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## Algebra (all content)

### Course: Algebra (all content) > Unit 7

Lesson 15: Composing functions (Algebra 2 level)- Intro to composing functions
- Intro to composing functions
- Composing functions
- Evaluating composite functions
- Evaluate composite functions
- Evaluating composite functions: using tables
- Evaluating composite functions: using graphs
- Evaluate composite functions: graphs & tables
- Finding composite functions
- Find composite functions
- Evaluating composite functions (advanced)

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# Intro to composing functions

Learn why we'd want to compose two functions together by looking at a farming example.

Cam is a farmer. Each year he plants seeds that turn into corn. The function below gives the amount of corn, C, in kilograms (kg), that he expects to produce if he plants corn on a acres of land.

For example, if Cam plants two, he expects to produce C, left parenthesis, 2, right parenthesis, equals, 7500, left parenthesis, 2, right parenthesis, minus, 1500, equals, 13, comma, 500 start text, k, g, end text of corn.

What Cam really wants to know is how much money he will make from selling this corn. So he uses the following function to predict the amount of money, M, in dollars, that he will earn from selling c kilograms of corn.

So if Cam produces 13, comma, 500, start text, space, k, g, end text of corn, he can expect to make M, left parenthesis, 13, comma, 500, right parenthesis, equals, 0, point, 9, left parenthesis, 13, comma, 500, right parenthesis, minus, 50, equals, dollar sign, 12, comma, 100.

Notice that Cam has to use

*two*separate functions to get from acres planted to expected earnings. The first function, C, takes acres to corn, while the second function, M, takes corn to money.Wouldn't it be great if Cam could write a function that turned planted acres directly into expected earnings?

# Creating a new function

We can indeed find the function that takes acres planted directly to expected earnings! To find this new function, let's think about the most general question: how much money does Cam expect to make if he plants corn seed on a acres of land?

Well, if Cam plants corn on a acres, he expects to produce C, left parenthesis, a, right parenthesis kilograms of corn. And if he produces C, left parenthesis, a, right parenthesis kilograms of corn, he expects to make M, left parenthesis, C, left parenthesis, a, right parenthesis, right parenthesis dollars.

So, to find a general rule that converts a acres directly into expected earnings, we can find the expression M, left parenthesis, C, left parenthesis, a, right parenthesis, right parenthesis.

But just how do we do this? Well, notice that in the expression M, left parenthesis, start color #1fab54, C, left parenthesis, a, right parenthesis, end color #1fab54, right parenthesis, the input of function M is start color #1fab54, C, left parenthesis, a, right parenthesis, end color #1fab54. So, to find this expression, we can substitute start color #1fab54, C, left parenthesis, a, right parenthesis, end color #1fab54 in for start color #e07d10, c, end color #e07d10 in function M.

So the function M, left parenthesis, C, left parenthesis, a, right parenthesis, right parenthesis, equals, 6750, a, minus, 1400 converts acres planted directly into expected earnings. Let's use this new function to predict the amount of money that Cam would make from planting corn on two acres.

Cam can expect to make dollar sign, 12, comma, 100 from planting corn on two acres of land, which is consistent with our previous work!

# Defining composite functions

We just found what is called a

**composite function**. Instead of substituting acres planted into the corn function, and then substituting the amount of corn produced into the money function, we found a function that takes the acres planted directly to the expected earnings.We did this by substituting C, left parenthesis, a, right parenthesis into function M, or by finding M, left parenthesis, C, left parenthesis, a, right parenthesis, right parenthesis. Let's call this new function M, circle, C, which is read as "M composed with C".

We now know that left parenthesis, M, circle, C, right parenthesis, left parenthesis, a, right parenthesis, equals, M, left parenthesis, C, left parenthesis, a, right parenthesis, right parenthesis. This, in fact, is the formal definition of function composition!

# Visualizing the two methods

Here's a visual to help interpret the above definition.

Using both functions C and M, function C—the corn function—takes two to 13,500. Then, function M—the money function—takes 13,500 to dollar sign12,100.

Using the composite function, we see that function M, circle, C takes two directly to dollar sign12,100.

The two are equivalent!

# Now let's practice some problems.

### Problem 2

Ben is a potato farmer. The function P, left parenthesis, a, right parenthesis, equals, 25, comma, 000, a, minus, 1000 gives the amount of potatoes, P, in kilograms, that he expects to produce from planting potatoes on a acres of land. The function M, left parenthesis, p, right parenthesis, equals, 0, point, 2, p, minus, 200 gives the amount of money, M, in dollars, that Ben expects to make if he produces p kilograms of potatoes.

### Problem 3

## Want to join the conversation?

- where did the 1500 come from?(25 votes)
- It is most likely the average expected loss of crops in kg when harvesting.(35 votes)

- Could someone please explain where 6750a came from in Problem One? How was that number found?(16 votes)
- The problem gave you: M(C(a))=6750a−1400

This was created by combining the 2 functions C(a) and M(c) by making C(a) as the input to M(c). Here's how that was done...

We were also given:

C(a)=7500a−1500

M(c) = 0.9c - 50

Insert C(a) as the input into M(c) and here's what M(C(a)) looks like before simplifying:

M(C(a))=0.9(7500a−1500)−50

After you simplify, you get M(C(a)) = 6750a−1400

Hope this helps.(36 votes)

- I need help really bad I

am 10 pls help me(0 votes)- what is lil bro doing here💀(20 votes)

- How would you find the value of the function if like you had f(g(-1)) how would you put that into in equation to solve?(4 votes)
- Since this is currently real world problems, having a negative amount of land is impossible. You would solve it the same way though such as the potato farmer problem by solving P of -1, or substituting it at the end.(1 vote)

- can i get some help with this its kinda getting confusing?(5 votes)
- Could you be more specific on what parts you are not understanding?(3 votes)

- How do you find the domain of a composite function?(4 votes)
- The domain of a composite function f(g(x)) is all x in the domain of g such that g(x) is in the domain of f.

Let's break this down. First off, the x has to be in the domain of g; if g(x) were say 1/x, then x = 0 could not be in the composite domain. Second of all, even if g(x) is defined, it has to be in the domain of f. Say f(x) equals 1 / (x - 1). Then if you choose an x such that g(x) = 1, making f(g(x)) = 1 / 0, that x cannot be in the domain of the composite function. Hope that I helped.(6 votes)

- Problem 1

Shouldn't you solve for C(1.5), then input that value into M(C(a)) rather than just use M(1.5)??

For example, here's my work:

1.5 acres

C(1.5) = 7500(1.5) - 1500

11250-1500 = 9750

M(9750) = 6750(9750) - 1400

65812500-1400 = 65811100

I realize that the solution I came up with is unrealistic, but my method of solving seems to me to follow the method taught. So, my question is: why don't you solve it the way I did?(4 votes)- m(c(a)) = 0.9c _ 50(1 vote)

- In defining composite functions paragraph 3 it says (M*C)(a) = M(C(a)). Isn't that just multiplying functions? If it says (M*C)(a) why can't I just multiply the two functions?(2 votes)
- Same answer as your other question. Composite function uses an open circle/dot, not a solid dot like multiplication.

Composite: (M o C)(a)

Multiplication: (M * C)(a) or (M • C)(a)(3 votes)

- i dont get this t all !!(3 votes)
- What is the purpose of the Pre-calc? What does it teach you to help you understand Calculus?(1 vote)
- The purpose of pre-calculus is to provide students with the mathematical foundation necessary for understanding calculus. Pre-calculus typically covers topics such as trigonometry, algebra, and functions. By studying these topics, students can develop the skills and knowledge needed to solve more complex calculus problems.

Here are some specific concepts that pre-calculus teaches that help you understand calculus:

1. Functions: Pre-calculus introduces the concept of a function and how it can be used to describe the behavior of mathematical relationships. This is important in calculus because many problems involve finding the rate of change of a function, which is essentially its derivative.

2. Trigonometry: Pre-calculus covers trigonometric functions such as sine, cosine, and tangent, which are essential in calculus for modeling periodic phenomena, such as the behavior of waves.

3. Limits: Limits are an important concept in calculus, and pre-calculus provides an introduction to them. Understanding limits helps students grasp the idea of how a function behaves as the input values approach a certain point, which is a fundamental concept in calculus.

4. Algebraic manipulation: Pre-calculus covers algebraic manipulation of equations and functions, which is necessary for simplifying expressions and solving equations in calculus.

Overall, pre-calculus helps students develop a strong mathematical foundation that is necessary for understanding and solving more advanced calculus problems.(5 votes)