# At a Glance - Functions Are Your Friend

Functions are machines. Plug the independent variable into the machine and it spits out the dependent variable.

### Sample Problem

If *y* = *f*(*x*) = *x* + 1, then as *x* gets larger (moves right), *y* gets larger also (moves up). As *x* gets smaller (moves left), *y* gets smaller also (moves down).

Here's something to play with: see what happens to *y* as we make *x* larger or smaller.

### Sample Problem

If *y* = *f*(*x*) = 1 – *x*, then as *x* gets larger (moves right), *y* gets smaller (moves down). As *x* gets smaller (moves right), *y* gets larger (moves up).

### Sample Problem

Say *y* = *f*(*x*) = *x*^{2}. We start *x* at -5. As *x* moves right, *y* gets smaller until *x* reaches 0. If, starting at 0, we keep moving *x* to the right, *y* starts getting bigger again.

With this function, in order to say whether *y* is increasing or decreasing as we play with *x*, we need to know two things: whether *x* is to the left or the right of zero, and whether *x* is being moved to the right or left.

#### Exercise 1

Let *y* = *f*(*x*) = -*x*^{2} + 1. If *x* is greater than zero, and getting larger, is *y* getting larger or smaller?

#### Exercise 2

Let *y* = *f*(*x*) = -*x*^{2} + 1. If *x* is greater than zero, and getting smaller, is *y* getting larger or smaller?

#### Exercise 3

Let *y* = *f*(*x*) = -*x*^{2} + 1. If *x* is less than zero, and getting smaller, is *y* getting larger or smaller?

#### Exercise 4

Let *y* = *f*(*x*) = -*x*^{2} + 1. If *x* is less than zero, and getting larger, is *y* getting larger or smaller?

#### Exercise 5

Let *y* = *f*(*x*) = -*x*^{2} + 1. As *x* gets close to zero, what does *y* approach?