Students generally first encounter piecewise–defined functions in the form of a step function (perhaps the postage stamp function) in an algebra class. Piecewise–defined functions do not play a central role in mathematics before calculus although they can serve as challenging examples in the precalculus curriculum. Before the advent of the TI–Nspire, entering piecewise–defined functions on the calculator was time consuming and not particularly user friendly. That has changed.
Daniel R. Ilaria, email@example.com, is a T3 instructor and the supervisor of mathematics and business for the Mahwah Public Schools in Mahwah, New Jersey. He is interested in how integrating technology influences teacher questioning in the classroom.