Function - Research Article from World of Mathematics

This encyclopedia article consists of approximately 5 pages of information about Function.
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History of functions

The idea of a function was developed in the 17th century. During this time, Rene Descartes (1596-1650), in his book Geometry (1637), used the concept to describe many mathematical relationships. The term "function" was introduced by Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (1646-1716) almost fifty years after the publication of Geometry. The idea of a function was further formalized by Leonhard Euler (pronounced "oiler" 1707-1783) who introduced the notation for a function, y = f(x).

Characteristics of functions

The idea of a function is very important in mathematics because it describes any situation in which one quantity depends on another. For example, the height of a person depends on his age. The distance an object travels in four hours depends on its speed. When such relationships exist, one variable is said to be a function of the other. Therefore, height is a function of age and distance is a function...

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This section contains 1,249 words
(approx. 5 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Function Encyclopedia Article
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World of Mathematics
Function from World of Mathematics. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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