# Kelly Dillon IB Standard Level – Type 1 Portfolio Gradient Functions

2/9/2008

I am attempting to find a pattern common for gradient functions of an equation and the equation. I hope to find a generalized method of finding a gradient function, given the equation of a curve and how the gradient functions can be used to find the gradient of a line at a given value of x. The gradient of a graph is its slope. This can be found by the use of the equation rise . Rise is the quantity of units up, for so many units along. If two points are picked run from the line, you simply count how high, and far along one is from the other. The y2  y1 gradient can also be found by . One picks two points along the line, and uses the x2  x1 x and y values from its coordinates. The gradient can be positive or negative. If a slope is going up in the direction left, it is negative, if it is going right it is positive. I will show the calculation of some gradients for the following straight-line equations: y = 3x + 2 y = 4 – 2x y = 3x + 2

3 1 = 3 Page 1 of 12

Kelly Dillon y = 4 – 2x

2/9/2008

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Kelly Dillon y = x2

2/9/2008

a.) y = x2

b.) g: y = 2x

For the equation a, y = x2 the gradient function is b, g: y = 2x To then find the gradient of the parabola at a certain point, as a curve has many different gradients unlike a line, we must assign a value of x. I have found that where x = 3, the gradient is 6: Page 3 of 12

Kelly Dillon

2/9/2008

g(x) = 2x g(3) = 2(3) g(3) = 6 I will repeat this for a polynomial. y = x3

y2  y1 rise or x2  x1 run equations. We must also find its gradient function. For a polynomial, the gradients function is a parabola. I found for the equation a, the gradient function to be b. As the polynomial is also a curve, its gradient cannot be found by the

a.) y = x3

b.) g: y = 3x2 Page 4 of 12

Kelly Dillon

2/9/2008

For the equation a, y = x3 the gradient function is b, g: y = 3x2. If I want to find the gradient of a specific point on the polynomial, I, as with the previous example, substitute a value for x. Where x = 3, the gradient is 27: g(x)=3x2 g(3)=3(3)2 g(3)=27 I will show this process, of finding the gradient function of an equation with Graphmatica, repeated, for other equations, in hope that a patter may become apparent where I can calculate the gradient function of an equation with a generalized method, with out Graphmatica. The equation shown as a, and its gradient function, b.

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Kelly Dillon

2/9/2008

a.) y = 3x2

b.) g: y = 6x

Where x = 3, the gradient of the equation is 18. g: y = 6x g(x) = 6x g(3) = 6(3) g(3) = 18

a.) y = 5x3

b.) g: y = 15x2

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Kelly Dillon

2/9/2008

Where x = 3, the gradient of the equation is 135. g: y = 15x2 g(x) = 15x2 g(3) = 15(9) g(3) = 135 a.) y = 2x2 – 3x + 5 b.) g: y = 4x – 3

Where x = 3, the gradient of the equation is 9. Page 7 of 12

Kelly Dillon g: y = 4x – 3 g(x) = 4x – 3 g(3) = 4(3) – 3 g(3) = 9

2/9/2008

a.) y = 3x4 + 6x2 - x +6

b.) g: y = 12x3 + 12x - 1

Where x = 3, the gradient of the equation is 2051. g: y = 12x3 + 12x – 1 g(x) = 12x3 + 12x – 1 g(3) = 12(33) + 12(3) – 1 g(3) = 2051 Below is a table of equations and their gradient functions that I have tested. Equation y = 3x + 2 y = 4 – 2x y = x2 y = x3 y = 3x2 y = 5x3 y = 2x2 – 3x + 5 y = 3x4 + 6x2 - x +6 Gradient Function g: y = 3 g: y = 2 g: y = 2x g: y= 3x2 g: y = 6x g: y = 15x2 g: y = 4x – 3 g: y = 12x3 + 12x - 1

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Kelly Dillon

2/9/2008

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Kelly Dillon 1 x2 2x 2 4 = x x3

2/9/2008

a.) y =

b.) g: y = -

a.) y =

3  2x2  7 x

b.) g: y = 

3 x  4x
2

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Kelly Dillon

2/9/2008

a.) y =

2x  5 x

b.) g: y =

2 x  (2 x  5) x2

Equation 2 y= x 1 y= 2 x 3 2 y =  2x  7 x 2x  5 y= x

Gradient Function 2 g: y =  2 x 2x 2 g: y = - 4 = - 3 x x 3 g: y =  2 x  4x 2 x  (2 x  5) g: y = x2

The pattern, when y = axn, g: y = anxn-1 also applies for these equations. However, as these equations involve fractions, with the xn in the denominator, the equations had to be arranged. 1 For example from n to x-n. It also helped to simplify the gradient function. Only then x 1 was I noticeable that the pattern still applied for one case, where y = 2 , the gradient x 2x 2 function given by graphmatica was - 4 and I had to simplify it to - 3 to notice the x x pattern.

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Kelly Dillon

2/9/2008

We can see that given the equation of a curve, putting it into the form xn + c, where c is a value with out x, that the gradient function will be anxn-1 + 0. I will now, with out the aide of Graphmatica find the gradient function of the following equations using this method.

By using the general method, found to be true for several equations, for an equation y = axn, g: y = anxn-1, one can, as shown above, find the gradient function of an equation without a graph. This also means that with substitution it is possible, with out a graph, to find the gradient of a particular point on a graph for a given value of x.

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