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 Subject: RE: Teaching the Concept of Functions Author: Craig Date: Sep 23 2004
Hi, Susan.
I have a very most wonderful favorite reference for functions: it's Unit 6 of
Year 1 in the Math Connections series.  There are lots of rich analogies,
including the "fingerprint" function, mapping a fingerprint to a person [not
invertible, since the average person has 10 different fingerprints]; the ZIP
code function, mapping a letter addressed with a zip code to a post office [also
not invertible]; and license plate function, mapping a license plate to a
particular car [this one is invertible].
Other function analogies I have used include speeding fine as a function of mph
over the speed limit, what kind of soda comes out of the machine as a function
of which button was pressed, elevation above sea level as a function of location
(great with a topographical map-- www.topozone.com ), distance between two
points as a function of their coordinates, the Platonic solid-dual
relationship [Dual(square) = octahedron, Dual(tetrahedron) = tetrahedron,
etc.].