2: Basic Skills for Calculus

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In this chapter, we will look at several basic skills and topics that will be used often in calculus: linear functions, solving inequalities, function domains, graphs and graphing, and completing the square. Lines and linear functions appear quite o[en in calculus. Secant lines are used to determine how fast a function is changing over an interval, tangent lines are used to determine how fast a function is changing at a single point, and linear functions are used to approximate more complicated functions. You will need to solve inequalities to help determine key characteristics of a function, such as when it is increasing and when it is decreasing. Function domains will be useful in working with applied problems to make sure your model has both real world and mathematical meaning. Graphs and graphing will help you identify key features of functions like maximum and minimum values. Completing the square will show up in integral calculus when you need to have your function in a particular form.

Thumbnail: Functions map one number into another. (CC-BY 4.0; OpenStax)

This page titled 2: Basic Skills for Calculus is shared under a CC BY-NC license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Amy Givler Chapman, Meagan Herald, Jessica Libertini.