You are on page 1of 29

# Advanced Functions Lecture Notes One

## Chapter One Polynomial and Rational Functions

1.1 Functions
Definition of Function:
A function is a so called one-on-one relation, such that each element of a set (the
domain) is associated with a unique element of another (possibly the same) set (the
range). A function is usually denoted by y = f(x), where x is the independent variable, and
y the dependent variable. The domain of a function contains all possible values of x,
denoted by D, and the range, denoted by R, is the set of all possible values of y.

## Vertical Line Test:

We can use the vertical line test to determine whether a relation is a function. A relation
is a function if there are no vertical lines that intersect the graph at more than one point.

## Example 1.1-1 Domain and Range

State whether each relation is a function. Find the domain and the range (if possible):
a) y x 2 4
It is a function. The domain is D {x x 2 or x 2 } . The Range is R { y y 0 }
b) y

x2 1
( x 2) 16 x 2

## There are three factors in the function. In the numerator, x2 1 0 so x 1 or x 1 ; In

the denominator x 2 implies that x 2 ; 16 x2 means that 4 x 4 . The three
restraints together produce the domain D { x 4 x 2 or 2 x 1 or 1 x 4 }
c) x 2 y 2 4
This is not a function since there are always two y values corresponding to one single x
value when 2 x 2 .

## Four Ways to Represent a Function:

There are usually four ways to represent a function: algebraically by a formula, visually
by a plot or graph, numerically by a table, or verbally by a description of its properties.

## Example 1.1-2 The Rule of Four

Use the four ways to represent the function that describe converting temperature from
degree Celsius to degree Fahrenheit.

Solution
1. Algebraically: F 1.8C 32 , where F is degree Fahrenheit and C is degree
Celsius.
2. Visually:
y
60
50
40
30
20
10
x
-70

-60

-50

-40

-30

-20

-10

10

20

30

40

50

60

70

-10
-20
-30
-40
-50
-60
-70

3. Numerically:
Degree Celsius
Degree Fahrenheit

40
40

30
22

20
4

10
14

0
32

10
50

20
68

30
86

40
104

## 4. Verbally: To convert from degree Celsius to degree Fahrenheit, multiply degree

Celsius by 1.8, and then add 32.

## The Symmetry of Functions

A function f(x) is called an even function if f ( x) f ( x) , an odd function if
f ( x) f ( x) . The graph of an even function is symmetric about the y axis. The graph
of an odd function is rotationally symmetric about the origin.

## Example 1.1-3 The Symmetry of Functions

Determine whether each function is even, odd, or neither. Then, graph the function on
interval x 5 .
a) y 2 x

b) f ( x) 1 x 2

d) g ( x) 0.5 x 2

c) y x( x 2 4)

Solution
a) Since f ( x) 2 x 2 x f ( x) , so y 2 x is an even function.
b) Since f ( x) 1 ( x)2 1 x2 f ( x) , so f ( x) 1 x 2 is even, too.
c) Since f ( x) ( x)(( x)2 4) x( x 2 4) f ( x) , so the function is odd.
d) Since g ( x) 0.5 x 2 0.5 ( x 2) 0.5 x 2 , that neither equals to
g ( x) , nor g ( x) . Therefore, the function is neither even nor odd.

1y

-4

-3

-2

-1

-1

-2

-3
-4

-5
-6

-7
-8

-9
-10
-11

-12
-13

-14
-15

-16
-17

-18
-19
x

-4

-3

-2

-1

-20

-21
-1

-22
-23
-24

-2

y2 x

f ( x) 1 x 2

19
18 y
17
16
15
14
13
12
11
10
9
8
7
6
5
4
3
2
1

x
-6

-5

-4

-3

-2

-1

-1
x

-4

-3

-2

-1

-1
-2
-3
-4
-5
-6
-7
-8
-9
-10
-11
-12
-13
-14
-15
-16
-17
-18
-19
-20

y x( x 2 4)

5
-2

-3

-4

-5

g ( x) 0.5 x 2

## 1.2 Polynomial Functions and Their Graphs

Polynomial functions are functions that have this form:
f(x) = anxn + an-1xn-1 + ... + a1x + a0
The value of n must be an nonnegative integer. That is, it must be whole number; it is
equal to zero or a positive integer. The coefficients, as they are called, are an, an-1, ..., a1,
a0. These are real numbers. an, is the leading coefficient and a0 is the constant coefficient.
The degree of the polynomial function is the highest value for n where an is not equal to
0. So, the degree of g(x) = 2.5x5 + 5.2x2 + 7 is 5.
Notice that the second to the last term in this form actually has x raised to an exponent of
1, as in: f(x) = anxn + an-1xn-1 + ... + a1x + a0. Of course, usually we do not show
exponents of 1. Also, notice that the last term in this form actually has x raised to an
exponent of 0, as in: f(x) = anxn + an-1xn-1 + ... + a1x + a0. Of course, x raised to a power
of 0 makes it equal to 1, and we usually do not show multiplications by 1.
Here are two more polynomial functions and their graphs; notice that the coefficients can
be positive or negative real numbers.
a) f(x) = 3.7x4 - 9.2x2 + 0.1x - 5.2

## b) g(x) = 2x3 -8.1x2+ 4.6x+5

9y
8

19
18 y
17
16
15
14
13
12
11
10
9
8
7
6
5
4
3
2
1

7
6
5
4
3
2
1
x
-1

-2

-1

-1
-2
-3
-4
-5
-6
-7
-8
-9
-10
-11
-12
-13
-14
-15
-16
-17
-18
-19
-20

(a)

-1

x
3

-2
-3
-4
-5
-6
-7
-8
-9
-10

(b)

The domain of a polynomial function is always the set of all the real numbers unless it is
specified. The graph of a polynomial function is continuous, that is, there are no breaks in
the graph. Polynomial functions can have four types of end behaviour. Both right-most
and left-most y values may be positive (see the graph (a) above), or both may be negative.
Right-most and left-most y values may be of opposite signs (see the graph (b) above). An
even-degree polynomial must have one of the first two kinds of end behaviour. An odddegree polynomial function must have one of the last two kinds.
A degree-n polynomial function could have at most n x intercepts, and if n is even the
polynomial could have no any x intercept at all, and if n is odd, the polynomial must have
at least one x-intercept since its right-most and left-most y values are of opposite sighs.
4

## Advanced Functions Lecture Notes One

The number of x-intercepts of a polynomial function y f ( x) equals to the number of
roots of the corresponding polynomial equation. f ( x) 0 .

## 1.3 Rational Functions and Their Graphs

A rational function is basically a division of two polynomial functions. That is, it is a
polynomial divided by another polynomial. In formal notation, a rational function would
s ( x)
be symbolized like this: f ( x)
, where s(x) and t(x) are polynomial functions, and
t ( x)
t(x) can not equal zero.

## Example 1.3-1 The Domain, x-intercepts and y-intercept of a Rational Function

Find the domain, x-intercepts and y-intercept of the following rational function:
x 2 x 20
f ( x) 2
x 3x 18

Solution
To understand the behavior of a rational function it is very useful to see its polynomials
in factored form. The polynomials in the numerator and the denominator of the above
function would factor like this:
( x 5)( x 4)
f ( x)
( x 3)( x 6)
Now the roots of the denominator are obviously x = 3 and x = 6. That is, if x takes on
either of these two values, the denominator becomes equal to zero. Since one can not
divide by zero, the function is not defined for these two values of x. We say that the
function is discontinuous at x = 3 and x = 6.
Other values for x do not cause the function to become undefined, so, we say that the
function is continuous at all other values for x. In other words, all real numbers except 3
and 6 are allowed as inputs to this function. The domain for the function, therefore, as
expressed in interval notation is:
D {x x 3 or 3 x 6 or 6 x }
The x-intercepts for this function would be where the output, or y-value, equals zero. A
rational function can be considered a fraction, and a fraction is equal to zero when the
numerator is equal to zero. For our rational function example this happens when the
polynomial in the numerator is equal to zero, and this will happen at the roots of this
polynomial. The roots of the numerator polynomial are x = 5 and x = 4. That is, when x
takes on either of these two values the numerator becomes zero, and the output of the
function, or y-value, also becomes zero.

## Advanced Functions Lecture Notes One

So, the x-intercepts for this rational function are x = -5 and x = 4. Notice that the function
is defined at these two values. (It is only not defined at x = 3 and x = 6.) That makes
these true x-intercepts. If the function was not defined at x = 4 because 4 was a root of the
denominator polynomial, (which it is not in our example here), then x = 4 would not be
an x-intercept even though it made the numerator equal to zero. One can not have an xintercept for a function at a point where the function does not exist!
What about the y-intercept? Well, they occur where the input, or x, value equals zero. If
we look at our first un-factored form for this function, expressed in 'y =' form, we have:
x 2 x 20
f ( x) 2
x 3x 18
Now, setting x = 0 we get:
(0)2 (0) 20 10
y f (0) 2
1.11
(0) 3(0) 18 9
That is, the graph crosses the y-axis at y = 10/9 (about 1.11). Notice that when you
express the polynomials of a rational function in standard form, then the y-intercept is
simply the ratio of the final terms (or the constant coefficients) for the two polynomials.

## Graph a Rational Function

To graph a rational function, you find the asymptotes and the intercepts, plot a few points,
and then sketch in the graph. Once you get the swing of things, rational are actually fairly
simple to graph.

## Example 1.3-2 Graphing a Rational Function

Graph the following:

2x 5
x 1

Solution
First we'll find the vertical asymptotes, if any, for this rational function. Since we can't
graph where the function doesn't exist, and since the function won't exist where there
would be a zero in the denominator, we'll set the denominator equal to zero to find any
forbidden points: x 1 = 0 or x = 1. So we can't have x = 1, and therefore we have a
vertical asymptote there:

## Advanced Functions Lecture Notes One

Next we'll find the horizontal or slant asymptote. Since the numerator and denominator
have the same degree (they're both linear), the asymptote will be horizontal, not slant, and
the horizontal asymptote will be the result of dividing the leading coefficients: y = 2/1 = 2.
we'll draw this in, too:

## Next, we'll find any x- or y-intercepts.

x = 0: y = (0 + 5)/(0 1) = 5/1 = 5
y = 0: 0 = (2x + 5)/(x 1) or 0 = 2x + 5 or 5 = 2x, thus 2.5 = x
Then the intercepts are at (0, 5) and (2.5, 0). We'll sketch these in graph.
Now we'll pick a few more x-values, compute the corresponding y-values, and plot a few
more points.
x
6
3
1
2
3
6
8

y =(2x + 5)/(x 1)
(2(6) + 5)/((6) 1) = (12 + 5)/(7) = (7)/(7) = 1
(2(3) + 5)/((3) 1) = (6 + 5)/(4) = (1)/(4) = 0.25
(2(1) + 5)/((1) 1) = (2 + 5)/(2) = (3)/(2) = 1.5
(2(2) + 5)/((2) 1) = (4 + 5)/(1) = (9)/(1) = 9
(2(3) + 5)/((3) 1) = (6 + 5)/(2) = (11)/(2) = 5.5
(2(6) + 5)/((6) 1) = (12 + 5)/(5) = (17)/(5) = 3.4
(2(8) + 5)/((8) 1) = (16 + 5)/(7) = (21)/(7) = 3

You'll note that we mostly picked x-values near the middle of the graph. Because of the
horizontal asymptote, we already have a good idea of what the graph does off to the sides.
(It can be a good idea to do a point or two near the ends anyway, as a check on your
work.) Also, since we had no intercepts on the right-hand side of the vertical asymptote
to give us hints as to what was happening with the graph, we needed more points there to
show us what was going on. Now we'll plot these points (see Figure (a) below), then we
can connect the dots (see Figure (b) below): When you draw your graph, make sure you
show the graph continuing off to the sides.

## Advanced Functions Lecture Notes One

11 y
10
11 y

10

3
2

1
-11 -10 -9

-8

-7

-6

-5

-4

-3

-2

-1

x
10 11 12

-1

-11 -10 -9

-8

-7

-6

-5

-4

-3

-2

-1

10

x
11 12

-1

-2
-2

-3

-3

-4

-4

-5

-5

-6

-6

-7

-7

(a)

(b)

Note: Your calculator may display a misleading graph for a rational function. When you
graph, you plot some points and then connect them. Your calculator does the same thing.
But you're smart enough to know not to cross a vertical asymptote. Your calculator isn't.

## Example 1.3-3 Graphing another Rational Function

Graph the following:

x3 8
x2 5x 6

## First we'll find any vertical asymptotes:

x2 + 5x + 6 = 0
or
(x + 3)(x + 2) = 0,
So x = 3, x = 2 are two vertical asymptotes.
Now we'll look for the horizontal or slant asymptote. The numerator is a cubic (that is, it
has degree three) and the denominator is a quadratic (that is, it has degree two). Since the
numerator is of greater degree, then this graph has a slant asymptote. We'll use long
division to find the equation of the slant asymptote:

## Advanced Functions Lecture Notes One

Then the slant asymptote is the line y = x 5. Well draw this in the graph below.
Now we'll find any intercepts:
x = 0: y = (0 8)/(0 + 0 + 6) = 4/3
y = 0: 0 = (x3 8)/(x2 + 5x + 6) or 0 = x3 8 = (x 2)(x2 + 2x + 4)
Thus 0 = x 2

or x = 2

Remember that the x2 + 2x + 4 factor has no solutions, so we can't get any x-intercepts
from it. Therefore the intercepts are at (0, 4/3) and (2, 0).
This still leaves a lot of the graph unaccounted for. In order to be sure of what is going on
here, we'll plot quite a few more points.
x
y

8
17.33

5
22.17

4
36

3.5
67.83

2.9
359.88

2.5
94.5

2.4
90.933

x
y

2.1
191.789

1.9
135.08

1.5
15.167

1
4.5

4
1.333

7
3.722

10
6.359

Some of those y-values are pretty darned huge. We plot these points together with the
asymptotes and the intercepts as below.

## Advanced Functions Lecture Notes One

It used to be highly unusual for a graph to have such large y-values, but now that many
students are trying to get by with just copying the pictures from their graphing calculators,
problems are being written with graphing calculators in mind. Much of the above graph
(especially the middle part) would not show up on the graphing calculator, so a lazy
student would be "caught" when he didn't include that middle part in his graph.
For this reason, you shouldn't be surprised occasionally to encounter graphs with very
large y-values. When this happens, just adjust your axis scales. We can leave the x-axis
scale fairly small (counting by 2's), but changed the y-axis scale to something large
(counting by 50's). Don't think that the axis scales always have to be the same, or that you
always have to count by 1's. Be prepared to be flexible.

## 1.4 Solving Polynomial and Rational Equations

The fundamental theorem of algebra states that every non-zero single-variable
polynomial equation, with complex coefficients, has exactly as many complex roots as its
degree, if repeated roots are counted up to their multiplicity

Factor = Root
Make sure you arent confused by the terminology. All of these are the same:
Solving a polynomial equation p(x) = 0
Finding roots of a polynomial equation p(x) = 0
Finding zeroes of a polynomial function p(x)
Factoring a polynomial function p(x)
Theres a factor for every root, and vice versa. (x r) is a factor if and only if r is a root.
This is the Factor Theorem: finding the roots or finding the factors is essentially the same
thing. (The main difference is how you treat a constant factor.)

Step by Step
How do you find the factors or zeroes of a polynomial (or the roots of a polynomial
equation)? Basically, you whittle. Every time you chip a factor or root off the polynomial,
youre left with a polynomial that is one degree simpler. Use that new reduced
polynomial to find the remaining factors or roots.
Follow this procedure step by step:
1. If solving an equation, put it in standard form with 0 on one side and simplify.
2. Know how many roots to expect.
3. Find one factor or root. This is the hard part, but there are lots of techniques to help
you.

10

## Advanced Functions Lecture Notes One

4. Divide by your factor. This leaves you with a new reduced polynomial whose degree is
1 less.
5. For the rest of the problem, youll work with the reduced polynomial and not the
original. If the reduced polynomial has degree 3 or higher, go back to step 3;
otherwise continue to step 5.
6. Now youre down to a quadratic or linear equation, which you already know how to
solve.
7. If this was an equation to solve, write down the roots. If it was a polynomial to factor,
write it in factored form, including any constant factors you took out in step 1.

## Cubic and Quartic Equations

The methods given here find a rational root and use synthetic division are the
easiest. For if you cant find a rational root, there are special methods for cubic equations
(degree 3) and quartic equations (degree 4).
Fred Worths Cubic and Quartic Formulas page is less graphics heavy than those at
Mathworld.
There is no general algebraic method for solving an equation of degree 5 or higher, unless
you can find a rational root.

## Standard Form and Simplify

This is an easy step easy to overlook, unfortunately. If you have a polynomial
equation, put all terms on one side and 0 on the other. And whether its a factoring
problem or an equation to solve, put your polynomial in standard form, from highest to
lowest power.
For instance, you cannot solve this equation in this form:
x + 6x + 12x = 8
You must change it to this form:
x+ 6x+ 12x + 8 = 0
Also make sure you have simplified, by factoring out any common factors. This may
include factoring out a 1 so that the highest power has a positive coefficient. Example:
to factor
7 6x 15x 2x
begin by putting it in standard form:
2x 15x 6x + 7
and then factor out the 1
(2x + 15x + 6x 7)
If youre solving an equation, you can throw away any common constant factor. But if
youre factoring a polynomial, you must keep the common factor.

11

## Advanced Functions Lecture Notes One

For example, to solve 8x+ 16x + 8 = 0, you can divide left and right by the common
factor 8. The equation x+ 2x + 1 = 0 is identical to the original equation. To factor 8x+
16x + 8, you recognize the common factor of 8 and rewrite the polynomial as 8(x+ 2x +
1), which is identical to the original polynomial

## How Many Roots?

A polynomial of degree n will have n complex roots, some of which may be multiple
roots.
How do you know this is true? The Fundamental Theorem of Algebra tells you that the
polynomial has at least one root. The Factor Theorem tells you that if r is a root then
(x r) is a factor. But if you divide a polynomial of degree n by a factor (x r) whose
degree is 1, you get a polynomial of degree n 1. Repeatedly applying the Fundamental
Theorem and Factor Theorem gives you n roots and n factors.

## Descartes Rule of Signs

Descartes Rule of Signs can tell you how many positive and how many negative real
zeroes the polynomial has. This is a big labor-saving device, especially when youre
deciding which possible rational roots to pursue.
To apply Descartes Rule of Signs, you need to understand the term variation in sign.
When the polynomial is arranged in standard form, a variation in sign occurs when the
sign of a coefficient is different from the sign of the preceding coefficient. (A zero
coefficient is ignored.) For example, p(x) = x5 2x3 + 2x2 3x + 12 has four variations
in sign.
Descartes Rule of Signs:
The number of positive roots of p(x) = 0 is either equal to the number of variations in sign
of p(x), or less than that by an even number.
The number of negative roots of p(x) = 0 is either equal to the number of variations in
sign of p(x), or less than that by an even number.
Example: Consider p(x) above. Since it has four variations in sign, there must be either
four positive roots, two positive roots, or no positive roots.
Now form p(x), by replacing x with (x) in the above:
p(x) = (x)5 2(x)3 + 2(x)2 3(x) + 12
p(x) = x5 + 2x3 + 2x2+3x + 12

12

## Advanced Functions Lecture Notes One

p(x) has one variation in sign, and therefore the original p(x) has one negative root.
Since you know that p(x) must have a negative root, but it may or may not have any
positive roots, you would look first for negative roots.
p(x) is a fifth-degree polynomial, and therefore it must have five zeros. Since x is not a
factor, you know that x = 0 is not a zero of the polynomial. (For a polynomial with real
coefficients, like this one, complex roots occur in pairs.) Therefore there are three
possibilities:
Number of zeroes that are
Positive
Negative
Complex not Real
4
1
0
First possibility
2
1
2
Second possibility
0
1
4
Third possibility

Complex Roots
If a polynomial has real coefficients, then either all roots are real or there are an even
number of non-real complex roots, in conjugate pairs.
For example, if 5 + 2i is a zero of a polynomial with real coefficients, then 5 2i must
also be a zero of that polynomial. It is equally true that if ( x 5 2i) is a factor then
( x 5 2i) is also a factor.
Why is this true? Because when you have a factor with an imaginary part and multiply it
by its complex conjugate you get a real result:

( x 5 2i)( x 5 2i) x2 10 x 25 4i 2 x 2 10 x 29
If ( x 5 2i) was a factor but ( x 5 2i) was not, then the polynomial would end up
with imaginaries in its coefficients, no matter what the other factors might be. If the
polynomial has only real coefficients, then any complex roots must occur in conjugate
pairs.

Irrational Roots
For similar reasons, if the polynomial has rational coefficients then the irrational roots
involving square roots occur (if at all) in conjugate pairs. If x 2 3 is a factor of a

polynomial with rational coefficients, then x 2 3 must also be a factor. (To see
why, remember how you rationalize a binomial denominator; or just check what happens
when you multiply those two factors.)

13

## Advanced Functions Lecture Notes One

As Jeff Beckman pointed out (20 June 2006), this is emphatically not true for odd roots.
For instance, x2 = 0 has three roots, 3 2 and two complex roots.
Its an interesting problem whether irrationals involving even roots of order greater or
equal to 4 must also occur in conjugate pairs. An immediate answer is not available yet.
Some scholars are still working on a proof.

Multiple Roots
When a given factor (x r) occurs m times in a polynomial, r is called a multiple root or
a root of multiplicity m. If the multiplicity m is an even number, the graph touches the x
axis at x = r but does not cross it. If the multiplicity m is an odd number, the graph
crosses the x axis at x = r. If the multiplicity is 3, 5, 7, and so on, the graph is horizontal
at the point where it crosses the axis.
For examples, compare these two polynomials and their graphs:
f(x) = (x1)(x4)2 = x3 9x2 + 24x 16
g(x) = (x1)3(x4)2 = x5 11x4 + 43x3 73x2 + 56x 16
These polynomials have the same zeroes, but the root 1 occurs with different
multiplicities. Look at the graphs:

Both polynomials have zeroes at 1 and 4 only. f(x) has degree 3, which means three roots.
You see from the factors that 1 is a root of multiplicity 1 and 4 is a root of multiplicity 2.
Therefore the graph crosses the axis at x = 1 (but is not horizontal there) and touches at
x 4 without crossing.
By contrast, g(x) has degree 5. (g(x) = f(x) times (x-1)2.) Of the five roots, 1 occurs with
multiplicity 3: the graph crosses the axis at x = 1 and is horizontal there; 4 occurs with
multiplicity 2, and the graph touches the axis at x = 4 without crossing.

## Find One Factor or Root

This step is the heart of factoring a polynomial or solving a polynomial equation. There
are a lot of techniques that can help you to find a factor.
14

## Advanced Functions Lecture Notes One

Sometimes you can find factors by inspection (see the first two sections that follow). This
provides a great shortcut, so check for easy factors before starting more strenuous
methods.

Monomial Factors
Always start by looking for any monomial factors you can see. For instance, if your
function is
f(x) = 4x6 + 12x5 + 12x4 + 4x3
you should immediately factor it as
f(x) = 4x3(x3 + 3x2 + 3x + 1)
Getting the 4 out of there simplifies the remaining numbers, the x 3 gives you a root of
x 0 (with multiplicity 3), and now you have only a cubic polynomial (degree 3) instead
of a sextic (degree 6). In fact, you should now recognize that cubic as a special product,
the perfect cube (x + 1)3.
When you factor out a common variable factor, be sure you remember it at the end when
youre listing the factor or roots. x+3x+3x+1 = 0 has certain roots, but
x(x+3x+3x+1)= 0 has those same roots and also a root at x = 0.

Special Products
becomes much easier. The Special Products are
Perfect Square (2 forms): A2AB + B= (A B)
Sum of Squares: A+ Bcannot be factored on the reals
Difference of Squares: A B = (A + B)(A B)
Perfect Cube (2 forms): A3AB + 3AB B= (A B)
Sum of Cubes: A + B = (A + B)(A AB + B)
Difference of Cubes: A B = (A B)(A + AB + B)
The expressions for the sum or difference of two cubes look as though they ought to
factor further, but they dont. AAB+B is prime over the reals.

## Example 1.4-1 Factoring with Special Products

Factor (i) p(x) = 27x 64

Solution

15

## Advanced Functions Lecture Notes One

(i) You should recognize this as p(x) = 27x 64 = (3x) 4. You know how to factor
the difference of two cubes: p(x) = (3x4)(9x+12x+16). As soon as you get down to a
(ii) This is just a perfect square trinomial, but in x3 instead of x. You factor it exactly the
same way: q(x) = x6 + 16x3 + 64 = (x3)2 + 2(8)(x3) + 82
Therefore q(x) = (x3 + 8)2. Then, you can easily factor (x3 + 8)2 as (x+2)2(x22x+4)2.

Rational Roots
Assuming youve already factored out the easy monomial factors and special products,
what do you do if youve still got a polynomial of degree 3 or higher?
The answer is the Rational Root Test. It can show you some candidate roots when you
dont see how to factor the polynomial, as follows.
Consider a polynomial in standard form, written from highest degree to lowest and with
only integer coefficients:
f(x) = anxn + an-1xn-1 + ... + a1x + a0
The Rational Root Theorem tells you that if the polynomial has a rational zero then it
must be a fraction p/q, where p is a factor of the trailing constant a0 and q is a factor of

## Example 1.4-2 Factoring with the Rational Root Theorem

Factor p(x) = 2x4 11x3 6x2 + 64x + 32
The factors of the leading coefficient (2) are 2 and 1. By the rational root theorem, the
factors of the constant coefficient (32) are 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, and 32. Therefore the possible
rational zeroes are 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, or 32 divided by 2 or 1:
1/2, 1/1, 2/2, 2/1, 4/2, 4/1, 8/2, 8/1, 16/2, 16/1, 32/2, 32/1
reduced: 1/2, 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32
By the trial and error method, when x = 2, p(2) = 0, so (x+2) is a factor of p(x), using
synthetic division or long division, p(x) is divided by (x+2), get a quotient q(x) = 2x3
15x2 + 24x + 16, so p(x) = (x+2)q(x) = (x+2)(2x3 15x2 + 24x + 16).
Apply the rational root theorem to q(x) and use the trial and error method, we can get
q(4)=0, so (x4) is a factor of q(x). By synthetic division or long division,
q(x)=(x4)(2x2 7x4).

16

## Advanced Functions Lecture Notes One

Using the cross multiplication method, we can easily break (2x2 7x4) into two factors
(2x+1) and (x4).
Therefore p(x) = (x+2)(2x+1)(x4)2.

## Example 1.4-3 Complete Roots

Solve for all complex roots: 4x + 15x 36 = 0

Solution
Step 1. The equation is already in standard form, with only zero on one side, and powers
of x from highest to lowest. There are no common factors.
Step 2. Since the equation has degree 3, there will be 3 roots. There is one variation in
sign, and from Descartes Rule of Signs you know there must be one positive root.
Examine the polynomial with x replacing x:
4x 15x 36
There are no variations in sign, which means there are no negative roots. The other two
roots must therefore be complex conjugates.
Steps 3 and 4. The possible rational roots are unfortunately rather numerous: any of 1, 2,
3, 4, 6, 9, 12, 18, 36 divided by any of 4, 2, 1. (Only positive roots are listed because you
have already determined that there are no negative roots for this equation.) You decide to
try 1 first:
1 | 4 0 15 -36
|
4 4 19
|----------------4 4 19 -17
1 is not a root, so you test 2:
2 | 4 0 15 -36
|
8 16 62
|----------------4 8 31 26
Alas, 2 is not a root either. But notice that f(1) = 17 and f(2) = 26. They have opposite
signs, which means that the graph crosses the x axis between x=1 and x=2, and a root is
between 1 and 2. (In this case its the only root, since you have determined that there is
one positive root and there are no negative roots.)

17

## Advanced Functions Lecture Notes One

The only possible rational root between 1 and 2 is 3/2, and therefore either 3/2 is a root or
the root is irrational. You try 3/2 by synthetic division:
3/2 | 4 0 15 -36
|
6 9 36
|----------------4 6 24 0
So 3/2 is a root. The reduced polynomial is 4x+ 6x + 24. In other words,
(4x + 15x 36) (x3/2) = 4x + 6x + 24
The reduced polynomial has degree 2, so there is no need for more trial and error, and
you continue to step 5.
Step 5. Now you must solve 4x+ 6x + 24 = 0
First divide out the common factor of 2: 2x+ 3x + 12 = 0
Its no use trying to factor that quadratic, because you determined using Descartes Rule
of Signs that there are no more real roots. So you use the quadratic formula:

3 9 4(2)(12) 3 87
3
87

i
2(2)
4
4
4

Step 6. Remember that you found a root in an earlier step. The full list of roots is
3
3
87
3
87
,
i,
i
2
4
4
4
4

## 1.5 Solving Polynomial and Rational Inequalities

Polynomial Inequalities
The first step in solving a polynomial inequality is to find the polynomial's zeroes (xintercepts). Between any pair of consecutive zeroes, the polynomial will be either
positive or negative. Since the inequality is asking for positivity ("greater than zero") or
negativity ("less than zero"), finding the intercepts ("equal to zero") is the way to get
started. If you think of the problem graphically, the zeroes are where the polynomial
crosses the x-axis; between any two consecutive crossing-points, the polynomial will
either be above the axis (and thus positive) or below it (and thus negative).

18

## Example 1.5-1 Solving Polynomial Inequality

Find the solution: (x + 4)(x 2)(x 7) > 0

Solution
Since they've already factored this polynomial, much of my work is already done. So
we'll go straight to finding the zeroes, by setting each factor equal to zero and solving:
x + 4 = 0, so x = 4;

x 2 = 0, so x = 2;

x 7 = 0, so x = 7

These three zeroes divide the x-axis into four intervals: (infinity, 4), (4, 2), (2, 7), and
(7, +infinity). We need to figure out on which of these intervals the polynomial's graph is
above the x-axis. If we'd multiplied the factors, w'd have ended up with a positive cubic
polynomial, and we know what such a cubic looks like: it starts down on the left, comes
up toward the axis, and eventually zooms upward on the right, with a bit of flexture in the
middle, something like this:
From this knowledge, we know that the polynomial can be above the axis ("greater than
zero") only on the second and fourth interval, so we can go straight to the solution:
(4, 2), (7, )
You can verify this solution from the graph:

As you can see, being familiar with polynomials and their shapes can make your life
simpler for some of these problems. But what if you haven't learned about their shapes, or
if the polynomial is more complicated, or if you have to "show your reasoning"? The
answer is using the "factor method".
The factors give us the zeroes of the polynomial, and the zeroes give us the following
intervals of positivity and negativity: (infinity, 4), (4, 2), (2, 7), and (7, +infinity). We
just need to figure out which invervals are positive and which are negative. We've got
three factors, so We'll draw up a table of factors with the intervals marked off:
This table has a row for each of the factors, a row for the number line, and a row for the
polynomial. Each row is divided into columns, with each column corresponding to an
interval on the number line.

19

## Advanced Functions Lecture Notes One

Now we'll figure out where each factor is positive. (Each factor will be negative wherever
it isn't positive.)
x + 4 > 0 for x > 4; x 2 > 0 for x > 2;

## x 7 > 0 for x > 7

We'll mark in the table the intervals where each of the factors is positive, ... and then we
mark the factors as being negative everywhere else:
The factors multiply together to create the polynomial; the signs of the factors multiply
together to give the sign of the polynomial. So we'll multiply the signs of the factors on
each interval to find the overall sign of the polynomial on that interval:

(In the first interval, from negative infinity to 4, there were three "minus" signs, and the
product of three negatives is a negative. In the second interval, from 4 to 2, there were
two "minus" signs, and the product of two negatives is a positive. And so forth.)
Now we can read the solution off the table. We need the intervals where the polynomial
is positive, so we'll pick the intervals that have a "plus" sign in them:
The easiest solution method for polynomial inequalities is using what you know about
polynomial shapes, but the shape isn't always enough to give you the answer. The testpoint method from some books will give you the answer eventually, but it can be a lot of
work. The factor-table method is quicker than test points and, since no computations are
involved, it's less prone to error. So unless your instructor insists that you use the testpoint method, try to learn the factor-table method. It'll make your life a lot easier.

Rational Inequalities
Solving rational inequalities is very similar to solving polynomial inequalities. But
because rational expressions have denominators (and therefore may have places where
they're not defined), you have to be a little more careful in finding your solutions.
To solve a rational inequality, you first find the zeroes (from the numerator) and the
undefined points (from the denominator). You use these zeroes and undefined points to
divide the number line into intervals. Then you find the sign of the rational on each
interval.

20

## Example 1.5-2 Solving Rational Inequality

Solve the following:

x 2 3x 2
0
x 2 16

Solution
First, we'll factor everything:

x 2 3x 2 ( x 2)( x 1)

x 2 16
( x 4)( x 4)

This polynomial fraction will be zero wherever the numerator is zero, so we'll set the
numerator equal to zero and solve:
(x + 2)(x + 1) = 0;

x + 2 = 0 or x + 1 = 0;

x = 2 or x = 1

The fraction will be undefined wherever the denominator is zero, so we'll set the
denominator equal to zero and solve:
(x + 4)(x 4) = 0;

x + 4 = 0 or x 4 = 0;

x = 4 or x = 4

These four values, 4, 2, 1, and 4, divide the number line into five intervals, namely:
(infinity, 4), (4, 2), (2, 1), (1, 4), and (4, +infinity).
we could use "test points" to find the solution to the inequality, by picking an x-value in
each interval, plugging it into the original rational expression, simplifying to get a
numerical answer, and then checking the sign, but that process gets long and annoying
(and is prone to errors), so we'll use the easier and faster factor-table method instead.
Our table has one row for each factor, a row for the number line, and a row for the
rational expression. Each row is split into columns, with each column corresponding to
an interval on the number line.
The sign of the rational expression is a result of the signs of its various factors, so we
need to find where each factor is positive:
x + 4 > 0 for x > 4;
x + 1 > 0 for x > 1;

## x + 2 > 0 for x > 2

x 4 > 0 for x > 4

Now we can put "plus" signs on the intervals in each row where that row's factor is
positive. Wherever a factor isn't positive, it's negative, so we'll put "minus" signs in the
other intervals of each row. Multiplying the signs down the columns, we get the overall
sign on the original rational expression on each interval:

21

## Advanced Functions Lecture Notes One

Then the rational is positive on the intervals (infinity, 4), (2, 1), and (4, +infinity).
But this is an "or equal to" inequality, so we need to consider the interval endpoints, too.
If this were a polynomial inequality, we could just throw all the interval endpoints into
the solution, and we'd be done. For rationals, though, we have to be careful not to add
anything that would cause division by zero.
The interval endpoints are 4, 2, 1, and 4. I can include 2 and 1 in the solution,
because they just make the expression equal to zero by making the numerator zero. But
plugging in 4 or 4 would cause division by zero, making the rational expression
undefined, so we can't include these values in the solution.
Then the full solution is: (, 4), [2, 1], (4, )
If you have to write your solution in "inequality" notation, it would look like this:
x < 4, 2 < x < 1, and x > 4
Don't forget: "Infinity" is not a "number" in the way that, say, "2" is. "Infinity" cannot be
"included" in your solution, so never draw a square bracket next to an "infinity"
"endpoint".

## 2.1 Exponential and Logarithmic Functions and Their Graphs

Here well discuss the concept of inverse functions since exponential and logarithmic
Functions are mutually inverse.

22

## Advanced Functions Lecture Notes One

Inverse Functions
To find the inverse of a function (the inverse of a function is the same as reflecting a
function across the line y = x), interchange x and y and then solve for y. The inverse of
f(x) is denoted by f-1(x).

## Example 2.1-1 Finding Inverse Function

Find f-1(x) of y = 3x + 1

Solution
The equation is y = 3x + 1.
Interchange x and y. x = 3y + 1
Solve for y.
x 1 = 3y or

(x 1)/3 = y

## Therefore f-1(x) = (x 1)/3

Exponential Functions
For a > 0 and for any real number x we define ax by: ax = e x ln a
The function ax is called the exponential function with base a.
Generally, exponential functions are functions where f(x) = ax + B where the base a is
any positive real constant and B is any expression. For example, f(x) = ex 1 is an
exponential function.

## The Graphs of Exponential Functions

To graph exponential functions, remember that unless they are transformed, the graph
will always pass through (0, 1) and will approach, but not touch or cross the x-axis, since
the base a>0.

## Example 2.1-2 The Graph of an Exponential Function

Graph (i) f(x) = 2x;

## (ii) g(x) = 2x3+1

Solution
(i) Plug in numbers for x and find values for y, as we have done with the table below.
23

## Advanced Functions Lecture Notes One

x
y

0
1

1
2

2
4

3
8

Now plot the points and draw the graph (shown below).
y
y

9
9

x
-1

x
-1

-1

-1

-2

-2

(i)

(ii)

(ii) Based on the graph of (i), use transformation to shift the graph horizontally to right by
3 units, and then vertically up by 1 unit (see the graph (ii) above).

## Example 2.1-3 The Graph of Exponential Functions with Different Bases

Graph (i) f(x) = 2x;

## (iii) h(x) = (1/2)x

Solution
When the base a>1, an exponential function is an increasing function, and the y-value of
an exponential function with a larger base increases faster. When the base 0<a<1, an
exponential function is a decreasing function, and the y-value of an exponential function
with a smaller function decreases faster
The graphs of the three exponentials in the same xy-coordinate system look like below:

24

## Advanced Functions Lecture Notes One

y
9

x
-4

-3

-2

-1

-1

-2

Logarithmic functions
Logarithmic functions are the inverse of exponential functions. For example, the inverse
of y = ax is y = logax, which is the same as x = ay.
Logarithms written without a base are understood to be base 10.
log x = log10x
Logarithms written with the base e are denoted as lnx.
lnx = logex
Where the base e is an irrational number, e 2.71828 18284 59045 23536...
The definition of logarithms is explained by knowing how to convert exponential
equations to logarithmic form, and logarithmic equations to exponential form.

## The Graphs of Logarithmic Functions

Since logarithms and exponents are mutually inverses. Their graphs reflect across the line
y = x..

## Example 2.1-4 The Graph of Logarithmic Functions with Different Bases

Graph (i) f(x) = log2 x;

## (ii) g(x) = log 0.5 x

Solution
Based on the graphs in Example Three, by reflecting cross the line y = x, we can easily
draw the graphs as below:

25

y

x
-4

-3

-2

-1

-4

-3

-2

-1

-1

-1

-2

-2

-3

-3

-4

-4

-5

-5

(i)

(ii)

(i)
(ii)

## Convert 8 = 2x to logarithmic form.

Convert y = log3 5 to exponential form.

Solution
(i) Remember that the logarithm is the exponent. So the solution is x = log2.
(ii) For the same reason, the solution is 3y = 5.
The figure below is a little chart that always helped us remember how to convert from
exponential to logarithmic form and from logarithmic to exponential form.

## Sometimes you can solve equations containing logarithms by changing everything in

logarithmic form to exponential form

26

## 2.2 Evaluating Exponential and Logarithmic Expressions

In order to evaluate exponential and logarithmic Expressions, we need to know about
some properties of the two function families.

## The Laws of Exponents

For any a>0 and for any x and y, we have five laws of exponents:
a

x y

a
x

a a
x

1
x
a

x y

ax
y
a

a0 1

## Laws and Formulas of Logarithms

For any a>0 and for any x>0 and y>0 we have five laws of logarithms:
loga (xy) = loga x + loga y

(Product Law)

loga xp = p loga x
loga (x/y) = loga x - loga y
loga p = (logb p)/( logb a)
loga a = 1
loga 1 = 0

(Power Law)
(Quotient Law)
(The Change of Base Formula)

You ought to always have these laws and formulas in mind when working with
logarithms and solving equations containing logarithms.

Simplify 5354

(i)

812
Evaluate

(64)(512)

(ii)

1
3

Solutions
(i)

(ii)

812

(64)(512)

1
3

8
12

64

1
3

12

1
3

512

1
3

1
3

4 8
3

1
3

84
4 8

27

2 2

2 2 2
3

34

23

212
27 128
5
2

(i)
(iii)
(iv)

## Simplify log2 x + log2 6

(ii)
Simplify logb 9x
Express as a single logarithm loga x - 5 loga y
Evaluate log28 35

Solutions
(i)

(ii)

(iii)
(iv)

## By Quotient Law, loga x - 5 loga y = loga x loga y5 = loga (x/y5)

By The Change of Base Formula log28 35 = (log 35)/(log 28) =
1.066965743 (notes: a calculator is used here for log 35 and log 28)

## 2.3 Solving Exponential and Logarithmic Equations

An equation with variables in its exponents is called an exponential equation. To solve
this, take logarithms of both sides and use The laws of exponents to simplify and then
solve for x.

## Example 2.3-1 Solving Exponential Equation

Solve for x: 3x = 8.

Solution
Take the logarithm of both sides: log 3x = log 8
Use the power law of logarithms to simplify the equation: x log 3 = log 8
Solve for x by dividing each side by log 3: x = (log 8)/(log 3)
A decimal approximation may be found if desired: x = 1.8927892

28

## Advanced Functions Lecture Notes One

An equation with variables in its logarithms is called a logarithmic equation. To solve
this, convert it to exponential form and solve for x.

(i)

(ii)

Solve log2 x = 3

Solution
(i)

## Write an equivalent exponential expression: 5x + 7 = 32

That is 5x + 7 = 9
Solve for x: 5x = 2 or x = 2/5

(ii)

## Convert the logarithm to exponential form: 23 = x

Therefore x = 1/8

## Example 2.3-3 Solving Another Exponential Equation

Solve 52x +2(5x ) 8 = 0

Solution
Let u = 5x, the equation becomes u2 +2u 8 = 0
Break it into two factors: (u+4)(u-2) = 0
So u = 4 or u = 2, that means 5x = 4 or 5x = 2
There is no solution for 5x = 4.
To solve 5x = 2, take the logarithm of both sides: log 5x = log 2
Use the power law of logarithms to simplify the equation: x log 5 = log 2
Solve for x by dividing each side by log 5: x = (log 2)/(log 5) = 0.430676

29