Opening Date of Graded Discussion Board: 14th August2014 at 12:00am
Closing Date of Graded Discussion Board: 18th August 2014 at 11:59pm

Functions are mathematical building blocks for designing machines, predicting natural disasters, curing diseases, understanding world economies and for keeping aeroplanes in the air. Functions can take input from many variables, but always give the same output, unique to that function.

Some examples of functions include:

Money as a function of time. You never have more than one amount of money at any time because you can always add everything to give one total amount. By understanding how your money changes over time, you can plan to spend your money sensibly. Businesses find it very useful to plot the graph of their money over time so that they can see when they are spending too much.

Temperature as a function of various factors. Temperature is a very complicated function because it has so many inputs, including: the time of day, the season, the amount of clouds in the sky, the strength of the wind, where you are and many more. But the important thing is that there is only one temperature output when you measure it in a specific place.

Location as a function of time. You can never be in two places at the same time. If you were to plot the graphs of where two people are as a function of time, the place where the lines cross means that the two people meet each other at that time. This idea is used in logistics, an area of mathematics that tries to plan where people and items are for businesses

Functions also allow us to visualise relationships in terms of graphs, which are much easier to read and interpret than lists of numbers.