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I'm wondering if their exists a visual/behavioral reference for the fundamental families of functions. I'm not a mathematician so excuse my language if I'm being overly vague.

I would like to have a reference where I can go look at images of functions and say: that looks like a behavior/character I want. Or maybe even search on the properties of the function, such as it's periodic, or that the output is always in the [-1, 1] range.

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There are books which contain tables of functions, often accompanied with plots. Abrahamowitz and Stegun is a well-known one. They are a bit of relics of the pre-computer era. –  Raskolnikov Jan 12 '11 at 13:31
When you say cyclic do you mean periodic? –  Rasmus Jan 12 '11 at 14:29
Yep periodic is the word I meant. –  Brian Heylin Jan 12 '11 at 14:41
see if wolframalpha helps? –  user1709 Jan 12 '11 at 21:50
Problem with wolframalpha is you need to know what to call the function :) –  Brian Heylin Jan 13 '11 at 14:17

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