Langara College - Department of Mathematics and Statistics

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Internet Resources for the Calculus Student - Topics in Precalculus

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Linear Functions

In many situations we find that one
variable, let's call it y, is related to another, say x, by a relation
of the form y=mx+b, where m and b are numerical constants.
Functions of the form f(x)=mx+b
are called linear functions because their graphs are straight lines. (Here,
the letters m and b stand for numbers, often called "parameters", and each
distinct choice of these numerical parameters gives a different line.)

If you have a Java-enabled browser, then you can use our Graph
Explorer to see the effects of changing the parameters. (Any
Computer Algebra System or Graphing Calculator might do as well of course
but the specific
instructions would be a bit different.)

For guidance through a more detailed exploration you can work through
our on-line lab on

Linear Functions.

This
"game" gives you practice in finding a linear function whose graph
includes two given points

The IES group in Japan has also produced JAVA
applets with which you can explore how the equation and graph of a
linear function are related.

And there are a number of other
sites which also deal with these ideas.

If you come across any other good web-based illustrations of these
and related concepts,

please do let
us know and we will add them here.

*Copyright ©1998 Langara College. *