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Function is a relation between two sets of values defined in such a way that for all values of one set one can apply the function in question and get corresponding values of the other set.

For example, if you have set A and set B and the function you define is f(x)=2x, than you can link these two sets with a relationship which is defined by your function.

First everytime you want to link a value from the set A with a value from the set B you pick a number - and you consider that to be your x every time. Now the corresponding value to x which is in set A, will be a value which is 2x, which means that it will be double x.

What can you notice? If you have only whole numbers in your set A, then what kind of numbers will you only need in your set B?

Function actually determines that - what kind of numbers you can and need in sets which are linked by it.

Set A would in mathematical terms be called ‘domain’ of the function f(x), while the set B would be given the name of ‘codomain’.

The function symbol f(x) was first used by Leonhard Euler (1707-1783) in 1734 in Commentarii Academiae Scientiarum Petropolitanae.

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Learn more about Euler by clicking on his portrait

Find out about other famous mathematicians on these pages.

Famous mathematical children are to be found here.

Climb up the mathematical tree and see what branch you end up on - click on the tree.


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