[Book Cover]

Precalculus: Making Connections, 1/e

Larry Runyan, Shoreline Community College
Holly Runyan, Shoreline Community College

Published September, 1998 by Prentice Hall Engineering/Science/Mathematics

Copyright 1999, 752 pp.
ISBN 0-13-095674-0

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Appropriate for Freshman/Sophomore courses in Precalculus. This text provides a top down approach to the study of functions with interesting and modern applications to motivate students. The study of functions is supported by the “Easy Grapher Template”, the Graphing Calculator, and by the Internet. Coverage of topics is traditional but the presentation and problem sets are truly “reform”.


Exercises are carefully organized and graded. Each section includes:

  • Basic problems building directly on the examples in the text.
  • Problems that extend beyond the basics.
  • Applications that are directly related to the mathematics of the section.
All the features “Connect”:
  • Applications connect various disciplines to the mathematics being covered.
  • Review material connects the text with students' previous experience
  • Graphing Calculator examples and exercises connects each function with computations, graphs and curve fitting for other functions.
  • The Internet connects the project with the world of information and interactive possibilities of the web.
Top Down approach to the study of functions allows students to study each function in context as a member of the family of reference functions. See Chapter 1 which covers the properties, notation and vocabulary common to all functions.
Innovative, real life applications motivate students and provides material for instructors to create cooperative learning experiences. See the Equilibrium discussions in Section 2.1 where extinction/immigration of a species of spiders is studied alongside an analogous application of equilibrium in economics with supply and demand functions.
Curve-fitting is integrated throughout the text from linear to logistic functions and everywhere in between. Curve fitting provides a modern theme and a realistic application of the functions involved.
Exploring the Concepts. Heuristic opportunities are included in every section and are interactive on the web site. Graphing calculators provide the opportunity for students to discover the concepts themselves - the first step towards becoming life-long learners.

Table of Contents
    1. Functions.
    2. Linear and Quadratic Functions.
    3. Polynomial and Rational Functions.
    4. Exponential and Logarithmic Functions.
    5. Trigonometry and the Circular Functions.
    6. Trigonometric Equations and Applications.
    7. Polar Coordinates and Parametric Equations.
    8. Conic Sections and Quadric Surfaces.
    9. Matrices, Determinants and Vectors.
    Appendix I. Prerequisite Material.
    Appendix II. Library of Reference Functions.
    Appendix III. Regression Analysis Formulas.
    Appendix IV. Formulas.
    Appendix V. Theory of Equations.
    Appendix VI. The Binomial Theorem.
    Appendix VII. Proof by Math Induction.
    Answers to Odd-Numbered Exercises.


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