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Access this online resource for additional instruction and practice with rates of change.

Key equations

Average rate of change Δ y Δ x = f ( x 2 ) f ( x 1 ) x 2 x 1

Key concepts

  • A rate of change relates a change in an output quantity to a change in an input quantity. The average rate of change is determined using only the beginning and ending data. See [link] .
  • Identifying points that mark the interval on a graph can be used to find the average rate of change. See [link] .
  • Comparing pairs of input and output values in a table can also be used to find the average rate of change. See [link] .
  • An average rate of change can also be computed by determining the function values at the endpoints of an interval described by a formula. See [link] and [link] .
  • The average rate of change can sometimes be determined as an expression. See [link] .
  • A function is increasing where its rate of change is positive and decreasing where its rate of change is negative. See [link] .
  • A local maximum is where a function changes from increasing to decreasing and has an output value larger (more positive or less negative) than output values at neighboring input values.
  • A local minimum is where the function changes from decreasing to increasing (as the input increases) and has an output value smaller (more negative or less positive) than output values at neighboring input values.
  • Minima and maxima are also called extrema.
  • We can find local extrema from a graph. See [link] and [link] .
  • The highest and lowest points on a graph indicate the maxima and minima. See [link] .

Section exercises

Verbal

Can the average rate of change of a function be constant?

Yes, the average rate of change of all linear functions is constant.

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If a function f is increasing on ( a , b ) and decreasing on ( b , c ) , then what can be said about the local extremum of f on ( a , c ) ?

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How are the absolute maximum and minimum similar to and different from the local extrema?

The absolute maximum and minimum relate to the entire graph, whereas the local extrema relate only to a specific region around an open interval.

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How does the graph of the absolute value function compare to the graph of the quadratic function, y = x 2 , in terms of increasing and decreasing intervals?

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Algebraic

For the following exercises, find the average rate of change of each function on the interval specified for real numbers b or h .

f ( x ) = 4 x 2 7 on [ 1 ,   b ]

4 ( b + 1 )

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g ( x ) = 2 x 2 9 on [ 4 ,   b ]

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p ( x ) = 3 x + 4 on [ 2 ,   2 + h ]

3

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k ( x ) = 4 x 2 on [ 3 ,   3 + h ]

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f ( x ) = 2 x 2 + 1 on [ x , x + h ]

4 x + 2 h

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g ( x ) = 3 x 2 2 on [ x , x + h ]

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a ( t ) = 1 t + 4 on [ 9 , 9 + h ]

1 13 ( 13 + h )

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b ( x ) = 1 x + 3 on [ 1 , 1 + h ]

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j ( x ) = 3 x 3 on [ 1 , 1 + h ]

3 h 2 + 9 h + 9

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r ( t ) = 4 t 3 on [ 2 , 2 + h ]

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f ( x + h ) f ( x ) h given f ( x ) = 2 x 2 3 x on [ x , x + h ]

4 x + 2 h 3

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Graphical

For the following exercises, consider the graph of f shown in [link] .

Graph of a polynomial.

Estimate the average rate of change from x = 1 to x = 4.

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Estimate the average rate of change from x = 2 to x = 5.

4 3

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For the following exercises, use the graph of each function to estimate the intervals on which the function is increasing or decreasing.

Graph of a cubic function.

increasing on ( , 2.5 ) ( 1 , ) , decreasing on ( 2.5 ,   1 )

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Graph of a reciprocal function.

increasing on ( , 1 ) ( 3 , 4 ) , decreasing on ( 1 , 3 ) ( 4 , )

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For the following exercises, consider the graph shown in [link] .

Questions & Answers

For each year t, the population of a forest of trees is represented by the function A(t) = 117(1.029)t. In a neighboring forest, the population of the same type of tree is represented by the function B(t) = 86(1.025)t.
Shakeena Reply
by how many trees did forest "A" have a greater number?
Shakeena
32.243
Kenard
how solve standard form of polar
Rhudy Reply
what is a complex number used for?
Drew Reply
It's just like any other number. The important thing to know is that they exist and can be used in computations like any number.
Steve
I would like to add that they are used in AC signal analysis for one thing
Scott
Good call Scott. Also radar signals I believe.
Steve
Is there any rule we can use to get the nth term ?
Anwar Reply
how do you get the (1.4427)^t in the carp problem?
Gabrielle Reply
A hedge is contrusted to be in the shape of hyperbola near a fountain at the center of yard.the hedge will follow the asymptotes y=x and y=-x and closest distance near the distance to the centre fountain at 5 yards find the eqution of the hyperbola
ayesha Reply
A doctor prescribes 125 milligrams of a therapeutic drug that decays by about 30% each hour. To the nearest hour, what is the half-life of the drug?
Sandra Reply
Find the domain of the function in interval or inequality notation f(x)=4-9x+3x^2
prince Reply
hello
Jessica Reply
Outside temperatures over the course of a day can be modeled as a sinusoidal function. Suppose the high temperature of ?105°F??105°F? occurs at 5PM and the average temperature for the day is ?85°F.??85°F.? Find the temperature, to the nearest degree, at 9AM.
Karlee Reply
if you have the amplitude and the period and the phase shift ho would you know where to start and where to end?
Jean Reply
rotation by 80 of (x^2/9)-(y^2/16)=1
Garrett Reply
thanks the domain is good but a i would like to get some other examples of how to find the range of a function
bashiir Reply
what is the standard form if the focus is at (0,2) ?
Lorejean Reply
a²=4
Roy Reply
Practice Key Terms 9

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Source:  OpenStax, Precalculus. OpenStax CNX. Jan 19, 2016 Download for free at https://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11667/1.6
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