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Monday, March 23, 2015

The Shifting of a Function


The Shifting of a Function

This week in Algebra the Core Math Idea has been that the
behavior of a graph can be predicted based on the
operations in the numbers of the function.
I have found that it is best to look at how a function shifts by
reviewing its parent function first, and working towards how
the graph and/or scale changes afterward to depict the
newly given function. A very simple example of this could be
taking f(x)=(x+3)-15. This may have seemed a little daunting
to us (at least a little while ago), however now we just take
the parent function of x^2 and know what type of graph that
this will create. We then take the (x+3) and move the graph
three points to the left, as it would take three more to equal
what once took three less. In terms of the fun store you need
three more dollars for the same amount of fun which you
would have once gotten it. You then have to move the graph
vertically down 15 because of the (-15) that is the Y
intercept. That makes what seems like a very challenging
graph at first sight to become very easy. Below is another
example of a function that at first appears daunting, but by
following the above steps becomes very easy.

This past week in algebra we have gotten into much more


interesting and challenging ideas about the shifting of
functions on a graph. We were presented with a paper in
which Mason explained his ideas about functions and other
ways which they can work. He introduced the idea of
multiplication within the parentheses and even before the
function. This also changed the graph, but, as one may
expect, it did so in a very different way. In the case of
Mason, he looked at the function f(x)=x^2. He then looked at
the fun store on two different days. The first day was a two
for one day, and the second was a half off day. The first
question we were asked to look at each day and decide what
was being impacted, the fun or the money. The fun was the
answer in the two for one day because when one brings in
one unit of money, they can get twice the fun. On the half off
day, the units of money needed for a certain amount of fun

were divided in two. This impacts the money.


The first question that I asked myself was whether or not
these two ideas were one in the same, and if doubling the
fun was the same thing as dividing the amount of money by
two. In my mind, I thought that this must be true, and so my
thinking began there. We were also supplied with a picture
of the graphs as they shifted on each day.

This represents the two for one day in which the fun was
impacted. Mason's thinking was that because you would get
twice as much fun for any amount of money, that he could
take the original function and simply double all of the y
values. This is correct and the right way to think about such
a day. The equation for it would be 2f(x) because you are
doubling the y values of the original function.

This represents the day in which all fun was half


off. Because of this, a set amount of fun would cost half the
price and therefore it is the scale of the x axis that is
affected. Because it is half off, and changing the money
rather than the fun, the equation would be f(2x). It would not
be f(1/2x) because the 2x shows that you come in and find
out that you had twice the money you thought you had in
terms of the fun store.
Due to the shape and general ideas of both graphs, I
continued to stick to my belief that doubling the amount of
money one received was the same thing as making a certain
amount of fun cost half as much. It was not until graphing it
without changing the scale on my x or y axis that I was able
to see that this was untrue.

This graph depicts the three scenarios all on the same scale,
and they turn out to be different graphs. Of course I had
suspected for the parent function to be different from the
other two but I had not expected a difference between the
other two. Looking back you can see differences within the
original picture which leads me to believe that I was not
careful enough in my looking but that I rushed into my
thoughts due to the shape of the curve being the same
between all of Mason's graphs. I wondered how this could
be, but then realized that it had to do with the graph being a
parabola and not a straight line. Because the slope is a
curve, it can not change in the same way that a linear
function would, working directly with easy numbers. I was
confident now that linear functions or functions with a
straight line would behave in the way which I had assumed

all functions behaved. This is shown below in an absolute


value graph with the same changes made to the function as
had been to the quadratic function.

This knowledge that was gained through work with Mason's


idea leads into the ability to combine with the movement of a
function to create harder problems. I like to think of the
movement via addition or subtraction to be shifting of a
function. We then look at the multiplication as either
compressions or stretches. Below is an example of a
horizontal and vertical stretch as well as a horizontal and
vertical compression. Under that will be a graphed function
which appears to be challenging but through the steps
learned above will become much easier.

Extension:
I am wondering what will happen with functions which use
division before them or within parentheses as we have yet to
work on such an idea. I personally believe that it is the same
thing but essentially opposite to what was spoken about in
my blog, and therefore probably does not need to be
learned, however I am curious and would love to know what
you guys think. My general thought is f(x/2) is going to be
the same thing as f(1/2x) and we already know how to solve
that. I could be wrong however, and therefore would love
some input on that.