Understanding Domain and Range Part 3

In the previous post, we have learned how to analyze equations of functions and determine their domain and range. We have observed that the range of the functions y = x^2 and y = |x| are the set of real numbers greater than or equal to 0 since squaring a number or getting its absolute value results to 0 or a positive real number. We also learned that for a function to be defined,  the number under the square root sign must be greater than or equal to 0. Lastly, we have learned that we cannot divide by zero because it will make the function undefined.

In this post, we are going to continue our discussion by examining functions with equations more complicated than those in the second part of this series.

Squares and Absolute Values

1. f(x) = x^2 - 3

Domain: The function is defined for any real number x, so the domain of f is the set of real numbers.

Range: The minimum value of x^2 is 0 for any real number x and f(0) - 3 = 0^2 - 3 = -3. So, the minimum value of the function is -3. We can make the value of the function as large as possible by increasing the absolute value of x. So, the range of the function is the set of real numbers greater than or equal to -3 or [-3, \infty) in interval notation.  » Read more

Understanding Domain and Range Part 1

The domain of a function is the set of x-coordinates of the points in the function. The range of the function f is the set of y-coordinates of the points in the function. So if we have a function f with points (-3, -2), (-1, 3), (2, 3), and (5,4), then the domain of the function f is the set {-3, -1, 2, 5} and the range of f is the set {-2, 3, 4). Graphically, we can say that the domain is the  “projection” of the points to the x-axis (see red points in the following figure).

domain

The range of f is the projection of the points to the y-axis (see green points in the following figure).  » Read more

What exactly is the vertical line test?

A function as we have discussed is a relationship between two sets, where each element in the first set has exactly one corresponding element in the second set. If we think of candies which cost 10 cents each, then we can say that 1 candy costs 10 cents, 2 candies cost 20 cents, 3 candies cost 30 cents, and so on. We can think of this relationship as a function since for each number of candies, there is only one possible price.

If we consider the relation y = 2x, then we can say that it is a function since for every value we substitute to x, there is one and only one corresponding value for y. For instance, if x = -3, then y = -6 and and if x = 9, then y = 18 (one y for each x).  » Read more

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