Precalculus: An Investigation of Functions is a free, open textbook covering a two-quarter pre-calculus sequence including trigonometry.
- As we approach day to day life we often need to quantify the things around us, giving structure and numeric value to various situations. This ability to add structure enables us to make choices based on patterns we see that are weighted and systematic. With this structure in place we can model and even predict behavior to make decisions. Adding a numerical structure to a real world situation is called Mathematical Modeling.
- In the previous chapters, we have explored a variety of functions which could be combined to form a variety of shapes. In this discussion, one common shape has been missing: the circle. We already know certain things about the circle, like how to find area and circumference, and the relationship between radius and diameter, but now, in this chapter, we explore the circle and its unique features that lead us into the rich world of trigonometry.
- In the previous chapter, the trigonometric functions were introduced as ratios of sides of a right triangle, and related to points on a circle. We noticed how the x and y values of the points did not change with repeated revolutions around the circle by finding coterminal angles. In this chapter, we will take a closer look at the important characteristics and applications of these types of functions, and begin solving equations involving them.
- In this chapter we will look at more complex relationships. By conducting a deeper study of trigonometric identities we can learn to simplify complicated expressions, allowing us to solve more interesting applications.
- In this chapter, we will explore a set of shapes defined by a common characteristic: they can all be formed by slicing a cone with a plane. These families of curves have a broad range of applications in physics and astronomy, from describing the shape of your car headlight reflectors to describing the orbits of planets and comets.