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Introductory Calculus: Factoring, Slope, and Graphing
online assistance FACTORING: Factoring is the “undoing” of multiplication, putting an expression into terms which are multiplied. For example, we know that 6x(x3 – 7) = 6x4 – 42x.

    • The expression 6x4 – 42x factors into two terms which are multiplied: 6x•(x3 – 7)
 
    • The difference of two squares such as x2- 49 factors into (x+7)•(x-7)
 
    • Sometimes trinomials factor very nicely:
     
        (2x2 - x - 6) = (2x + 3)•(x - 2)
         
      Sometimes they do not. The trinomial x2 + x + 1 defies a simple factoring. 
     
ExamplesExamples:
x2 - a2
4x2 - 9y2
x4 - 16
x2 + 4
x2 - 5x + 6
a2 + 8a - 20
x2 + 3x - 5
3x2 - 13x - 10
 
 
 online assistance SLOPE: The slope of a line connecting two points is a ratio of the “rise” to the “run,” which is a ratio of the vertical distance between the points to the horizontal distance between the two points.

    • A line passing through the points (2, 5) and (– 3, 1) has a slope of
 
    • Since this is a positive number, the line will appear to slope upwards to the right when graphed.
     
ExamplesExamples:
What is the slope of the line through points (1, –2) and (3, 4)?
What is the slope of the line through points  and ?
A line has slope 4. It passes (1, 3) and (x, 7) what is x?
A line has slope ¾. It passes through points (5, y) and (4, -3). What is y?

 online assistance GRAPHING: A graph is a more visual representation of the points described by a rule, list, or expression.
 
    • We will use the TI 83/84 family calculator extensively during this course. To graph a line with slope –2 and y–intercept (0, 3) we note that the equation for this line is y=-2x + 3 and enter this as Y1 in the calculator. It is actually faster to sketch this by hand without the calculator. The Y= screen, the WINDOW, and the graph are shown below.
 
 
    • Some functions are defined in separate pieces and are called “piece-wise defined” functions. If the line shown above is only valid for x > –1 and the remainder of the function is defined by y = 4 - x2 we have the following definition and graph of this function:
     
 
ExamplesExamples:
Graph the following piecewise-defined function on the axes below. Label accurately and completely.
 
 
 

Graph the following piecewise-defined function on the axes below. Label accurately and completely.
 
 




M Ransom

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