Something I found interesting this week is that equations can be represented in so many different ways. For example you have ordered pairs, table of values, arrow diagram, mapping notation, function notation and much more. To show what some of those listed would look like, we can use 3x+4 as an example.

Ordered pairs: (1, 7) (2, 10) (3, 13) etc.

The x in the example equation represents the input value, the first number in each ordered pair (which can also be any number you choose). What you get after solving the of the equation (in this case multiplying the input by 3 and adding 4) is the y value or output. You can then write the input and output numbers in brackets which give you ordered pairs. These are good if you want to graph the numbers on a cartesian plane.

Table of values:

X | Y

1 7

2 10

3 13

The table of values has the same numbers as the ordered pairs, only instead of matching the corresponding x and y values together in pairs, you would write all the x values together and all the y values together. This is good if you want to find the rule (3x+4) and if you want to find x intercepts (the x value when y is equal to zero) and y intercepts (the y value when x is equal to zero)

Function notation: f(x)=3x+4

For function notation, you can take the general rule (3x+4) and state the name (f) and input value (x) at the beginning. To be more specific with numbers, you can write: f(1)=7 where 1 is the input and 7 is the output. Function notation is good when you want to show that the relation is a function (only one input value per output).

There are many more ways of representing equations, each meaning the same thing but being written differently. They are critical to solving different types of problems and in different situations.