# 2.1 Linear functions

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In this section, you will:
• Represent a linear function.
• Determine whether a linear function is increasing, decreasing, or constant.
• Calculate and interpret slope.
• Write the point-slope form of an equation.
• Write and interpret a linear function.

Just as with the growth of a bamboo plant, there are many situations that involve constant change over time. Consider, for example, the first commercial maglev train in the world, the Shanghai MagLev Train ( [link] ). It carries passengers comfortably for a 30-kilometer trip from the airport to the subway station in only eight minutes. http://www.chinahighlights.com/shanghai/transportation/maglev-train.htm

Suppose a maglev train were to travel a long distance, and that the train maintains a constant speed of 83 meters per second for a period of time once it is 250 meters from the station. How can we analyze the train’s distance from the station as a function of time? In this section, we will investigate a kind of function that is useful for this purpose, and use it to investigate real-world situations such as the train’s distance from the station at a given point in time.

## Representing linear functions

The function describing the train’s motion is a linear function , which is defined as a function with a constant rate of change, that is, a polynomial of degree 1. There are several ways to represent a linear function, including word form, function notation, tabular form, and graphical form. We will describe the train’s motion as a function using each method.

## Representing a linear function in word form

Let’s begin by describing the linear function in words. For the train problem we just considered, the following word sentence may be used to describe the function relationship.

• The train’s distance from the station is a function of the time during which the train moves at a constant speed plus its original distance from the station when it began moving at constant speed.

The speed is the rate of change. Recall that a rate of change is a measure of how quickly the dependent variable changes with respect to the independent variable. The rate of change for this example is constant, which means that it is the same for each input value. As the time (input) increases by 1 second, the corresponding distance (output) increases by 83 meters. The train began moving at this constant speed at a distance of 250 meters from the station.

## Representing a linear function in function notation

Another approach to representing linear functions is by using function notation. One example of function notation is an equation written in the form known as the slope-intercept form    of a line, where $x$ is the input value, $m$ is the rate of change, and $b$ is the initial value of the dependent variable.

In the example of the train, we might use the notation $D\left(t\right)$ in which the total distance $D$ is a function of the time $t.$ The rate, $m,$ is 83 meters per second. The initial value of the dependent variable $b$ is the original distance from the station, 250 meters. We can write a generalized equation to represent the motion of the train.

how fast can i understand functions without much difficulty
what is set?
a colony of bacteria is growing exponentially doubling in size every 100 minutes. how much minutes will it take for the colony of bacteria to triple in size
I got 300 minutes. is it right?
Patience
no. should be about 150 minutes.
Jason
It should be 158.5 minutes.
Mr
ok, thanks
Patience
100•3=300 300=50•2^x 6=2^x x=log_2(6) =2.5849625 so, 300=50•2^2.5849625 and, so, the # of bacteria will double every (100•2.5849625) = 258.49625 minutes
Thomas
what is the importance knowing the graph of circular functions?
can get some help basic precalculus
What do you need help with?
Andrew
how to convert general to standard form with not perfect trinomial
can get some help inverse function
ismail
Rectangle coordinate
how to find for x
it depends on the equation
Robert
yeah, it does. why do we attempt to gain all of them one side or the other?
Melissa
whats a domain
The domain of a function is the set of all input on which the function is defined. For example all real numbers are the Domain of any Polynomial function.
Spiro
Spiro; thanks for putting it out there like that, 😁
Melissa
foci (–7,–17) and (–7,17), the absolute value of the differenceof the distances of any point from the foci is 24.
difference between calculus and pre calculus?
give me an example of a problem so that I can practice answering
x³+y³+z³=42
Robert
dont forget the cube in each variable ;)
Robert
of she solves that, well ... then she has a lot of computational force under her command ....
Walter
what is a function?
I want to learn about the law of exponent
explain this