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Mike’s House of Math

Calculus: It Pushes Me to My Limit

Road Map #1: Graphical Limits

Calculus is the study of functions and how they change. Calculus I (“Calculus AB”) is divided
into three parts, two of which we’ll introduce during this preview course. The first is
called the _______________, abbreviated __________.

A. Limit Notation__________

lim
_______________ limit: f(x)
x  2
Read: “The limit as x approaches 2 from the left of f(x).”

lim
_______________ limit: f(x)
x  2
Read: “The limit as x approaches 2 from the right of f(x).”

lim
“total limit”: f(x)
x 2
Read: “The limit as x approaches 2 of f(x).”

Note: Here, x is approaching 2, though x could approach any number, even infinity.

Problem 1: Write in limit notation: “The limit as x approaches 4 of x2 is equal to 16.”

Today, we’ll look at several graphs to help us explore this concept. In each example, we’ll
assume the function graphed is f(x).

A. “The Nice, Neat Function” __________

1. f(3)

lim
2. f(x)
x  3
lim
3. f(x)
x  3
lim
4. f(x)
x 3
Ask yourself, “What happens as we get
closer and closer to x = 3?”

Note that in order for the “total limit” to exist, the ______________ limit must equal the
______________ limit. Let’s look at another (a piecewise function).

B. “The Jump”__________

1. f(2)

lim
2. f(x)
x  2
lim
3. f(x)
x  2
lim
4. f(x)
x 2

Isn’t this exciting? You don’t have to memorize these but rather know their principles.
Though calculus is algebra-driven, we also need to understand the concepts.

C. “The Gap”__________

1. f(2)
lim
2. f(x)
x  2
lim
3. f(x)
x  2
lim
4. f(x)
x 2

The above example illustrates an important point: A function does not necessarily have to be
_______________ at a point in order for the limit to exist at that point.

This next one looks almost identical to the previous one except THE FLOATING POINT.

D. “The Floating Point”__________

1. f(2)

lim
2. f(x)
x  2
lim
3. f(x)
x  2
lim
4. f(x)
x 2

Another thing to notice—even if the function is defined at a point, it does not necessarily
________________________________________.

PIT STOP

 A limit is the value of a function as it approaches a certain point.


 There are three types of limits: left-hand, right-hand, and “total.”

 In order for the “total limit” to exist, the left-hand and right-hand limits
must be equal.

 A function does not necessarily have to exist at a point for the limit to exist.

 Even if the function does exist at a point, it may be different than the limit.

YAY CALCULUS
E. “Vertical Asymptotes – Case I”__________

1. f(2)

lim
2. f(x)
x  2
lim
3. f(x)
x  2
lim
4. f(x)
x 2

Please note that a limit going to _______________ or _________________________ is different


than the limit _________________________.

F. “Vertical Asymptotes – Case II”__________


1. f(2)

lim
2. f(x)
x  2
lim
3. f(x)
x  2
lim
4. f(x)
x 2

Problem 2: In order for the “total limit” to exist, what must be true about the left-hand and
right-hand limits?
Name: ________________________________________

calculus: power practice #1


For questions 1 – 20, use the graph of f(x) below to calculate what is provided.

lim lim lim


1. f(2) 2. f(x) 3. f(x) 4. f(x)
x  2 x  2 x 2

lim lim lim


5. f(4) 6. f(x) 7. f(x) 8. f(x)
x  4 x  4 x 4

lim lim lim


9. f(5) 10. f(x) 11. f(x) 12. f(x)
x  5 x  5 x 5

lim lim lim


13. f(8) 14. f(x) 15. f(x) 16. f(x)
x  8 x  8 x 8

lim lim lim


17. f(10) 18.  f(x) 19.  f(x) 20. f(x)
x  10 x  10 x  10
PERFECT TEN
Calculus – Class 1

1. What is the slope of a line perpendicular 2. The graph of y = x2017 has which of the
to 2x + 3y = 6 ? following symmetries? Circle ALL that
apply.

x-axis y-axis origin

3. State the difference quotient. 4. What is the domain of y = 4 - x ? State


using interval notation.

5. What is the average rate of change of the


19π
6. Give an angle coterminal to radians.
cubic function on the interval [1, 4] ? 6

7. Evaluate: 4 sec 120°. 8. What is the period of y = 2 cos 4x + 6 ?

9. Give the Pythagorean identity involving 10. For what values of x on the unit circle is
the cosecant and cotangent functions. 3
sin x = – ?
2