 index: click on a letter A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z A to Z index index: subject areas numbers & symbols sets, logic, proofs geometry algebra trigonometry advanced algebra & pre-calculus calculus advanced topics probability & statistics real world applications multimedia entries www.mathwords.com about mathwords website feedback

Composition

Combining two functions by substituting one function's formula in place of each x in the other function's formula. The composition of functions f and g is written f ° g, and is read aloud "f composed with g." The formula for f ° g is written (f ° g)(x). This is read aloud "f composed with g of x."

Note: Composition is not commutative. That is, (f ° g)(x) is usually different from (g ° f)(x). The example below illustrates this.

 Example:    f(x) = 3x2 + 12x – 1  and  g(x) = 4x + 1 1(f ° g)(x) = 3(4x + 1)2 + 12(4x + 1) – 1 = 3(16x2 + 8x + 1) + 48x + 12 – 1 = 48x2 + 72x + 14 1(g ° f)(x) = 4(3x2 + 12x – 1) + 1 = 12x2 + 48x – 4 + 1 = 12x2 + 48x – 3