Read more about Precalculus: An Investigation of Functions

Precalculus: An Investigation of Functions

(6 reviews)

David Lippman, Pierce College

Melonie Rasmussen, Pierce College

Copyright Year: 2017

Publisher: David Lippman and Melonie Rasmussen

Language: English

Read this book

Conditions of Use

Attribution-ShareAlike Attribution-ShareAlike


Learn more about reviews.

Reviewed by Latha Chakravarthy, Instructor, Central State University on 4/24/19

The topics were well addressed, and in particular, the Trigonometry concepts from Chapter 5 onwards were well traversed. read more

Reviewed by Jennifer Fleming, Math Instructor - GED program, Linn-Benton Community College on 2/6/19

This book is excellent when it comes to providing students with real-world examples for the topics, but teachers need to be careful when using this book that they define the vocabulary exactly the same as the book does, so as not to confuse the... read more

Reviewed by Pam Morse, Mathematics Instructor, Columbia Gorge Community College on 12/7/18

This textbook covers all areas of a Pre-Calculus Functions book. It includes everything you would need for at least two terms, one of an Intro to Functions and one of Trigonometry. The book is written in an easy to understand format compared to... read more

Reviewed by Cristin Barrett, Assistant Professor, Virginia Western Community College on 4/11/17

This text covers all areas of a standard Precalculus class, with or without trigonometry. There is no algebra review. There is an effective index and there are solutions to selected exercises in the back. There is no separate glossary, but key... read more

Reviewed by Amanda Copeland, Adjunct Professor, Virginia Western Community College on 4/11/17

This book is very thorough in the topics that are covered and seems to contain nearly everything that I would expect to find in a precalculus course. The only topics that I wish were included is finding oblique asymptotes and solving for complex... read more

Reviewed by Joyati Debnath, Full Professor, Winona State University on 6/10/15

The book covered all the topics that any instructor might want to cover in one or two-semester long in a college level Pre-Calculus course. It has 12 chapters and is divided into 3 groups. First group is the first 4 chapters that cover functions... read more

Table of Contents

  • Chapter 1: Functions
  • Chapter 2: Linear Functions
  • Chapter 3: Polynomial and Rational Functions
  • Chapter 4: Exponential and Logarithmic Functions
  • Chapter 5: Trigonometric Functions of Angles
  • Chapter 6: Periodic Functions
  • Chapter 7: Trigonometric Equations and Identities
  • Chapter 8: Further Applications of Trigonometry

About the Book

Precalculus: An Investigation of Functions is a free, open textbook covering a two-quarter pre-calculus sequence including trigonometry. The first portion of the book is an investigation of functions, exploring the graphical behavior of, interpretation of, and solutions to problems involving linear, polynomial, rational, exponential, and logarithmic functions. An emphasis is placed on modeling and interpretation, as well as the important characteristics needed in calculus.

The second portion of the book introduces trigonometry. Trig is introduced through an integrated circle/triangle approach. Identities are introduced in the first chapter, and revisited throughout. Likewise, solving is introduced in the second chapter and revisited more extensively in the third chapter. As with the first part of the book, an emphasis is placed on motivating the concepts and on modeling and interpretation.

In addition to the paper homework sets, algorithmetically generated online homework is available as part of a complete course shell package, which also includes a sample syllabus, teacher notes with lecture examples, sample quizzes and exams, printable classwork sheets and handouts, and chapter review problems. If you teach in Washington State, you can find the course shell in the template course list. For those located elsewhere, you can access the course shell at A self-study version of the online course exercises is also available on for students wanting to learn the material on their own, or who need a refresher.

About the Contributors


David Lippman received his master’s degree in mathematics from Western Washington University and has been teaching at Pierce College since Fall 2000.  


Melonie Rasmussen received her master’s degree in mathematics from Western Washington University and has been teaching at Pierce College since Fall 2002. Prior to this Melonie taught for the Puyallup School district for 6 years after receiving her teaching credentials from Pacific Lutheran University.