A Note on Using This Lesson

This lesson is something of a compendium. It contains summary information on eight major families of functions used throughout precalculus and calculus. Each family is examined in four common representations.

The result is a bit ponderous at first, and it is assumed that only the most intrepid student of precalculus will slog right through it from beginnining to end. Congratulations if you are up to it!

Most students will probably use this lesson as more of a reference, on a need-to-know basis. Browse through it, see what is here, and come back when you need to learn (or be reminded of) the idiosyncrasies of a particular family's behavior.

Make no mistake, however: This is the central lesson of the materials. You will need to refer to everything in this lesson at some point in your study of precalculus. You will not be able to say that you have mastered the subject until you know this material in its entirety.

Most of us learned our ABCs not from beginning to end, but rather occasionally and opportunistically. We may have started with M (Mom) and D (Dad), and finished up with X (xylophone?) rather than Z. You can learn your families of functions in the same way...

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