What Is Function Notation?


Cheetahs can accelerate up to 75 mph and can easily outpace a gazelle. But gazelles have adapted to keep cheetahs at bay long enough to tire them out. We can analyze this phenomenon mathematically through the use of some basic concepts involving functions.

In this highly engaging module students learn about functions, domain, range, and mathematical modeling. They will look at the following types of functions:

  • Speed vs. distance
  • Distance vs. time
  • Displacement vs. time

These three functions are analyzed using function notation, and the domains and ranges are clearly defined. Students explore a mathematical model that shows whether a cheetah will catch the gazelle or if the gazelle escapes.

This module also uses the Desmos graphing calculator extensively.

Math Concepts

  • Functions
  • Graphing Numbers
  • Problem Solving

Learning Objectives

  • Defining a function using function notation
  • Developing a mathematical model using function notation
  • Identify the domain and range of a function

Prerequisite Skills

  • Understands the basics of linear functions
Common Core Standards CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.8.F.B.4, CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.8.F.B.5
Lesson Duration 20 mins
Grade Range 8th - 10th Grade

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