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Home > INT3 > Chapter 9 > Lesson 9.2.1 > Problem 9-100


Which of the situations below (if any) is best modeled by a periodic function? Explain your reasoning.

A function is cyclical if it repeats over and over in a predictable way.

  1. The number of students in each year’s graduating class.

    The population of your school's graduating class may increase and decrease over time.
    What kind of graph would best show this information?

    This would be modeled best with a step graph.

  2. Your hunger level throughout the day.

    Are you hungry and not hungry at the same times each day?

    This may or may not be periodic.

  3. The high-tide level at a point along the coast.

    The high and low tide graph is approximately periodic over short periods of time.
    Do a Google search for 'tide graph images' to see for yourself.