12.7.1 Characteristics of Exponential Functions

When the zombie apocalypse comes, the mathematicians will be the only ones safe, primarily because they, like modern day epidemiologists, understand that the rate of transmission is modeled by a function that is not based on a polynomial. A different type of function models growth and decay of populations: the exponential function. Exponential functions are extremely useful for modeling anything that grows or decays over time:

  • populations
  • money
  • the metabolism of chemicals in your bloodstream
  • the list goes on!

Today, we will find out some of the basic characteristics of exponential functions.


  • Notes


  • p342 #1-12 C1 C2 *13 *14

Things you should know after today:

  • the shape of an exponential growth curve
  • the shape of an exponential decay curve
  • characteristics o y = c^x
    • the y-intercept
    • the equation of any asymptotes
    • restrictions on the variable c
    • what happens if 0 < c < 1
    • what happens if c > 1
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