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Topic: function notaion
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Subject:   RE: function notaion
Author: Alan Cooper
Date: Jun 20 2005
On Jun 17 2005, rabeldin wrote:
> On Jun 17 2005, djw wrote:
> > Introducing function notation initially vs.
> > learning y = mx + b format ...

> Function notation is very general. Students are unlikely
> to see how general it is without a variety of examples...
> ... need to see higher polynomials, fractions, exponentials,
> and logarithms... IMHO Under no circumstances should
> functional notation be used without many examples
> besides the linear function.

I agree with this and many similar replies, but I would go further.
All of the replies I have seen so far have referred only to examples defined by
formulas and I think the best way for students to understand the concept of a
function is to get away from that and introduce the concept with examples that
arise from applications and in which no formula may exist. Motion problems,
simple business questions, and even non-numerical functions like motherof can
all help to reinforce the general nature of the concept.
Alan

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