Education Technology

Mathematics lessons for IB® Diploma Programme

Applications and Interpretation | Functions

Rational Functions

Students investigate the graphs of functions of the form y = 1/(x - a). They will discover that the graph of such a function has a vertical asymptote at x = a, and a horizontal asymptote at y = 0. They will investigate the graphic and numeric consequences of such asymptotic behavior by observing a trace point on the graph move in response to various inputs for the independent variable.

Key Steps

Step 1

Students will use the calculator program RATIONAL to explore rational functions.

Step 2

Students will zoom out of the graphing window and explore the horizontal asymptote of the rational function.