Calculus is the mathematics that describes changes in functions. In this chapter, we review all the functions necessary to study calculus. We define polynomial, rational, trigonometric, exponential, and logarithmic functions. We review how to evaluate these functions, and we show the properties of their graphs. We provide examples of equations with terms involving these functions and illustrate the algebraic techniques necessary to solve them. In short, this chapter provides the foundation for the material to come. It is essential to be familiar and comfortable with these ideas before proceeding to the formal introduction of calculus in the next chapter.
Thumbnail: The graph of \(f(x)=e^x\) has a tangent line with slope 1 at \(x=0\).
Gilbert Strang (MIT) and Edwin “Jed” Herman (Harvey Mudd) with many contributing authors. This content by OpenStax is licensed with a CC-BY-SA-NC 4.0 license. Download for free at http://cnx.org.