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# Welcome to calculus.

## I'm professor Grist.

We're about to begin lecture one on
functions.
Welcome to chapter one.
Every story begins with a cast of
characters.
In this story of calculus, our characters
are functions.
And the plot revolves around how these
functions interact with each other, and
what characterizes them.
From the local workings of their inner
behaviors, to the global sweep of their
asymptotics, this lesson and this course,
begin with functions.
Calculus is all about functions.
And indeed, that is where this course
begins.
Now you're probably used to thinking
about functions in terms of their graphs.
The pair, x with f of x, for a function
f.
One can also take a more mechanistic
view, where x is considered as an input
to f, and f of x is considered as the
output.
Indeed, visualizing this as a machine is
extremely helpful, where one feeds x into
f.
And receives, as an output, f of x.
With this in mind, certain terminology
about functions becomes natural.
For example, the domain of a function f,
consists of all possible inputs.
All the things you might put into the
function.
The range of a function, f, consists of
all possible outputs, things you might
Now this is single variable calculus, and
because of that, our domain's in our
ranges, are going to be relatively
simple.
There going to consist of either the real
number line, or a certain sub intervals,
there of.
Certain operatios on functions become
critical.
Perhap's the most important is that of
composition.
F composed with g, this is the function
that takes, as it input, x and returns
its output.
Denoted f composed with g of x, and that
is g of x fed into the function f.
We say f of g of x.
One can visualize this, as chaining
together the functions f and g.

## And in the proper order, g comes first,

and then f.
For example, if one considers the
function, square root of 1 minus x
squared.
How can one decompose this into the
composition of f and g?
Well, f, in this case, would be the
function that is on the outside, or that
is done last.
This is the square root function.
G, that which comes first, is, what is on
the inside of the square root function,
mainly g of x equals, 1 minus x squared.
One additional important operation on
functions, is that of inverse.
The inverse of a function f is denoted
with an f with superscript negative 1.
Don't let that fool you, that does not
mean you take the reciprocal of f of x,
indeed f inverse of x is defined.
As that function which takes as its input
x, and returns as an output f inverse of
x.
Such that if one composes with f, one
gets back the original value of x, for
all such x.
Now, one can also run this in reverse.
If you do f first, and then f inverse,
one again obtains x.
that means that intuitively, f inverse is
the machine that undoes whatever f does.
Let's look at a specific example.
Where we take as f the function x cubed.
What would be the inverse of this be?
Well, it has to be a function that undoes
whatever x cubed does.
This is, as you may have guessed, x to
the 1 3rd power, or the cube root of x.
Now there are several ways to see why
this is right.
One is that, in taking the inverse we are
reversing the role, the input and the
output.
Or geometrically, we are flipping the
graph of this function along the diagonal
line, where the input and the output are
equal.
Of course, we can also think in terms of
what the inverse has to satisfy, if we do
x cubed and then take it's cubed root, we
get x.
Or the other way around, if we take the
cube root of x and cube it, we get x.
Certain classes of functions wind up
being extremely important throughout
calculus.
Perhaps the simplest such class, is that
of the polynomials.
That is, functions of the form a

## constant, plus a constant times x, plus a

constant times x squared, all the way up
to some finite degree, constant times x
to the n.
That largest power of x is called the
degree.
There is a summation notation, that makes
writing out polynomials very simple.
We use the Greek capital Sigma, and right
polynomial as the sum Sigma, as k goes
from 0 to n of c sub k times x to the k.
Here the c k's are coefficients, or
constants.
Another class of commonly observed
functions are the irrational functions.
These are functions of the form P of x
over Q of x, where P and Q are
polynomials.
Simple examples, like 3x minus 1 over x
squared plus x minus 6, are very common
throughout mathematics and its
applications.
Rational functions are very nice to work
with.
You do, however, have to be careful of
what happens in the denominator?
When you try to plus in a value of x, it
evaluates the denominator to 0.
Your function is not necessary well
defined, at such a point.
Other powers besides integer powers are
important and prevalent.
I'm guessing that you all know what x to
the 0 is, that is, of course, equal to 1.
What is x to the minus one half?
And recall that fractional powers can
note roots, and negative powers mean that
you take the reciprocal.
So that x to the negative one half is 1
over the square root of x.
And what is x to the 22 7th's?
Well, break this up into pieces.
First, we take x to the 22nd power, and
then we take the 7th root of x.
Lastly, what is x to the pi?
Well we're not going to answer that quite
yet, but you may have a guess, especially
considering the fact that there are
rational numbers that are very close to
the irrational number pi.
Trigonometric functions are extremely
common, and important.
You should already know a bit about sine,
and cosine.
Let's review.
Perhaps the most important of the
trigonometric identities, that is cosine
squared plus sine squared equals 1.
There's several ways to interpret this.
You've seen the interpretation involving

## a right triangle, with hypotenuse equal

to 1 and with angle set to theta.
Then, in this case, the sine of theta is
the length of the opposite edge to theta,
and the cosine of theta, is the length of
If we think of those as x and y
coordinates respectively, then we see
that there's a relationship between this
trigonometric identity, and the equation
for the circle, x squared plus y squared
equals 1.
And indeed, if we think of what happens
when we move a point along a unit circle,
rotating it by an angle theta, from the
positive x axis.
Then the x and y coordinates, of that
point on the unit circle, are precisely,
cosine and the sine, respectively.
Other trigonometric functions are common
and important.
I'm sure you recall that tangent is the
ratio of the sine to the cosine function,
and it's reciprocal, the cotangent
function.
One can also take reciprocals of cosine,
obtaining the secant function, and of
sine, obtaining the co-secant function,
respectively.
Now all of these that involve ratios,
wind up having vertical asymptotes in
their graphs, that is, places where the
function is undefined, and the
denominator goes to 0.
The inverse of the trigonometric
functions are very useful, but somewhat
treacherous.
You've got to be careful, some students
like to write the inverse of sine as sine
with a negative 1 superscript.
That can lead to some confusion thinking
that it is the co-secant, or the
reciprocal of sine.
That is unfortunate notation, and I
encourage you to use instead arcsin to
denote the inverse of the sine function.
The arcsin is that function which, when
composed with sine gives you the identity
back.
One of the things that you'll note about
both the arcsin, and the arccos, is that
they have a restricted domain.
The domain must be the close general from
negative 1 to 1.
Because of course, sine and co-sine can
only take values in that interval.
In contrast to this, the arc tangent
function, does have an infinite domain.
Its range however, is limited between
negative pi over 2, and pi over two.

## These are all functions that you're going

to want to be familiar with, for moving
forward in calculus.
The last class of functions that is of
critical importance, are the exponential
functions.
These are functions of the form e to the
x.
to the x being the canonical example of
an exponential function.
It's inverse is the logarithm or more
precisely, the natural logarithm, ln of
x.
You've seen these functions before, you
know, because they're inverses, that
their graphs have this symmetry about the
diagonal.
So for example if e to the 0 is 1, as it
must be, then log of 1 must be equal to
0, certainly.
The question that is often unanswered in
pre-calculus or even elementary calculus
courses is, what is e?
And why is it so important in this
exponential function?
Well one could say that e is that value
whose logarithm is equal to 1.
But since we've defined the natural
logarithm in terms of base e, that's a
bit of circular reasoning.
How do we reason about e?
Well certainly e is a number.
It is a particular location, on the real
number line.
It has a decimal expansion, but being
irrational it is a little bit hard to
remember all of it.
That doesn't really answer the question
of what is e?
Why is it so important?
Before we get to the answer to that,
let's review some of the algebraic
properties associated with the
exponential function.
I hope you remember that e to the x times
e to the y is e to the x plus y.
The exponents add and e to the x raised
to the y power is e to the x times y.
In your prior exposure to calculus, I'm
sure that you've seen some of the
differential and integral properties of
this function.
E to the x has this wonderful property
that it is it's own derivative, and of
course, but it is its own integral, at
least up to a constant.
These facts are easy to remember, but
maybe not so easy to fully comprehend.
There is one last ingredient that we're
going to need before we go deep into

## exploring what e to the x means.

This is something called Euler's formula.
This is simple looking.
It states that e to the i times x, equals
cosine of x plus i times sine of x.
This is a wonderful formula, but whatever
it means.
What does it mean?
What is this i that is in here?
I am sure that you've seen before, the
notation for the square root of negative
1, for the primal imaginary number, i.
That is what is meant in Euler's formula,
it has the property of course that, i
squared is equal to negative 1.
>> Well, this is a formula.
It's a true statement, but what does it
mean?
Well, that is the subject for our next
lesson.
>> And so, we end with a mystery about
the exponential function, and what it
means to exponentiate something, that is
not a real number.
In our next lesson, we'll resolve this
mystery, in part, by contemplating what
the exponential function is.