# Points, Vectors, and Functions Introduction

If calculus seems as intimidating as a bear standing on its haunches considering which part of you to eat first, you aren't alone. The biggest key to tackling this beast is understanding the tools mathematicians, scientists, and engineers use in their endeavors with calculus; the most important concepts are functions, points, and vectors. With these tools, we won't need to run or possibly suffer an untimely demise. Instead, we'll be able to stand tall and tame the calculus bear.

Depending on your previous math classes, you may or may not have seen these tools before. Depending on your memory, you may or may not remember them if you have (we find that most people have to see a math idea two or three or four times before it sticks). Either way, we want to make sure it sticks this time, so we won't leave you stranded in the woods, fearful for your safety.

The goodies in this section include:

• A zoo of different species of functions and some useful words for describing them. If you make friends with them, they might help you fight off the bear.

• More interesting kinds of functions. With the help of vectors, functions are no longer restricted to taking one number in and putting one number out, now functions can take in and put out multiple numbers. If you don't like them, these exotic creatures might make tasty bear feed.

• Parametric, vector, and polar functions, which are all sort of the same thing. It's kind of like talking to a multilingual parrot: he'll repeat what you say to him in different ways.