Reading Assignments for Pre-Calculus
Fall 1997, Math 100
CHAPTER 1
Be sure to check back often, because assignments may change!
Last modified: August 23, 1997
9/3, respond by 5pm 9/4
Suggestions for Reading a Math Book
Course Policies
Section 1.1 Functions All Around Us
- To read: all
- Be sure to understand: Page 2 thru the middle of page 3.
- Reading questions:
- What are the different ways functions can be given?
- What is the life expectancy of a child born in 1960?
- Why is the time needed for a trans am to accelerate a function of the final speed?
- In the trans am example, why do we put the final speed on the horizontal axis and the time on the vertical axis?
9/5, respond by 5pm 9/7
Guidelines for Homework Presentation
Section 1.2 Describing the Behavior of Functions
- To read: all
- Be sure to understand: what it means for a function to be increasing, decreasing, concave up, and concave down; what turning points and inflection points are; the example on page 12.
- Reading questions:
- Why is the function that describes the world's population an increasing function?
- Give a real-world example of a function which is decreasing and concave up.
- If you are asked to identify where a function is increasing, would your answer be an interval (a region of points) or a specific point?
9/8, respond by 5pm 9/9
Suggestions for Reading a Math Book
Section 1.3 Representing Functions Symbolically
- To read: all
- Be sure to understand: independent and dependent variables;
- Reading questions:
- Consider the function y=f(x)=x^{2}.
- What does this function do to any real number (in words)?
- What is the domain of this function?
- What is the range of this function?
- The amount of postage on a package is related to how much the package weighs.
- Would you say postage is a function of weight, or weight is a function of
postage?
- The two things which vary, and hence the two variables, are the amount
of postage and the weight. Which is the dependent variable, and which is
the independent variable?
9/10, respond by 5pm 9/11
Section 1.4 Connecting the Geometric and Symbolic Representations
- To read: all
- Be sure to understand: Examples 1 through 4
- Reading questions:
- Is the point (3.3, 40) on curve shown in Figure 1.22?
- What are the domain and range of the function discussed on page 22 and shown in Figure 1.22?
- Does the graph in figure 1.22 represent the path the ball travels?
- Why is it true that if a vertical line crosses a curve more than once, then that
curve cannot possibly represent a function?
9/12, respond by 5pm 9/14
Section 1.5 Mathematical Models
- To read: all
- Reading questions:
- Must a mathematical model describe all aspects of the process it represents?
- Briefly list the steps involved in using mathematics to describe the real world.
- What is the difference between interpolation and extrapolation?
Janice Sklensky
Wheaton College
Department of Mathematics and Computer Science
Science Center, Room 109
Norton, Massachusetts 02766-0930
TEL (508) 286-3973
FAX (508) 285-8278
jsklensk@wheatonma.edu
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