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Pre-calculus for Dummies

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For Dummies
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The fun and easy way to learn pre-calculus Getting ready for calculus but still feel a bit confused? Have no fear. Pre-Calculus For Dummies is an un-intimidating, hands-on guide that walks you through all the essential topics, from absolute value and quadratic equations to logarithms and exponential functions to trig identities and matrix operations. With this guide's help you'll quickly and painlessly get a handle on all of the concepts - not just the number crunching - and understand how to perform all pre-calc tasks, from graphing to tackling proofs. You'll also get a new appreciation for how these concepts are used in the real world, and find out that getting a decent grade in pre-calc isn't as impossible as you thought. Updated with fresh example equations and detailed explanations Tracks to a typical pre-calculus class Serves as an excellent supplement to classroom learning If "the fun and easy way to learn pre-calc" seems like a contradiction, get ready for a wealth of surprises in Pre-Calculus For Dummies!

Author Biography

Yang Kuang, PhD, is a professor of mathematics at Arizona State University. He currently serves on the calculus committee where he and other members discuss what and how to teach calculus to students majoring in math and physical sciences. Elleyne Kase is a professional writer.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

Part I: Set It Up, Solve It, Graph It 7

Chapter 1: Pre-Pre-Calculus 9

Chapter 2: Playing with Real Numbers 21

Chapter 3: The Building Blocks of Pre-Calc: Functions 33

Chapter 4: Digging Out and Using Roots to Graph Polynomial Functions 67

Chapter 5: Exponential and Logarithmic Functions 97

Part II: The Essentials of Trigonometry 117

Chapter 6: Circling in on Angles 119

Chapter 7: Simplifying the Graphing and Transformation of Trig Functions 149

Chapter 8: Identifying with Trig Identities: The Basics 181

Chapter 9: Advanced Identities: Your Keys to Pre-Calc Success 201

Chapter 10: Taking Charge of Oblique Triangles with the Laws of Sines and Cosines 223

Part III: Analytic Geometry and System Solving 243

Chapter 11: Plane Thinking: Complex Numbers and Polar Coordinates 245

Chapter 12: Slicing Cones or Measuring the Path of a Comet — with Confidence 261

Chapter 13: Streamlining Systems, Managing Variables 291

Chapter 14: Sequences, Series, and Expanding Binomials for the Real World 325

Chapter 15: Scouting the Road Ahead to Calculus 349

Part IV: The Part of Tens 363

Chapter 16: Ten Habits to Develop as You Prepare for Calculus 365

Chapter 17: Ten Habits to Quit Before Calculus 373

Index 379

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