# 1.

1 Concept of a Function
1
A function is a special kind of relation. We will begin this lesson by discussing relations.
A relation is a set of ordered pairs. This set may be finite or infinite.
Example:
Both finite sets, A and B, are relations.
A= { (0,2), (1,3), (2,4) }
B= { (-2,5), (-2,6), (-1,7), (0,8) }
Example: The graph of an equation in two variables is also a relation, since each point of the
graph represents an ordered pair.
x
y
These
graphs
are
relations.
y
x
x = y
2

Note that the equations for these graphs specify exactly how x and y are related. Also
note that since the equations generate the graphs, it’s reasonable to refer to the equations
themselves as relations. Most of the relations we study will be described with an equation.
The domain of a relation is the set of all x-coordinates in the relation.
The range of a relation is the set of all y-coordinates in the relation.
Next Slide
1.1 Concept of a Function
2
Example 1. Determine the domain and range of A = { (0,2), (1,3), (2,4) }.
Solution: D = {0, 1, 2}, R = {2, 3, 4}
Determine the domain and range of: B = { (-2,2), (-2,1), (-1,0), (0,-1) }.
Your Turn Problem #1
Answer: D = {-2, -1, 0 }, R = {2, 1, 0, -1}
Now we are ready to consider a special kind of relation called a function.
A function is a relation in which no two ordered pairs have the same x-coordinate.
Example: Consider once again the relations A = { (0,2), (1,3), (2,4) } and
B = { (-2,2), (-2,1), (-1,0), (0,-1) }. Is A a function? Is B a function?
Solution:
A = { (0,2), (1,3), (2,4) } is a function since all x-coordinates are different!
B = { (-2,2), (-2,1), (-1,0), (0,-1) } is not a function since the two ordered pairs (-2,2) and
(-2,1) have the same x- coordinate.
Next Slide
1.1 Concept of a Function
3
Example. Consider the two relations we saw in graph form (below). Are they functions?
y
y
x
x
x = y
2

Solution:
The relation y = x + 1 is a function since for any value of x there will be exactly one value
for y. For example, if x = 3, then y must be equal to 4 (since y = x + 1). It’s simply not
possible for there to be another ordered pair in this relation that has an x-coordinate of 3
with a y-coordinate of something other than 4.
The relation x = y
2
is not a function since (1,1) and (1,-1) are among the ordered pairs in
this set (as are (4,2) and (4,-2)). Two ordered pairs with the same x-coordinate is in direct
violation of our definition for a function.
Instead of having to find these particular ordered pairs, there’s an easier way to see if a graph
represents a function. We use the vertical line test.
The Vertical Line Test
To determine if a graph represents a function we consider (or imagine) all vertical lines that
intersect the graph. (Recall that vertical lines are those lines parallel to the y-axis.) If any
vertical line can touch the graph at more than one point, then the graph does not represent a
function. If no vertical lines are able to touch the graph at more than one point, then the
graph does represent a function.
1.1 Concept of a Function
4
(a) (b)
y
y
x
x
Your Turn Problem #2
Use the vertical line test to determine whether the following graphs represent functions.
Solution:
(a) (b)
y
y
x
x
Graph (b) fails the vertical line test.
It is not a function.
Graph (a) passes the vertical line test. It does
represent a function.
x
x = y
2

(x
1
,y
1
)
(x
1
,y
2
)
Example 2. For x = y
2
(to the right), note that a vertical line can
touch the graph in more than one point. These two points have the
same x-coordinate and different y-coordinates. Therefore, the relation
x = y
2
is not a function.
1.1 Concept of a Function
5
Function Vocabulary and Special Notation
Consider once again the function y = x + 1. Notice that if you replaced x with a number, y is
quickly determined. For this reason, we can say that y depends on x. Yet another way of saying
this is “y is a function of x”.
From this perspective we can view x as input to our function, and y then, as the “value” of the
function. For example, for y = x + 1, when x = 5, the value of this function is 6!
To make it easier to focus on this perspective (a good thing!), a special notation has been
adopted. Instead of writing y = x +1, we write
f(x) = x + 1. Notice that y has been replaced by f(x), which is read, “f of x”. (This is not f times
x!) “f” is simply the name of the function. For now, we will use mostly f, g, and h to name our
functions, although any letter or symbol could be used. The letter x in f(x) is simply the letter we
have chosen to represent a value in the domain of function f.
Next Slide
Altogether, f(x) represents the y-coordinate in an ordered pair for any given value of x.
1.1 Concept of a Function
6
Example 3a. If g(x) = 2x – 1, find the value of g when x = 4.
Solution:
Example 3b. If f(x) = x
2
– 3, find f(– 5).
Solution: f(– 5) is the short way of writing “the value of f when x = – 5”.
f(– 5) = (– 5)
2
– 3 = 22, so f(– 5) = 22
This question requires a simple substitution, 4 for x.
g(4) = 2(4) – 1 = 8– 1 =7
So, when x = 4, the value of g is 7. We write this as:
which is read as “g of 4 is 7”.
g(4) = 7
( ) ( )
2
a. If f x x 2x 3, find f 5 . = ÷ + ÷
( ) ( )
b. If g x 7 3x, find g 3 . = ÷ ÷
( ) ( )
1
c. If h x , find h 3 .
2x 6
=
÷
Your Turn Problem #3
( )
a. f 5 18 = ÷
( )
b. g 3 4 ÷ =
( )
c. h 3 is undefined.
Answers:
1.1 Concept of a Function
7
Domains and Ranges Revisited
Earlier in this lesson, we saw that the domain of the function A = {(0,2), (1,3), (2,4)}
was D = {0, 1, 2}, the set of all of x-coordinates. The range of A is R = {2, 3, 4}, the set of
all of y-coordinates. This process was fairly simple because of the finite nature of function A.
We are now going to look at the process for finding domains and ranges of functions
containing an infinite number of ordered pairs. These functions will be described in equation
form using function notation.
Finding Domains
To find the domain of a function in an equation form, we have to notice what values can legally
replace x. For our purposes in this course, there are only two kinds of illegal replacements.
1. It is illegal to replace x with any value that would cause division by zero.
2. It is illegal to replace x with any value that will cause a square root of a negative
number (or a negative radicand for any even-indexed radical, i.e., fourth root, sixth
root, etc.).
Next Slide
1.1 Concept of a Function
8
10
Find the domain of g( Example 4b. )
4
x .
x
=
+
Since the function has division by a variable expression, you must determine if there are any
values of x that will cause division by zero and then exclude these values from the domain. Set
the denominator equal to zero and solve for x.
Since x = – 4 causes division by zero, the number – 4 must be excluded from the domain. The
domain of g(x) is all real numbers except – 4.
( ) ( )
Interval Notation: , 4 4, ÷· ÷ ÷ ·
Next Slide
x + 4 = 0,
x = – 4.
Example 4a. Find the domain of f(x)= – 3x
2
+ 2x – 5.
Since there is no division present, division by zero can’t happen. Since there are no radicals
present, there can’t be any even-indexed radicals with negative radicands.
There’s no way to make an illegal substitution for x. Therefore the domain of f is all (real) #’s.
D All real numbers or, using interval notation, D: ( , ) = ÷· ·
1.1 Concept of a Function
9
( )
2
3x 4
Find the domain of h x Example
2x 11x 6
4c.
÷
=
+ ÷
Solution: As before, we find the values of x that cause division by zero. We set the denominator
equal to zero and solve for x. This value (or these values) will be excluded from the
domain.
(2x – 1)(x + 6) = 0 2x – 1 = 0 or x + 6 = 0
2x = 1 or x = – 6
1
x or x = 6
2
= ÷
( )
1
Domain: All real numbers except and 6
2
1 1
or, using interval notation: , 6 6, , .
2 2
÷
| | | |
÷· ÷ ÷ ·
| |
\ . \ .
Solution:
Since there is no division present, we don’t have to worry about division by zero.
But, we do have to ensure that the radicand, 2x+5, is nonnegative!
Set the radicand to be greater than or equal to zero, then solve for x.
2x 5 0, + >
2x 5, > ÷
5
x
2
> ÷
Find the domain of Ex f( ample 4 x) 2 d 5 . x . = +
5
Those values of x that are greater than or equal to cause
2
the radicand to be non-negative. Those numbers are keepers!
÷
5 5
Domain= x | x or, using interval notation: , .
2 2
¦ ¹ |
> ÷ ÷ ·
´ `
|
¹ ) ¸ .
1.1 Concept of a Function
10
( )
a) The domain of h(x) is all real numbers. Using Interval Notation: , . ÷· ·
( ) ( ) ( )
b) Domain is all real numbers except -2 and 8. Interval Notation: , 2 2, 8 8, . ÷· ÷ ÷ ·
Answers:
{ } )
c) D x | x 2 . Interval Notation: 2, . = > ·
¸
The End.
B.R.
1-01-07
( )
2
6x 3
b) Find the domain of f x .
x 6x 16
÷
=
÷ ÷
( )
c) Find the domain of h x 9x 18. = ÷
Your Turn Problem #4
3 2
a) Find the domain of h(x) = 7x 16x 8x 19. ÷ + ÷ +

3). (2. 0.3). (1. A function is a relation in which no two ordered pairs have the same x-coordinate. Determine the domain and range of A = { (0.2) and (-2. -1. 2}.-1) }.2). 4} Your Turn Problem #1 Determine the domain and range of: B = { (-2.0). (-2.2). (-2. (-2. (2. 0 }.4) } is a function since all x-coordinates are different! B = { (-2.-1) } is not a function since the two ordered pairs (-2. (0.1) have the same x.1). 3. Example: Consider once again the relations A = { (0. (1. R = {2.4) } and B = { (-2. (0. Solution: D = {0. (-1.2). R = {2.1).0).1). (-1. Next Slide 2 .2).1 Concept of a Function Example 1. (-1. (1. (0. 1.1.2). -1} Now we are ready to consider a special kind of relation called a function.0).-1) }.4) }. (2. Is A a function? Is B a function? Solution: A = { (0.coordinate.3).2). 1. Answer: D = {-2.

3 . then the graph does not represent a function. Consider the two relations we saw in graph form (below). The Vertical Line Test To determine if a graph represents a function we consider (or imagine) all vertical lines that intersect the graph. For example.2) and (4. Two ordered pairs with the same x-coordinate is in direct violation of our definition for a function.-1) are among the ordered pairs in this set (as are (4. We use the vertical line test. there’s an easier way to see if a graph represents a function. Are they functions? y y x = y2 x x Solution: The relation y = x + 1 is a function since for any value of x there will be exactly one value for y.1 Concept of a Function Example. Instead of having to find these particular ordered pairs. (Recall that vertical lines are those lines parallel to the y-axis. If no vertical lines are able to touch the graph at more than one point. The relation x = y2 is not a function since (1. if x = 3.1) and (1. then y must be equal to 4 (since y = x + 1).1. then the graph does represent a function.-2)).) If any vertical line can touch the graph at more than one point. It’s simply not possible for there to be another ordered pair in this relation that has an x-coordinate of 3 with a y-coordinate of something other than 4.

(a) y x (b) y x Solution: (a) y (b) x y x Graph (a) passes the vertical line test. It does represent a function. x = y2(x1. Graph (b) fails the vertical line test.1.y2) Your Turn Problem #2 Use the vertical line test to determine whether the following graphs represent functions. the relation x = y2 is not a function. 4 .y1) x (x1. For x = y2 (to the right). It is not a function. note that a vertical line can touch the graph in more than one point.1 Concept of a Function Example 2. Therefore. These two points have the same x-coordinate and different y-coordinates.

Yet another way of saying this is “y is a function of x”. The letter x in f(x) is simply the letter we have chosen to represent a value in the domain of function f.1. Notice that if you replaced x with a number. the value of this function is 6! To make it easier to focus on this perspective (a good thing!). f(x) represents the y-coordinate in an ordered pair for any given value of x. From this perspective we can view x as input to our function. For now. a special notation has been adopted. For this reason. we will use mostly f. g. y is quickly determined. we write f(x) = x + 1. and y then. when x = 5. Altogether. as the “value” of the function. for y = x + 1. Next Slide 5 . “f of x”.1 Concept of a Function Function Vocabulary and Special Notation Consider once again the function y = x + 1. For example. Instead of writing y = x +1. although any letter or symbol could be used. we can say that y depends on x. Notice that y has been replaced by f(x). and h to name our functions. which is read. (This is not f times x!) “f” is simply the name of the function.

If g  x   7  3x .1 Concept of a Function Example 3a. If f  x   x 2  2x  3. b. f  5   18 b. when x = 4. find h  3  . 1 c. find the value of g when x = 4. Example 3b. g  3   4 c. find f 5  . so f(– 5) = 22 Your Turn Problem #3 a. If g(x) = 2x – 1. find g  3  . If h  x   .1. find f(– 5). If f(x) = x2 – 3. Solution: f(– 5) is the short way of writing “the value of f when x = – 5”. h  3 is undefined. f(– 5) = (– 5)2 – 3 = 22. the value of g is 7. 4 for x. g(4) = 2(4) – 1 = 8– 1 =7 So. Solution: This question requires a simple substitution. 2x  6 Answers: a. 6 . We write this as: g(4) = 7 which is read as “g of 4 is 7”.

etc. we have to notice what values can legally replace x. These functions will be described in equation form using function notation.). (2. It is illegal to replace x with any value that will cause a square root of a negative number (or a negative radicand for any even-indexed radical. It is illegal to replace x with any value that would cause division by zero. i.. the set of all of x-coordinates. we saw that the domain of the function A = {(0. fourth root. there are only two kinds of illegal replacements. 4}. (1. 3. Next Slide 7 . The range of A is R = {2. We are now going to look at the process for finding domains and ranges of functions containing an infinite number of ordered pairs.3). the set of all of y-coordinates. 2}.e.2). 1. Finding Domains To find the domain of a function in an equation form. 1. This process was fairly simple because of the finite nature of function A. sixth root. For our purposes in this course.1 Concept of a Function Domains and Ranges Revisited Earlier in this lesson.4)} was D = {0. 2.1.

The domain of g(x) is all real numbers except – 4. Find the domain of g( x )  10 . x = – 4. Therefore the domain of f is all (real) #’s. 4    4. Since there are no radicals present.   Next Slide 8 . ) Example 4b. you must determine if there are any values of x that will cause division by zero and then exclude these values from the domain. Since there is no division present. Set the denominator equal to zero and solve for x. the number – 4 must be excluded from the domain. division by zero can’t happen. D  All real numbers or. there can’t be any even-indexed radicals with negative radicands. D : (. x + 4 = 0. x4 Since the function has division by a variable expression. Since x = – 4 causes division by zero. There’s no way to make an illegal substitution for x.1. Find the domain of f(x)= – 3x2 + 2x – 5.1 Concept of a Function Example 4a. using interval notation. Interval Notation:  .

the radicand to be non-negative.   . 2x+5. then solve for x. We set the denominator equal to zero and solve for x. 5 cause 2x  5  0.1. Find the domain of f( x)  2x  5. 6    6. 2   2  9 . Solution: Since there is no division present.   . we find the values of x that cause division by zero. using interval notation:   . This value (or these values) will be excluded from the domain.1 Concept of a Function Example 4c. (2x – 1)(x + 6) = 0 2x – 1 = 0 or x + 6 = 0 Domain: All real numbers except or. Find the domain of h  x   3x  4 2x 2  11x  6 Solution: As before. using interval notation: 1 and  6 2 1 1  . we don’t have to worry about division by zero. is nonnegative! Set the radicand to be greater than or equal to zero.   2 2     2x = 1 1 x 2 or or x=–6 x = 6 Example 4d. But.    . Those numbers are keepers! 5 x 5   5  2 Domain=  x | x    or. Those values of x that are greater than or equal to 2 2x  5. we do have to ensure that the radicand.

b) Domain is all real numbers except -2 and 8.   . Using Interval Notation:  .  .   . x 2  6x  16 Find the domain of h  x   9x  18.1 Concept of a Function Your Turn Problem #4 a) b) c) Find the domain of h(x) =  7x 3  16x 2  8x  19. 1-01-07 10 . Interval Notation: 2. 8    8. 2    2.R. Find the domain of f  x   6x  3 . Interval Notation:  .  The End. Answers: a) The domain of h(x) is all real numbers.1. c) D  x | x  2 . B.

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