On 10/25/01 8:58 AM, "Rex Boggs" <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> We are currently doing max-min problems using derivatives, and I am noticing > how unrealistic, trivial or pointless many of the traditional questions are, > e.g. inscribing shape A into shape B so as to maximise its area or volume, > designing a running track so the area it encloses is a maximum, building > chicken pens against barns and rivers, etc. > > Are there some max-min problems out there that are more realistic and more > interesting than these?
One of my favorites is just a step above the standard 'walk on the shore, swim through the water' problem. Why I like it so much is that one of my students (a few years ago, as you can tell from the dates) showed the problem to his father who said, "We just did that project at work!" It's from a book Joe Fiedler and I did a while ago, "Calculus Projects with Maple;" we called it the "Otsego Electric Company." Look at http://www.mathsci.appstate.edu/~wmcb/Class/Projects/OEC/ for the description.
====================================== Wm C Bauldry, PhD Professor and Chairperson Department of Mathematical Sciences Appalachian State University Boone, NC 28608-2092 ===================== phone: (828) 262-3050 fax: (828) 265-8617 mailto://BauldryWC@appstate.edu http://www.mathsci.appstate.edu/~wmcb/ ======================================