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NSW Education Standards Authority

Mathematics Advanced Year 11

Functions Topic Guide


The Mathematics syllabuses are the documents used to inform the scope of content that will
be assessed in the HSC examinations.

Topic Guides provide support for the Mathematics Stage 6 courses. They contain information
organised under the following headings: Prior learning; Terminology; Use of technology;
Background information; General comments; Future study; Considerations and teaching
strategies; Suggested applications and exemplar questions.

Topic Guides illustrate ways to explore syllabus-related content and consequently do not
define the scope of problems or learning experiences that students may encounter through
their study of a topic. The terminology list contains terms that may be used in the teaching and
learning of the topic. The list is not exhaustive and is provided simply to aid discussion.

Please provide any feedback to the Mathematics and Numeracy Curriculum Inspector.

Effective from 2019 Year 11, and Term 4, 2019 Year 12


Publication date December 2018
Updated NA
Contents
Topic focus ........................................................................................................................... 3

Prior learning ........................................................................................................................ 3

Terminology .......................................................................................................................... 3

Use of technology ................................................................................................................ 4

Background information ...................................................................................................... 4

General comments ............................................................................................................... 5

Future study.......................................................................................................................... 5

Subtopics .............................................................................................................................. 5

MA-F1: Working with functions ......................................................................................................... 6

Subtopic focus ................................................................................................................................ 6

F1.1: Algebraic techniques .................................................................................................................. 6

Considerations and teaching strategies ........................................................................................ 6

Suggested applications and exemplar questions .......................................................................... 7

F1.2: Introduction to functions ............................................................................................................. 8

Considerations and teaching strategies ........................................................................................ 8

Suggested applications and exemplar questions .......................................................................... 9

F1.3: Linear, quadratic and cubic functions ........................................................................................ 9

Considerations and teaching strategies ........................................................................................ 9

Suggested applications and exemplar questions ........................................................................ 10

F1.4: Further functions and relations ................................................................................................ 11

Considerations and teaching strategies ...................................................................................... 11

Suggested applications and exemplar questions ........................................................................ 12

Mathematics Advanced Year 11 Topic guide: Functions, updated December 2018 Page 2 of 13
Topic focus
The topic Functions involves the use of both algebraic and graphical conventions and
terminology to describe, interpret and model relationships of and between changing quantities.

A knowledge of functions enables students to discover, recognise and generalise connections


between algebraic and graphical representations of the same expression and to describe
interactions through the use of both dependent and independent variables.

The study of functions is important in developing students’ ability to find connections and
patterns, to communicate concisely and precisely, to use algebraic techniques and
manipulations, to describe and solve problems, and to predict future outcomes in areas such
as finance, economics, data analysis, marketing and weather.

Prior learning
The material in this topic builds on content from the Number and Algebra strand of the
Mathematics K–10 Syllabus, including the Stage 5.3 substrands of Algebraic Techniques,
Surds and Indices, Equations, Linear Relationships and Non-Linear Relationships.

Terminology
absolute value  grouping in pairs point of inflexion
asymptote  horizontal asymptote polynomial
axis of symmetry horizontal line test  polynomial expression
boundary implicit polynomial function
break-even point  independent variable quadratic
completing the square index/indices quadratic equation
composite function inequality quadratic formula
continuity/continuous intercept quadratic graph
cubic function intersection quotient
degree interval notation  range 
dependent variable inverse variation rational number
direct variation linear real number
discontinuous many-to-one relation
discriminant many-to-many root of an equation
domain mapping simultaneous equations
element model straight-line graph
even function  odd function  subject of an equation
explicit one-to-many turning point
function one-to-one vertex
function notation parabola vertical asymptote
gradient point symmetry vertical-line test

Mathematics Advanced Year 11 Topic guide: Functions, updated December 2018 Page 3 of 13
Use of technology
Computer algebra systems provide a means for investigation in algebra and for checking
answers. Some scientific calculators also offer this facility; however, rounding errors in
calculations should be explored. For example, the exact value of (√2)20 can be found using
index laws, by obtaining 210 , ie 1024; using the approximation 1.414 for the square root of 2,
however, gives approximately 1020.912.

While ‘by-hand’ skills for solving equations and curve sketching are essential for students in
this course, graphing calculators or graphing technologies are a suitable means of exploring
many of the concepts studied in this topic and their use is encouraged in teaching and
learning.

Computer algebra systems and some spreadsheet applications have the facility for fitting lines,
or curves of specified kinds to data.

Graphing technology is useful for investigating the effect of changing parameters on the shape
of graphs; for example, exploring the graphical impact of changing the coefficients in a
quadratic polynomial.

Background information
Number theory is an interesting and vast area of mathematics that students may appreciate
exploring. Giuseppe Peano (1858–1932) endeavoured to lay the foundations for arithmetic
and number theory following the pattern Euclid (323–283 BC) established for geometry with
five axioms or assumptions. In 1889 Peano presented the Peano Axioms, a set of five axioms
for the counting numbers.

The Peano Axioms for counting numbers are:

 0 is a number
 every number has a successor which is a number
 0 is not the successor of any number
 if two numbers have the same successor then the original two numbers are the same
 the final axiom is the Principle of Mathematical Induction. This fifth axiom can be more
formally stated as: If a set, 𝑆, is a set of numbers that contains 0 and if the successor of
every number is in 𝑆, then 𝑆 contains all the natural numbers.
One of the core concepts in mathematics is that of a function. While polymaths such as Galileo
(1564–1642) and Rene Descartes (1596–1650) used the underlying concept of function to
describe relationships between quantities, it was not until 1673 when Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz
(1646–1716) used the word ‘function’ in one of his manuscripts, that the term became more
formally accepted and was used to represent quantities that varied from point to point on a
curve.

The concept of a function was further formalised by Leonhard Euler (1707–1783). Much of the
mathematical notation used today, such as 𝑓(𝑥) for functions, 𝑒, 𝑖, , the use of 𝑥, 𝑦 and 𝑧 as
unknowns and 𝑎, 𝑏 and 𝑐 as constants was either created, standardised or popularised by

Mathematics Advanced Year 11 Topic guide: Functions, updated December 2018 Page 4 of 13
Euler. The modern definition of a function was introduced by Johann Peter Gustav Lejeune
Dirichlet (1805–1859).

Students may be interested in researching the history of numbers and the array of functions
encountered in this course.

General comments
The mathematical idea of a function is fundamental to the understanding of calculus. Students
need to develop familiarity with a suite of standard functions that are used as the basis of later
work on modelling.

This topic prepares students for the study of functions and associated language, notation and
applications which are essential for many more advanced aspects of mathematics.

The approach taken in addressing this material should be tailored to meet the needs of
students and so this topic may be taught in isolation or relevant aspects of Functions can be
integrated into the teaching of other topics.

Mathematical models and formulae from various contexts, including STEM, industrial design,
health and business, and other everyday situations could be used to provide opportunities to
revise algebraic and graphing skills. A mathematical model may be as simple as the
representation of revenue by the formula: 𝑅 = 𝑃𝑥, where 𝑅 is the amount of revenue earned
(in dollars) when 𝑥 units are sold at a price of 𝑃 dollars per unit.

Future study
Students need to ensure that they can efficiently manipulate algebraic expressions, solve
equations and inequalities to facilitate work in later topics.

Exploration of quadratics is emphasised as a lead-in to later work on general polynomials,


particularly for Mathematics Extension 1 students.

Subtopics
 MA-F1: Working with Functions

Mathematics Advanced Year 11 Topic guide: Functions, updated December 2018 Page 5 of 13
MA-F1: Working with functions

Subtopic focus
The principal focus of this subtopic is to introduce students to the concept of a function and
develop their knowledge of functions and their respective graphs. Function notation is
introduced, which is essential for describing the ideas of calculus.

Students develop their use of mathematical language to describe functions, their properties
and respective graphs while applying this knowledge to everyday problems and applications.
In business and economics for example, revenue depends on the number of items sold, and
expressing this relationship as a function allows the investigation of changes in revenue as
sales change.

Within this subtopic, schools have the opportunity to identify areas of Stage 5 content which
may need to be reviewed to meet the needs of students.

F1.1: Algebraic techniques

Considerations and teaching strategies


 Review of the following may be needed to meet the needs of students:
˗ Index and radical notation
˗ Index laws
˗ Expansion of binomial products.
 F1.1: Algebraic techniques could be taught in conjunction with F1.2, F1.3 and F1.4 as the
need for each skill arises.
 Students need to understand and recognise the following:
˗ 𝑘(𝑎 + 𝑏) = 𝑘𝑎 + 𝑘𝑏
˗ (𝑎 + 𝑏)2 ≠ 𝑎2 + 𝑏 2
𝑎+𝑏 𝑎 𝑏
˗ 𝑚
= 𝑚+𝑚
1 1 1
˗ 𝑎+𝑏
≠𝑎+𝑏
2
˗ (√𝑥) = √𝑥 2 = |𝑥|
˗ √𝑥𝑦 = √𝑥 √𝑦
𝑥 √𝑥
˗ √𝑦 = (for 𝑦 ≠ 0)
√𝑦

˗ √𝑎 + 𝑏 ≠ √𝑎 + √𝑏.
 The rationalisation of denominators involving binomial surds is not required.
 Solution by completing the square should be carried out for simple quadratic equations.
 The quadratic formula for solving quadratic equations is derived by applying the method of
completing the square to the general quadratic equation. Students could be shown the
derivation of the quadratic formula, but will not be required to reproduce the derivation.

Mathematics Advanced Year 11 Topic guide: Functions, updated December 2018 Page 6 of 13
 An important existence theorem is established by solving the general quadratic equation:
˗ A quadratic equation may have two real roots, one real root or no real roots. It does
not have more than two roots.

Suggested applications and exemplar questions


 Simplify:
𝑥 3
(a) ( ) ÷ (𝑥 2 𝑦 −3 )
𝑦
1 5
(b) 𝑥 3 × 𝑥 3
(c) 3√2 + 5√18
 Expand and simplify (where possible):
(a) (√3 + √5)2
(b) (2 − √3)(2 + √3)
(c) (2 + 3√3)(1 − 4√6)
5√3
 Express 4 with a rational denominator.
√2
1
 If = (𝑥 + 𝑎)𝑚 , write down the value of 𝑚.
√(𝑥+𝑎)

 Simplifying the following:


𝑥 𝑥+1
(a) −
3 5
1 1
(b) +
𝑥 𝑦
𝑥 2 +3𝑥+2
(c) 𝑥+2
3𝑚−6𝑚2 8𝑚
(d) 4
× 𝑚2 −2𝑚
𝑥+1 2𝑥+1
(e) −
𝑥 3𝑥

 Working alone, worker 𝐴 can complete a task in 𝑎 hours, and worker 𝐵 can complete the
1
same task in 𝑏 hours. This means that 𝐴 can complete 𝑎 of the task in one hour.
(a) Write an algebraic expression for the fraction of the task that could be completed in
one hour if 𝐴 and 𝐵 worked together.
(b) What does the reciprocal of this fraction represent?
 A thin lens has focal length 𝑝, while another thin lens has focal length 𝑞. The lenses are
separated by a distance 𝑑. Find their combined focal length, which is given by the
1 1 𝑑
reciprocal of (𝑝 + 𝑞 − 𝑝𝑞).
Total cost
 The average cost per unit for the production of 𝑥 units is as Average Cost = 𝑥
.
A company producing a certain product finds that the average cost of production is given
6000
by 𝑥 + 65 + 0.1𝑥 where 𝑥 is the number of units of the product.
(a) Write this expression as a single fraction.
(b) Find an expression for the total cost for the production of 𝑥 units by the company.

Mathematics Advanced Year 11 Topic guide: Functions, updated December 2018 Page 7 of 13
F1.2: Introduction to functions

Considerations and teaching strategies


 Students who have covered the optional 5.3 substrands of Functions and Other Graphs in
Stage 5 will be familiar with many elements of the content in F1.2.
 A real function 𝑓 of a real variable 𝑥 assigns to each element 𝑥 of a given set of real
numbers, exactly one real number 𝑦, called the value of the function 𝑓 at 𝑥. Thus is written
as 𝑓(𝑥) = 𝑦.
 For the function 𝑦 = 𝑓(𝑥), the variable 𝑥 is called the independent variable since it may be
chosen freely within the domain of 𝑓, while 𝑦 is called the dependent variable since its
value depends on the value chosen for 𝑥.
 The set of real numbers 𝑥 on which 𝑓 is defined is called the domain of 𝑓, while the set of
values of 𝑓(𝑥) obtained as 𝑥 varies over the domain of 𝑓 is called the range of 𝑓.
 A function may be specified by a rule and a given domain.
 When a function rule is given and a domain is not specified, the domain of the function is
the set of real numbers for which the expression 𝑓(𝑥) defines a real number.
 Examples of finding the range when the domain is given could include: The function
𝑔(𝑚) = 𝑚2 has the given domain 1 ≤ 𝑚 ≤ 7. What is its range?
 A relation is a set of ordered pairs. Relations may be given by a rule, eg 𝑥 2 + 𝑦 2 = 16.
˗ Functions, such as 𝑦 = 𝑥 2 , are relations with specific properties.
˗ Both 𝑥 2 + 𝑦 2 = 25 and 𝑥 = 𝑦 2 , are examples of relation that are not functions.
 The use of 𝑥 and 𝑦 is customary and is related to the geometrical representation of a
function 𝑓 by graphing the set of points (𝑥, 𝑓(𝑥)) for 𝑥 in the domain of 𝑓, using Cartesian
(𝑥, 𝑦) coordinates. Fluency in the use of symbols other than 𝑥 and 𝑦 and notations other
than 𝑓(𝑥), should also be used, eg 𝑔(𝑡), 𝑦(𝑥), ℎ1 (𝑥), 𝐴(𝑛), …
 In order to find a domain, the solution of an inequality may be required. For example, the
domain of the function 𝑓(𝑥) = √(4 − 𝑥) is the set of values of 𝑥 for which 4 − 𝑥 ≥ 0,
ie 𝑥 ≤ 4.
 A geometrical description of a function is obtained by graphing the set of points (𝑥, 𝑓(𝑥))
for 𝑥-values in the domain of 𝑓, using Cartesian (𝑥, 𝑦) coordinates.
 A property of the graph of a function 𝑦 = 𝑓(𝑥) is that no two distinct points have the same
𝑥-value. This means that every vertical line will cut the graph of a function in, at most, one
point. If a vertical line cuts a graph in more than one point, the graph cannot represent a
function. This is known as the vertical-line test.
 Continuity and discontinuity are to be treated informally at this stage in this course.
 A sound knowledge of odd and even functions assists in curve sketching, which is
important in later topics.
˗ A function 𝑓(𝑥) is even if 𝑓(−𝑥) = 𝑓(𝑥)for all values of 𝑥 in the domain. Its graph has
line symmetry about the 𝑦-axis.
˗ A function 𝑓(𝑥) is odd if 𝑓(−𝑥) = −𝑓(𝑥) for all values of 𝑥 in the domain. Its graph has
point symmetry about the origin.
 Students could investigate both the geometric and algebraic nature of odd and even
functions.

Mathematics Advanced Year 11 Topic guide: Functions, updated December 2018 Page 8 of 13
 Students could investigate whether sums, differences, products and quotients of odd (or
even) functions are themselves odd (or even).
 Work on composite functions could include finding the composite of the same function
applied twice. This should be notated as ( 𝑓 ⃘𝑓 )(𝑥) = 𝑓(𝑓(𝑥)) = 𝑓 2 (𝑥).

Suggested applications and exemplar questions


 Sketch the graph of a relation that is not a function.
 Find the domain and range of the functions:
(a) 𝑓(𝑥) = √(𝑥 − 4)
(b) 𝑔(𝑡) = 𝑡 2 + 1
 Which of the following functions are even functions? Which are odd functions? Which are
neither even nor odd? Justify your answers.
(a) 𝑓(𝑥) = 4𝑥 (b) 𝑓(𝑥) = 2𝑥 7 (c) 𝑓(𝑥) = 𝑥 3 + 5
6𝑥 3
(d) 𝑓(𝑥) = 𝑥 3 + 3𝑥 2 (e) 𝑓(𝑥) = 𝑥 4 + 3𝑥 2 (f) 𝑓(𝑥) = 𝑥 2 +𝑥4
(g) 𝑓(𝑥) = 2𝑥
 For the functions in the list above, use the horizontal line test to determine which are one-
to-one functions.
 A function has a domain of −2 ≤ 𝑥 ≤ 2, and a range of 1 ≤ 𝑓(𝑥) ≤ 6. It is also known that
𝑓(𝑥) is an even function. Draw a possible graph of 𝑦 = 𝑓(𝑥).

F1.3: Linear, quadratic and cubic functions

Considerations and teaching strategies


 Students should recognise that the equation of a line represents the relationship between
the 𝑥-coordinate and the 𝑦-coordinate of any point on the line.
 Students should practise identifying the independent and dependent variables in a variety
of situations.
 Initial work could involve finding functions to model simple familiar situations. For example,
the income from selling raffle tickets for Joan’s club varies directly with the number of
tickets sold. If Joan has collected $75 from the sale of 30 tickets, how much would she
collect from the sale of 50 tickets?
 Students may find it helpful, as a step before deriving formulae, to:
˗ sketch graphical representations of quantities that vary over a period of time, or in
relation to each other
˗ construct tables of values. Tables may be used to solve problems if students are not
able to find appropriate formulae.
Note that in the example above the result can be checked by simple proportional
reasoning.
 Use graphing technology to investigate linear functions, for example:
˗ sketch three lines with the same 𝑦-intercept but different gradients and consider the
effect on the equations of the lines

Mathematics Advanced Year 11 Topic guide: Functions, updated December 2018 Page 9 of 13
˗ sketch three lines with the same gradient but different 𝑦-intercepts and consider the
effect on the equations of the lines.
 Use the equation of the line given in gradient-intercept form: 𝑦 = 𝑚𝑥 + 𝑐, or in general
form: 𝑎𝑥 + 𝑏𝑦 + 𝑐 = 0.
 Applications of linear equations could include geometric scenarios.
 Use graphing technology to investigate linear, quadratic and cubic functions, for example:
˗ Sketch the graphs of 𝑦 = 𝑥, 𝑦 = 𝑥 2 and 𝑦 = 𝑥 3 etc. on the same axes. How are they
similar? How are they different?
 When graphing quadratic functions of the form 𝑦 = 𝑎𝑥 2 + 𝑏𝑥 + 𝑐, note that:
˗ for large values of 𝑥, the term 𝑎𝑥 2 effectively determines the value of the function
˗ the graph crosses the 𝑥-axis at the roots of the quadratic equation 𝑎𝑥 2 + 𝑏𝑥 + 𝑐 = 0
𝑏
˗ the average of the roots of a quadratic equation is given by 𝑥 = − 2𝑎, which is the
equation of the axis of symmetry of the graph of 𝑦 = 𝑎𝑥 2 + 𝑏𝑥 + 𝑐 = 0
 Determine the 𝑥-intercept(s), 𝑦-intercept, and the coordinates of the vertex of quadratic
functions of the form 𝑦 = 𝑎𝑥 2 + 𝑏𝑥 + 𝑐.
 Some teachers may wish to use the terms ‘positive definite’, ‘negative definite’ and
‘indefinite’ as a means of classifying quadratic expressions. This classification should be
linked to the number of roots of the corresponding quadratic equation.
 Applications of simultaneous equations in the solution of practical problems could include
problems derived from scientific, industrial, design, health, business, and everyday
contexts.

Suggested applications and exemplar questions


 Typical questions include:
(a) Find the equation of the line that has a gradient of 3 and passes through the point
(2, −5) and hence determine if the point (5,8) lies on the line?
(b) Find the equation of the line that passes through the points (−2,4) and (1,12).
(c) Find the equation of the line that is parallel to the line 2𝑥 + 6𝑦 − 7 = 0 and crosses the
𝑥-axis at 𝑥 = 3.
(d) Sketch the graph of the parabola 𝑦 = 𝑥 2 − 4𝑥 − 5, indicating the coordinates of the
vertex and the intercepts on the axes.
(e) Find the maximum value of 𝑦 given 𝑦 = 8 + 2𝑥 − 𝑥 2 .
 Geometric questions could include:
(a) Show that the four points (0, 0), (2, 1), (3, – 1), (1, – 2) are the corners of a square.
(b) Given that 𝐴, 𝐵, 𝐶 are the points (– 1, – 2), (2, 5) and (4, 1) respectively, find 𝐷 so that
𝐴𝐵𝐶𝐷 is a parallelogram.
(c) Find the coordinates of the point 𝐴 on the line 𝑥 =– 3 such that the line joining 𝐴 to 𝐵
(3, 5) is perpendicular to the line 2𝑥 + 5𝑦 = 12.
 Find the range of values of 𝑘 for which the expression 𝑥 2 − 2𝑥 + (3 − 2𝑘) is always
positive.
 It is estimated that a certain river can sustain 80 000 fish if there is no pollution, and that

Mathematics Advanced Year 11 Topic guide: Functions, updated December 2018 Page 10 of 13
for each tonne of pollution in the river, 2500 fewer fish can be supported. Assuming a
linear relationship, write an equation linking the number of fish (𝑦) and the number of
tonnes of pollution (𝑥) and represent this relationship graphically.
 Peter owns a publishing company and sells calendars for $30 each. The cost of producing
these calendars includes a set-up cost of $5000 and additional costs of $5 per calendar.
What is his break-even point? (ie how many calendars does he need to sell to cover his
costs?)
 Margaret is obtaining quotes for a celebration.
Caterer A charges $500 plus $20 per guest, while Caterer B charges $200 plus $80 per
guest.
Represent these costs both algebraically and graphically and describe how the prices of
the two companies compare.
 David owns a block of 30 holiday units that he rents out. He estimates that 90% of the
units are occupied when he charges $250 rent per unit per night. David finds that if he
increases the rent, the demand for the units decreases. For each $40 increase in the
charge, three more units are not occupied.
(a) Express the number of units occupied as a function of the rent charged.
(b) Express the total revenue obtained by David as a function of the rent charged.
(c) Discuss the nature of the range and domain of each function.
(d) Assuming that the rent charged is a continuous variable, sketch the corresponding
graphs.
(e) What amount should David charge in order to maximise his revenue?
(f) Write a report for David, including your recommendations and the assumptions that
you have made. In the report, describe other factors that David could consider in this
context.
 Shalma uses a straight-line depreciation model of 9% of the original price per annum to
depreciate the cost of furniture originally valued at $4000. Construct a function to
represent the value of the furniture after 𝑥 years, and state the domain and range of the
function.

F1.4: Further functions and relations

Considerations and teaching strategies


 The ‘degree’ of a polynomial 𝑃(𝑥) is the degree of the highest power of 𝑥 occurring with
non-zero coefficient.
 The terminology of ‘leading term’ and ‘leading coefficient’ has an obvious meaning when
the polynomial is written in the equivalent form
𝑎𝑛 𝑥 𝑛 + 𝑎𝑛−1 𝑥 𝑛−1 + ⋯ + 𝑎2 𝑥 2 + 𝑎1 𝑥 + 𝑎0 where 𝑎𝑛 ≠ 0.
˗ In a ‘monic’ polynomial, the leading coefficient is 1.
˗ The term 𝑎0 is called ‘the constant term’.
 The quadratic expression 𝑎𝑥 2 + 𝑏𝑥 + 𝑐 is called a quadratic polynomial or a polynomial of
second degree. In all quadratic polynomials to be studied, the coefficients will be rational
and the domain of 𝑥 will be the set of real numbers.
 Graphing technology is useful for investigating the effect of parameters on the shape of

Mathematics Advanced Year 11 Topic guide: Functions, updated December 2018 Page 11 of 13
graphs.
 Graphs of simple polynomials should be drawn and similarities and differences identified.
 The following useful facts should be noted: (Proofs are not required, although teachers
may choose to present proofs.)
(a) For very large |𝑥|, 𝑃(𝑥) may be approximated by 𝑎𝑛 𝑥 𝑛 .
(b) A polynomial of odd degree always has at least one real zero.
 Discussion of asymptotes should be focused on horizontal and vertical asymptotes within
1
this topic. Oblique asymptotes such as 𝑦 = 𝑥 + 𝑥 could be considered as an extension at
this stage in this course.
 When exploring the definition and geometrical representation of absolute values and
absolute value functions, consideration should be given to the following:
˗ using the geometric representation of |𝑥| the absolute value of 𝑥 as the distance of 𝑥
from the origin on the number line without regard to its sign
˗ for non-zero values of 𝑥, the absolute value of 𝑥 is defined as the positive square root
of the square of 𝑥, ie |𝑥| = √𝑥 2 . For 𝑥 = 0, |𝑥| = 0
˗ using the result that |𝑎𝑏| = |𝑎||𝑏|, eg writing |4𝑥| as 4|𝑥|.
 Equations and inequalities to be solved algebraically or graphically could include
examples such as:
(a) Solve |5𝑥| = 12.
(b) Solve |5𝑥 + 1| = 6.
(c) Find the values of t for which |𝑡| ≤ 2 and plot the solution on a number line.

Suggested applications and exemplar questions


 Sketch the graph of the function 𝑓(𝑥) = (𝑥 − 1)3 (𝑥 + 2), identifying all important features.
1
 Sketch the graph of 𝑦 = 𝑥−3, identifying any asymptotes and any intercepts on the axes.
 Fred has made an electrical circuit in which the current varies inversely with the
resistance. When the resistance is 10 units, the current is 8.6 units. What is the current
when the resistance is 12 units?
 Hussein finds that for a certain species of fish the mass of a fish is directly proportional to
the cube of the length of the fish. For this species, if a fish of length 25 cm has a mass of
870 g, what is the length of a fish that has a mass of 1.3 kg?
 The damage caused by a moving car when it hits an object is called the ‘collision impact’
and is proportional to the square of the speed of the car. What happens to the collision
impact when the speed of a car is:
(a) doubled
(b) reduced by one-third?
 Under certain conditions, the stopping distance of a car once the brakes are applied is
directly proportional to the square of the speed at which the car is going when the brakes
are first applied. If a car travelling at 60 km/h takes 43.2 metres to stop, how far does it
take to stop if it is travelling at:
(a) 30 km/h

Mathematics Advanced Year 11 Topic guide: Functions, updated December 2018 Page 12 of 13
(b) 67 km/h?
 In her assignment, Pat is representing the populations of cities using circles. The area of
each circle is directly proportional to the population of the city it represents.
(a) If a city of population 20 000 is represented by a circle of radius 1.5 cm, what would
be the radius of the circle representing:
(i) City A, population 10 000?
(ii) City B, population 36 500?
(b) Would Pat be able to use a circle to represent a city of population 4 500 000? Explain
your answer.
𝑥
 Use a table of function values to assist in explaining why the function 𝑓(𝑥) = |𝑥| has only
two values in its range.
 Sketch the graph of:
4
(a) 𝑓(𝑥) = 𝑥 + 3 and 𝑔(𝑥) = 1 + 𝑓(𝑥)

(b) 𝑓(𝑥) = |2𝑥 − 3|


 Simplify the expression:
(a) |𝑥| + 3𝑥, given 𝑥 < 0
(b) |𝑥 − 1| + 3, given 𝑥 > 1

Mathematics Advanced Year 11 Topic guide: Functions, updated December 2018 Page 13 of 13