Chapter one was a window that gave us a peek into the entire course. Our goal was to understand the basic structure of functions and function notation, the toolkit functions, domain and range, how to recognize and understand composition and transformations of functions and how to understand and utilize inverse functions. With these basic components in hand we will further research the specific details and intricacies of each type of function in our toolkit and use them to model the world around us.
Definition: mathematical modeling
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.
When modeling real world scenarios, there are some common growth patterns that are regularly observed. We will devote this chapter and the rest of the book to the study of the functions used to model these growth patterns.
- 3.4: Fitting Linear Models to Data
- In the real world, rarely do things follow trends perfectly. When we expect the trend to behave linearly, or when inspection suggests the trend is behaving linearly, it is often desirable to find an equation to approximate the data. Finding an equation to approximate the data helps us understand the behavior of the data and allows us to use the linear model to make predictions about the data, inside and outside of the data range.
- 3.5: Absolute Value Functions
- So far in this chapter we have been studying the behavior of linear functions. The Absolute Value Function is a piecewise-defined function made up of two linear functions. The name, Absolute Value Function, should be familiar to you. In its basic form f(x)=|x| it is one of our toolkit functions.
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