still a large amount relative to historical data. This recent temperature
increase is four to five times faster than any other climate change in the past
millennium.
Annual Deviation from Average Global Temperature,
1961–1990

Source: The Washington Post, October 13, 2005; www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/info/warming/

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Many scientists believe that the most likely variable contributing to the increase in world temperature is greenhouse
gases that reduce radiation of energy from Earth’s surface into space. The next graph gives data on change in
atmospheric greenhouse gases over the past 1,007 years.
Atmospheric Concentrations of Carbon Dioxide, 1000–2007

Source: www.earth-policy.org/Indicators/CO2/2008_data3.htm
The challenge for atmospheric scientists is deciding how current trends in greenhouse gas amounts and
world temperature change should be projected into the future. Different projections imply different
corrective actions

d.
e.
f.

In what ways do you imagine that future global warming could change Earth’s atmosphere and
Based on the data given in the graph on the previous page, what strategy for projecting change in
global temperature would make most sense to you?
Based on the data given in the graph above, what strategy for projecting change in atmospheric
carbon dioxide makes most sense to you?

Graphs are used so often because they tell a story more easily than it can be told with words or numbers. The story in the
following graph is apparent at a glance: The number of tropical storms in the Atlantic increases to a maximum around the
end of August, then falls off rapidly. There is a moderate increase in early October, after which the decreasing pattern
resumes

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The following activity asks you to reflect on several familiar real-world situations in which one quantity is related to a
second. You will be asked to think about how graphs describing these situations might appear. Look for patterns and
trends as you analyze the possibilities. Focus on features you consider to be important in the graphical models.

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stigation 1: Warm-up activity
Note that the graphs in the activity (as others you will be asked to draw) are shown without numerical scales. They show
qualities that capture the key features of the situation (patterns and trends), but do not show exact quantities.
For each of the following six scenarios, a context and a figure showing several graphs are given. After discussing the
context with your partner or group, answer the following questions for each situation.

Examine each of the graphs in the figure. Which graph best models the situation?
What features made you choose that particular graph? What features made you discount the other graphs?
What are the two quantities or variables in the situation?

1.

Situation #1: The height of a person over his or her lifetime.

2.

Situation #2: The circumference of a circle as its radius changes.

3.

Situation #3: The height of a ball as it is thrown into the air.

4.

Situation #4: The amount of observable mold on a piece of bread sitting at room temperature from the time it is
baked to several months later.

5.

Situation #5: The daily average low temperature in degrees Fahrenheit in Fairbanks, Alaska from January 1 to
December 31.

6.

Situation #6: The temperature of a cold drink left in a warm room

Situation 1

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Situation 3

Situation 4

Situation 5

Situation 6

stigation 2: Relations and Functions
Use this machine to answer the questions on the next page.
DVD Vending Machine

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1.

Suppose you inserted your money and pressed Al. What item

2.

Suppose you inserted your money and pressed C2. What item

3.

Suppose you inserted your money and pressed B3. What item

4.

If the machine were filled properly, what would happen if you
pressed any of those same buttons again?

Each time you press a button, an input, you may receive a DVD, an output.

5.

In the DVD vending machine situation, does every input have an

6.

Each combination of input and output can be expressed as a
mapping written input output. For example, B2 Wizard of Gauze
a.

Write as mappings each of the possible combinations of buttons pushed and DVDs received in the
vending machine.

b. Mappings relating values from one set of numbers to another set of numbers can be written as ordered
pairs. Write the following numerical mappings as ordered pairs.

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A relation is a set of ordered pairs. The list of ordered pairs that you wrote in Item 6(b) is a relation.
Relations can have a variety of representations.
Consider the relation {(1, 4), (2, 3), (6, 5)} shown here as a set of ordered pairs.
This relation can also be represented in these ways.

7.

You represented the vending machine situation using
mappings in Item 6. Other representations can also be used to illustrate how the inputs and outputs of the
vending machine are related.

a. Create a table to illustrate how the inputs and outputs of the vending machine are related.
b. In representing the vending machine inputs and outputs, what decisions would need to be made to
create the graph?
A function is a relation in which each input is paired with, at most, one output.

8.

Compare and contrast the DVD Vending Machine with a function.

1.

Suppose when pressing button C1 button on the vending machine both Finding Dreamo and Raiders of the
Mossed Bark come out. How does this vending machine resemble or not resemble a function?

10.

Imagine a machine where you input an age and the machine gives you the name of anyone who is that age.
Compare and contrast this machine with a function. Explain by using examples and create a representation of
the situation.

11.

Create an example of a situation (math or real-life) that behaves like a function and another that does not behave
like a function. Explain why you chose each example to fit the category.

a.

Behaves like a function:

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b.

Does not behave like a function:
12.

Identify whether each list of ordered pairs represents a function. Explain your answers.

13.

Using positive integers, write two relations as a list of ordered pairs below, one that is a function and one that is
not a function.
Function:
Not a function:

The set of all inputs for a function is known as the domain of the function. The set of all outputs for a function is known
as the range of the function.
14.
Consider a vending machine where inserting 25 cents dispenses one pencil, inserting 50 cents dispenses 2
pencils, and so forth up to and including all 10 pencils in the vending machine.

15.

a.

What is the domain in this situation?

b.

What is the range in this situation?

For each function below, identify the domain and range.

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16.

Each of the functions that you have seen has a finite number of ordered pairs. There are functions that have an
infinite number of ordered pairs. Describe any difficulties that may exist trying to represent a function with an
infinite number of ordered pairs using the four representations of functions that have been described thus far.

17.

Sometimes, machine diagrams are used to represent functions. In the function machine below, the inputs are
labeled x and the outputs are labeled y. The function is represented by the expression 2x + 5.

a.

If x = 7 is used as an input, what is the output?

b. If x = —2 is used as an input, what is the output?
c.

If x = 1is used as an input, what is the output?

d. Is there any limit to the number of input values that can be used with this expression? Explain.
Consider the function machine below.

18.

Use the diagram to find the (input, output) ordered pairs for the following values.

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a. x = -5
b. x= 5
c. x= —10

19.

Make a function machine for the expression 10 — 5x. Use it to
find ordered pairs for x = 3, x = —6, x = 0.25, and x = 4.

Creating a function machine can be time consuming and awkward. The function represented by the diagram in Item 17
can also be written algebraically as the equation y = 2x + 5.

19.

Evaluate each function for x = —2, x = 5, x = 4, and
For each x-value, find the corresponding y-value. Place the results in a table.
a.

x = 0.75.

y = 9 — 4x

b. y =
When referring to the functions in Item 20, it can be confusing to distinguish among them since each begins with "y =."
Function notation can be used to help distinguish among different functions.
For instance, the function y = 9 — 4x in Item 20(a) can be written:

21.

To distinguish among different functions, it is possible to use different names. Use the name h to write the
function from Item 20b using function notation.

Function notation is useful for evaluating functions for multiple input values. To evaluate

x=2

, you substitute 2 for the variable x and write

f ( 2 )=1
22.

f ( 2 )=9−4 ( 2 )

Use function notation to evaluate f(x) shown above at x = 5, x = —3, and x = 0.5.
23. Use the values for x and f(x) from Item 22. Display the values using each representation.
list of ordered pairs

b. table of values

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for

Simplifying the expression yields

.

a.

f ( x )=9−4 x

V a r i a b l e s a n d f u n c t i o n s | 25

c.

mapping

d. graph
24.

Evaluate each function for x = —5, x = -10
a.

f ( x )=2 x−7

b.

g ( x ) =6 x−5

c.

h ( x )=−2−x

PRACTICE EXERCISES
1.

The set {(3, 5), (-1, 2), (2, 2), (0, -1)} represents a function. Identify the domain and range of the function. Then
display the function using each representation.

a.

a table

b.

a mapping

c.

a graph
2.

Explain why each of the following is not a function.

3.

Evaluate the functions for each domain value indicated.
a.

p ( x )=3x+14

b.

h ( t ) =t2 −5t

for x = —5, 0, 4

for t = —2, 0, 5, 7

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Determine which of the following relations is a function . Give the domain and range

1

2

3

4

5

In exercises 6 – 11, the d mains D and rules of some functions are given. Find the range of each function
6.

F :→3−2 x; D={0,1,2,3}

7.

ϕ : x→3 x−5; D={0,1,2,3}

8.

g : x→x −2; D={−2,0,2}

9.

f : x→ 1−x 2 ; D={−1,0,1}

10.

G: x →x 2−4 x+4 ; D={0,1, 2,3}

11.

m: z →1−|z|; D={−2,−1,0,2}

2

Give the domain of each function

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V a r i a b l e s a n d f u n c t i o n s | 27

Let

3

12.

x −2

13.

g (x )=

2
x +3

14.

h ( x )=

2
x 2 +3

15.

F ( x )=√ 2x−1

16.

f ( x )=

17.

G ( x )=

1
x +5 x +6
2

2
( x−1 ) (x+2)

2
f ( x )=x −1

and

18.

g(1)

19.

f (1)

20.

g ( 2 )−f (1)

21.

3f ( 2 )−g(−2)

22.

f ( 5 ) −2g(2)

23.

f

24.

g ( x ) =1−2 x

. Find the indicated values

1
g(3)

( )
1
g
( f (3) )

25.

g ( a+1 )−g ( a )

26.

f ( a+1 )−f (a)

27.

g ( x+h )−g (x)
h

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V a r i a b l e s a n d f u n c t i o n s | 28

Si

{

−1 , si x <0
f ( x )= 0 , si x=0
1, si x >0
28.

f (0 )

29.

f ( 1)

30.

f (−1)

31.

f (4)

32.

f (−2)

, find the indicated values

MATHEMATICAL REFLECTION: Which representation of a function do you feel is most useful? Why? Which one do
you feel is least useful? Why?
estigation 3: Domain and range of continuous functions
Roller coasters are scary and fun to ride. Wooden roller coasters shake and rattle as part of the thrill of the ride. Below is
the graph of the heights reached by the cars of the wooden roller coaster, Thunderball, over its first 1250 feet of track.
The graph displays a function because each input value has one and only one output value. You can see this visually
using the vertical line test.
Study this graph to determine the domain and range.

The domain gives all values of the independent variable: distance along the track in feet. These values are graphed
along the horizontal or x-axis.
The domain can be written in set notation as:
{all real values of x: 0

x

1250}

Read this notation as: the set of all real values of x, between 0 and 1250, inclusive.

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V a r i a b l e s a n d f u n c t i o n s | 29
The range gives the values of the dependent variable: height above the ground in feet. The values are graphed on the
vertical or y-axis.
The range can be written in set notation as:
{all real values of y: 10

y

110}

Read this notation as: the set of all real values of y, between 10 and 110, inclusive.
The graph above shows data that are continuous. The points in the graph are connected, indicating that domain and range
are sets if real numbers with no breaks in between. A graph of discrete data consists of individual points that are not
connected by a line or curve.
la.

Use set notation to write the domain and range for the graph below. Does this graph appear to represent a

1 b.

The graph below shows the relationship between t, the length of time of the bath (from the time water starts
running through the time the tub is drained) and d, the depth of the water in the bath tub. The graph represents
function d (bath water depth). What are the dependent and independent variables? Explain. Use set notation to
write the domain and range of function d. Are the data discrete or continuous and why?

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EXAMPLE 1: Give the domain and range of the function

f ( x )=

1
(x−2)2

graphed below.

Step 1: Study the graph.
The sketch of this graph is a portion of the function represented by the equation

f ( x )=

1
(x−2)2

.

Step 2:

Look for values for which the domain causes the function to be undefined. Look how the graph
behaves near x = 2.

Solution:

The domain and range for

Domain:

f ( x )=

1
2
(x−2)

{all real values of x: x

can be written:

2}

Range: {all real values of y: y > 0}
TRY THESE
a.

Give the domain and range of the function

f ( x )=8+2x−x 2
graphed below

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V a r i a b l e s a n d f u n c t i o n s | 31

b.

Give the domain and range for the equation y = 2x - 1. Explain whether this equation represents a function and
how you determined this.

Technology Time

 Work with a partner to investigate the equations listed in the chart using graphing technology. Every equation
given here is a function.

 Determine the domain and range for each function from the possibilities listed below the chart.
 Select the appropriate domain from choices 1-6 and record your answer in the Domain column. Then select the
appropriate range from choices a-f and record the appropriate range in the Range column.

 When the chart is complete, compare your answers with those from another group.
Function

Domain

y=−3 x+4
2

y=x −6 x+5
2
y=9 x−x
y=|x+1|

y=3+ √ x
y=

1)

Possible domains
all real numbers

2)

all real x, such that x

4
x
Possible Ranges
b) all real numbers

≠−2

Functions and models

a)

all real y, such that y

Page 31

0

Range

V a r i a b l e s a n d f u n c t i o n s | 32
3)

all real x, such that x

≠0

b)

all real y, such that y

4

4)

all real x, such that x

≠2

c)

all real y, such that y

0

5)

all real x, such that x

≥0

d)

all real y, such that y

1

6)

all real x, such that x

≥0

e)

all real y, such that y

3

1.

Give the domain and range for the function graphed below. Explain why this graph represents a function.

2.

A student calculates how far away a lightning strike is, based on when the thunder is heard. The student makes
the table below using tkm/sec as the average speed of sound under rainy conditions. If the thunder is only heard
when the lightning strike is within 15 km of the listener, what are the domain and range for this model? Is this
relation a function? How do you know?

Time until thunder is heard (sec)
Distance from lighting strike
(km)

3.

1

2

3

4

1
3

2
3

1

1

5

1
3

1

6

2
3

2

Give the domain and range of the function

f ( x )=−4 x−5
4.

The graph below shows five points that make up the function h. Give the domain and the range for the function
h.

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V a r i a b l e s a n d f u n c t i o n s | 33

5.

Jeff walks at an average rate of 125 yards per minute. Mark's house is located 2000 yards from Jeff's house. The
graph below shows how far Jeff still needs to walk to reach Mark's house. Give the domain and range for this
model. Is this model a function? Explain.

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V a r i a b l e s a n d f u n c t i o n s | 34

6.

Capital letters sketched in the coordinate plane may or may not be functions. Pick one letter that represents a
function and two that do not. Use the vertical line test as part of the explanation for your selections.

7.

MATHEMATICAL REFLECTION: Describe at least three different methods for determining if a relation is a
function. Which method do you prefer and why?

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PERFORMANCE TASK : Representations of functions
While on vacation, Jorge and Jackie traveled to Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah. They were impressed by the
differing elevations at the viewpoints along the road. The graph describes the elevations for several viewpoints in terms
of the time since they entered the park.
E(t)

Time (min) after entering the park

1. The graph above represents a function E(t). Describe why the graph represents a function. Identify the domain
and range of the function.

2. Is this discrete or continuous data? Explain.
While at Bryce Canyon National Park, Jorge and Jackie went hiking on the Under the Rim trail to Yellow Creek. The
table shows their progress down to Yellow Creek. The grid is provided for optional use to help you answer the
questions below.

Descent
Time (min)
0
10
20
30

Elevation (ft)
7900
7500
7100
6700

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3. Find the slope for the data in the table. Interpret the slope as a rate of change, including units.
4. On the descent, what was the elevation 18 min after Jorge and Jackie began? Justify your answer.
5. On the descent, when were they at 7000 ft? Justify your answer.

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SON 2

Lineal Functions

Think about the connections among graphs, data patterns, function rules, and problem
conditions for linear relationships.
a How does Barry's daily pay change as the number of applications he collects increases? How is
that pattern of change shown in the graph?
b If the linear pattern shown by the graph holds for other (number of applications, daily pay) pairs,
how much would you expect Barry to earn for a day during which he collects just 1 application?
For a day he collects 13 applications? For a day he collects 25 applications?
b. What information from the graph might you use to write a rule showing how to calculate daily
pay for any number of applications?

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stigation 2:

V a r i a b l e s a n d f u n c t i o n s | 38
Investigation 1: Warm-up activity

1.

Using the axes like the ones below, sketch a graph to illustrate
this situation

Try to come to some agreement over a correct

version

3. Write down en explanation of how you arrived at your answer.

In particular, answer the following questions

Should the graph ‘slope upwards’or ‘slope downwards’? Why?

Should the graph be straight line? Why?
Should the graph meet the axes? If so, where? If not, why not?

Working under pressure
When a diver descends in a lake or ocean, pressure is produced by the weight of the water on the diver. As a diver swims
deeper into the water, the pressure on the diver's body increases at a rate of about 1 atmosphere of pressure per 10 meters
of depth. The table and graph below represent the total pressure, y, on a diver given the depth, x, under water in meters

a.

Match each function rule with its graph. Explain how you could make the matches without calculations or
graphing tool help.

b.

What do the numbers in the rules for Darryl's and Felicia's account balances tell you about the values of their
purchases and their monthly payments?

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x

y

0

1

1

1.1

2

1.2

3

1.3

4

1.4

5

1.5

6

1.6

1.Write an equation describing the pressure exerted on a diver when under water.
2.What is the slope of the equation of the line that you found? What are the units of the slope?
1.What is the y-intercept of the line?
Slope-Intercept Form of a Linear Equation

y=mx +b
where m is the slope of the line and b is the y-intercept.

2.Identify the slope and y-intercept of the line described by the equation y = —2x + 9.
5.

Create a table of values for the equation y = —2x + 9. Then plot the
points and graph the line

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Unit

2

F.

Linen! Functions

115

V a r i a b l e s a n d f u n c t i o n s | 40

6.

Explain how to find the slope from the table.

7.

Explain how to find the y-intercept from the table.

8.

Explain how to find the slope from the graph.

9.

Explain how to find the y-intercept from the graph
EXAMPLE 1: Write the equation, in slope-intercept form, of the line that passes through the point (1, 4) and has a slope
of —3.
Step 1:

Find the y-intercept by substituting the coordinates of the point and the slope in the equation.

y=mx +b
Substitute -3 for m, 1 for x, and 4
for y

4=−3 ( 1 )+b

4=−3+b
4+3=−3+b+3
The y intercept is 7

7=b
Step 2:

Substitute the slope and y-intercept into the slope-intercept form.

y=mx +b

y=−3 x+7

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Solution:

Point-Slope Form of a Linear Equation

y=−3 x+7

y− y 1=m(x−x1 )
where m is the slope of the line and (
on the line.

TRY THESE A

a.Write the equation, in slope-intercept form, of

x1 , y1

) is a point

the line with a slope of 4

and a y-intercept of 5.

a.Find the equation, in slope-intercept form, of

the line that passes through

the point (-3, 7) and has a slope of — 3.

b. Write the equation of the line shown in the

You get this form of the equation by solving the slope

for

y− y 1

by multiplying both sides by

graph at the right.

formula

m=

y− y 1
x−x 1

x−x 1

The variable y is the dependent variable, and x is the independent variable. You may use this form when you know a
point on the line and the slope.
EXAMPLE 2: Write the equation of a line with a slope of that passes through the point (2, 5).
Step I:

Substitute the given values into point-slope form.

y− y 1=m(x−x1 )
1
y−5= (x−2)
2
Step 2: Solve for y

1
y= ( x−2 ) +5
2
Solution:

1
y= ( x−2 ) +5
2

TRY THESE B
Find the equation of the line given a point and the slope

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V a r i a b l e s a n d f u n c t i o n s | 42

2
3

(-2, 7),

m=

b. (6, -1),

m=

a.

c.

(86, 125),

−5
4

m=−18

The town of San Simon charges its residents for trash pickup and water usage on the same bill. Each month the city
charges a flat fee for trash pick-up and a \$0.25 per gallon usage fee for water. In January, one resident used 44 gallons
of water, and received a bill for \$16.

10.

If x is the number of gallons of water used during a month, and y
represents the bill amount in dollars, write a point (x1, y1).

11. What does the \$0.25 per gallon represent?
12. Use point-slope form to write an equation that represents the bill cost y in terms of the number of gallons of
water x used in a month.

13. Write the equation in Item 12 in slope-intercept form. What does the y-intercept represent?
EXAMPLE 3: Write the equation of the line that passes through the points (6, 4) and (3, 5).
Step 1:

m=

Find the slope by substituting the two points into the slope formula.

y 2− y 1 5−4
=
x 2−x 1 3−6

Substitute (6, 4) for (
(3, 5) for (

m=

x1 , y1 ¿

and

x2 , y2 ¿

5−4 1 −1
= =
3−6 −3 3

Step 2:

Substitute the slope and one of the points into point-slope form.

y− y 1=m(x−x1 )
y−5=

−1
(x−3)
3

Substitute (3, 5) for (

−1
3
−1
y= ( x−3 ) +5
3

Functions and models

for m

Solve for y

Page 42

x1 , y1 ¿

, and

V a r i a b l e s a n d f u n c t i o n s | 43

y=

Solution:

−1
( x−3 ) +5
3

TRY THESE C

a.

Find the equation in point-slope form of the

b.

Find the equation in point-slope form of
passes through the point (1, —3).

c.

Find the slope and a point on the line-

line shown in the graph.
the line with a slope of 5 that

2
y=3− ( x+3 )
3
d.

Find the equation of the line that passes
(2, 3).
e.

Write the equation of the line from Item

through the points (-2, 1) and
(d) above in slope-intercept form

Standard Form of a Linear Equation
Ax + By = C
where A

0, A and B cannot both be zero, and A, B, and C are integers whose greatest common factor is one.

14. You can use the coefficients of this form of an equation to find the slope, x-intercept and y-intercept of a
line.

a.

Write Ax + By = C in slope in-intercept form to find the slope.

b.

Find the the x intercept

c.

Find the y intercept

15. Find the slope and y-intercept of the line described by the equation 3x + 2y = 8.
16. Write 3x + 2y = 8 in the slope-intercept form of an equation.
17.

Given the equation

1 2
y= x+
2 5

Functions and models

of a line, write it in the standard form of a linear equation

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V a r i a b l e s a n d f u n c t i o n s | 44

1.

Write the standard form of the equation of the line with a slope of 7 that passes through the point (1, 2).

2.

Write the equation 3x — 2y = 16 in slope-intercept form.

3.

Write the equation y = —4 + 6(x + 1) in slope-intercept form.

4.

Write the equation in standard form of the line that is represented by the data in the table.

1.

As a diver descends into fresh water, we have determined that for every 10 meters of depth, the pressure on the
diver increases by one atmosphere. Find the equation of the line if we know the diver is at a depth of 25 meters
and has a pressure of 3.5 atmospheres.

1.

MATHEMATICAL REFLECTION Rate yourself on a scale of 1 to 5 on your perceived understanding of
equations of lines for Slope-intercept, Point-slope, and Standard forms of a line. The lower the rating the lower
the level of understanding. What can you do to bring your level of understanding to a higher level?

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V a r i a b l e s a n d f u n c t i o n s | 45

stigation 3:

Crossing the axes: X and y intercepts
Frank is reading Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird for his English class. The book is 280 pages long. He estimates he
will need seven hours of reading time to finish the book. Displaying y on the vertical axis as pages left to read and x on
the horizontal axis as time spent reading in hours, the intercepts have been connected to form a line.

1.

Identify the x-intercept, y-intercept, and slope from this model. What does each represent in the problem
situation?

2.

Write the equation of this line using the intercepts. Identify the form of the equation that you have created.

3.

Write the equation of the line in the standard form.

4.

Divide each side of the equation in Item 3 by the constant term and simplify so that there will be a 1 on one side
of the equal sign.

5.

What do you recognize about the denominators of the equation you wrote in Item 4?

6.

The equation below is a variable representation of the equation that you created in Item 4. As a historical
mathematician, you have the honor of naming this form of the line. Write your choice of name for this form and
explain your decision using mathematical vocabulary.

EXAMPLE: The graph of y = 2x — 6 below shows the line crossing the x-axis at 3 and the y-axis at —6.

a.

Verify the intercepts based on the definition.

b.

Then write the equation in the form shown in Item 6.

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V a r i a b l e s a n d f u n c t i o n s | 46

Step 1: Use the definition of intercept.
From the definition, the y-intercept is the y-coordinate where x = 0.

y=2 x−6
y=2 ( 0 ) −6

Substitute 0 for x

y=−6
Write as an ordered pair (0, —6). The y-intercept is —6.

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V a r i a b l e s a n d f u n c t i o n s | 47
From the definition, the x-intercept is the x-coordinate where y = 0.

y=2 x−6

0=2x−6

Substitute 0 for y

0−2x=2 x−6−2 x

Solve for x by subtracting 2x from both
sides
Simplify by dividing both sides by -2

−2 x=−6
x=3

Write as an ordered pair (3, 0). The x-intercept is 3.
Step 2: Use algebra to write the equation in the form used in Item 6.

To write

y=2 x−6

in the form

x y
+ =1
a b

, isolate the constant to t right of the equal sign. Then divide through

n appropriate number to create the 1 to the right of the equals sign

y=2 x−6
−2 x=−2x

Subtract 2x from each of the equation

−2 x+ y=−6

Simplify the 0 pair (2x-2x=0)

−2 x y −6
+ =
−6 −6 −6

Divide each term by -6

x y
+ =1
3 −6

Simplify

Solution: The y intercept is -6, and the x intercept is 3. The equation of the line is

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x y
+ =1
3 −6

V a r i a b l e s a n d f u n c t i o n s | 48
TRY THESE A

a.

Write the equation 3x — 4y = 24 in intercept form. Verify the intercepts for this equation algebraically.

b. Write the equation y=
c.

−2
x−4
3

in intercept form.

Write the intercept form of the equation that has a y-intercept of —5 and an x-intercept of —4.

The Booster Club is planning to sell refreshments as a project at the upcoming Fall Bazaar. Tim makes the following
proposals to the Club.
Tim's proposal:
Buy 120 bottles of water for \$21 to sell for \$1.50 each.
To support his proposal, Tim has developed a function to calculate the profit P based on n bottles sold.
Tim's function:

P = 1.50n — 21.00

7.

What are the intercepts for Tim's function?

8.

Graph Tim’s function?

9.

What is the zero of Tim's function? What does it represent in terms of the problem situation?

10. What is the domain of Tim's function from the previous page?
11. Write Tim's function in its intercept form.
TRY THESE B

g (x )=

−3 1
x+
4
2

a.

Find the zero of the function

b.

Estimate the zero of the function graphed below

Functions and models

.

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V a r i a b l e s a n d f u n c t i o n s | 49

a.

If the equation of the function in part b above is f (x) = 3x + 7, would you consider your estimate of the zero to have
been a good one? Explain.

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V a r i a b l e s a n d f u n c t i o n s | 50
1.

Matt sells used books on the Internet. The cost of the weekly website fee is \$7.50, and he earns \$1.50 on each
book that he sells. Matt uses the linear equation

y=1.5 x−7.5

to figure his weekly earnings where y

equals earnings in dollars and x equals the number of books that he sells.
a. Graph this function. Set up your axes as shown below.
b. Write the equation in intercept form.
c. What meaning do the x- and y-intercepts have in the context of this problem?

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V a r i a b l e s a n d f u n c t i o n s | 51
Assume that each line crosses the x- and y-axes at integer values. Match lines c and d on the graphs with the intercept
form of the equations.
What are the zeros of the linear functions graphed below?

a.

a.

x y
+ =1
−8 4

b.

x y
+ =1
7 3

c.

x y
+ =1
4 −8

d.

x y
+ =1
3 −7

3.

Given the intercepts (0, 5) and (-4, 0).
a.
b.

Graph the line that contains the points.
Write the intercept form of this line.

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V a r i a b l e s a n d f u n c t i o n s | 52

4.

The slope-intercept form of a line is

y=

−2
x−6
3

. Write this equation in the intercept form. Give the

zero of this function.

5.
6.

Does the point (2, 210) lie on the line

x y
+
=1
10 300

MATHEMATICAL REFLECTIONS Give two instances when knowing the intercept form of the line would be

.

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V a r i a b l e s a n d f u n c t i o n s | 53
Investigation 4: Equation from data
How fast can you and your classmates pass a textbook from one person to the next until the book has been relayed
through each person in class?

1.

Suppose your entire class lined up in a row. Estimate the length of time you think it would take to pass a book
from the first student in the row to the last. Assume that the book starts on a table and the last person must
place the book on another table at the end of the row.
Estimated time to pass the book:__________________________

2.

As a class, experiment with the actual time it takes to pass the book using small groups of students in your
class. Use the table below to record the times.
Number of Students Passing
the Book

3

6

9

11

13

15

Time to Pass the Book
(nearest tenth of a second)

3.

Based on the data you recorded in the table above, would you revise your estimated time from Item 1?

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V a r i a b l e s a n d f u n c t i o n s | 54
4.

Graph the data in your table from Item 2 as a scatter plot on the coordinate grid

5.

Are the data that you collected linear data?

a.

b.

6.Describe how the time to pass the book changes as the number of students increases.
7.Work as a group to predict the number of seconds it will take to pass the book through the whole class.
a.

Place a trend line on the scatter plot in Item 4 in a position that your group feels best models the data.
Then, mark two points on the line.

b.

In the spaces provided below, enter the coordinates of the two points identified in Part (a).
Pont 1: (_____, _____)

c.

Point 2: (_____, _____)

Why does your group think that this line gives the best position for modeling the scatter plot data?

8.

Use the coordinate pairs you recorded in Item 7(b) to write the equation for your trend line (or linear model) of
the scatter plot.

9.

Explain what the variables in the equation of your linear model represent.

10. What is the meaning of the slope in your linear model?
11. Use your equation to predict how long it would take to pass the book through all the students in your class.
Predicted time to pass the book:______________________________

12. Using all of the students in your class, find the actual time it takes to pass the book.
Actual time to pass the book:_____________________________

13.

How do your estimate from Item 1 and your predicted time from Item
11 compare to the actual time that it took to pass the book through the entire class?

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V a r i a b l e s a n d f u n c t i o n s | 55

14.

Suppose that another class took 1 minute and 47 seconds to pass the
book through all of the students in the class. Use your linear model to estimate the number of students in the
class.

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The table shows the number of days absent and the grades for several students in Ms. Reynoso's Algebra 1 class. Use
the table for Items 1-8.
Days Absent

0

3

6

1

2

2

4

98

88

69

89

90

86

77

1.

Create a scatter plot of the data using days absent as the independent variable.

2.

Are the data linear? Explain using the scatter plot and the table of data.

3.

Based on the data, how do grades change as the number of days absent increases?

4.

Draw a trend line on your scatter plot. Identify two points on the trend line and write an equation for the line
containing those two points.

1.

What is the meaning of the x and y variables in the equation you wrote?

2.

What is the meaning of the slope and the y-intercept of the trend line you drew?

3.

Use your equation to predict the grade of a student absent for 5 days.

4.

Sixty percent is a passing grade in Ms. Reynoso's class. Use your equation to find how many days a
student could be absent and still earn a passing grade.

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V a r i a b l e s a n d f u n c t i o n s | 57

5.

6.

Write the equation of a line passing through the given pairs of points.

a.

(-2, 5) and (5, 6)

b.

(0, 6) and (-4, —8)

MATHEMATICAL REFLECTIONS: What would be the sign of the slope of a trend line on a scatter plot
that compares the sale prices of cars to ages of cars? Why do you think so?

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Jim was serving as a finish-line judge for the Striders 10K Run. He was interested in finding out how three of his
friends were doing out on the course. He was able to learn the following information from racing officials at different
locations along the course.
"Matuba is running at a strong, steady rate of 320 m every minute after running the first 1400 m in a time of 5
minutes."
"Rodriguez ran the first 2000 m in 6 minutes, before he settled into his steady pace passing the 4400 m mark at
14 minutes"
"According to his calculations, Donovan feels he can equal his best running time of 32 minutes for 10,000 m
over this course."
Answer Items 1-3 below based on the information Jim received about his three running friends. Use x as the number
of minutes since the race began and y as the number of meters completed.
1.
Create three linear models for each runner's progress toward the finish line.
2.
Explain the order in which the three runners will finish the race based on the models you formed using this
information.
3.
Using the models you formed, in what order would the runners have passed the 5K mark in the race?
For the linear models you created, find the following numeric answers. Explain the significance, if any, for each answer
in the context of the problem situation.

4.
5.
6.

the domain of the linear model for Donovan
the y-intercept for Matuba's linear model
the slope of the linear model for Rodriguez

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