In this chapter we will be introducing two topics that are
very important in an algebra class. We
will start off the chapter with a brief discussion of graphing. This is not really the main topic of this
chapter, but we need the basics down before moving into the second topic of
this chapter. The next chapter will
contain the remainder of the graphing discussion.

The second topic that we’ll be looking at is that of
functions. This is probably one of the
more important ideas that will come out of an Algebra class. When first studying the concept of functions
many students don’t really understand the importance or usefulness of functions
and function notation. The importance
and/or usefulness of functions and function notation will only become apparent
in later chapters and later classes. In
fact, there are some topics that can only be done easily with function and
function notation.

Here is a brief listing of the topics in this chapter.

**Graphing** In this section we will introduce the
Cartesian coordinate system and most of the basics of graphing equations.

**Lines**
Here we will review the main ideas from the
study of lines including slope and the special forms of the equation of a line.

**Circles**
We will look at the equation of a circle and
graphing circles in this section.

**The Definition of a Function** We will discuss the definition of a function
in this section. We will also introduce
the idea of function evaluation.

**Graphing Functions** In this section we will look at the basics of
graphing functions. We will also graph
some piecewise functions in this section.

**Combining functions** Here we will look at basic arithmetic
involving functions as well as function composition.

**Inverse Functions** We will define and find inverse functions in
this section.