This book provides a solid mathematical foundation for students preparing to take calculus or other courses requiring a similar mathematical background. It presents an informal, conversational writing style without compromising scope, depth, or mathematical precision. The book covers topics from intermediate algebra, plane trigonometry, and analytic geometry with emphasis on functions and graphs as unifying themes. Illustrated are concepts with numerous examples solved in detail with carefully chosen figures. The more complicated or lengthy procedures are developed slowly and carefully with each step clearly motivated. Features include varied applications, including over 3 000 exercises (half with answers), chapter summaries, chapter tests, instructions for calculator usage and BASIC computer exercises.