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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.

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

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.

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

value graph with the same changes made to the function as

had been to the quadratic function.

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.

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