Polynomial models appear in financial context allow students to practice analyzing information presented in a non-linear format, an skill that often needs practice.

Highlighted Problem: Flying Off the Shelves

Alicia Keys’s new album As I Am is climbing the charts, and the manager of Tip Top Tunes expects to sell a lot of copies.

Because she has limited shelf space, she can’t put out all her copies of the CD at once. On Monday morning, she stocked the display with 40 copies. By the end of the day, some of the copies had been sold.

On Tuesday morning, she counted the number of copies left and then added that many more to the shelf. In other words, she doubled the number that was left in the display. At the end of the day, she discovered that she had sold the exact same number of copies as had been sold on Monday.

On Wednesday morning, the manager decided to triple the number of copies that had been left in the case after Tuesday. Amazingly, she sold the same number of copies on Wednesday as she had on each of the first two days! But this time, at the end of the day the display case was empty.

This problem presents a great opportunity to explore ideas of entrepreneurship and sales, two areas students tend to show interest.

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