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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