Q&A #552

A project on matrices

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From: Marielouise (for Teacher2Teacher Service)
Date: Sep 11, 1998 at 23:07:49
Subject: Re: A project on matrices

First off let me suggest a website to approach. Texas Instrument maintains a website where lesson plans as such are available for different calculator technology. <http://www.ti.com> Matrices are used extensively in business with inventory as well as with prediction of a situation knowing what is expected to happen. There are several problems, not projects, in Comtemporary Precalculus through applications published originally by Janson Publication and written by the staff at the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics. A project that I can suggest for some of your students is to do a project survey and determine with various types of shampoo, favorite drinks, favorite brands of jeans or sneakers, how happy the student is with the brand of shampoo, drink, jeans, etc. that they purchased. Ask if they bought brand A, will they purchase brand A, B or C the next time. This takes a lot of data collection but the results of the survey constitute the entries in a transition matrix of what is happening with brands across the market. The information can also be used to determine what percent of the population is currently purchasing brand A, B or C. Using multiplication of matrices students can predict what is expected to happen with sales in the immediate future of the different products. In this area, I always wished that students would do research on the weather. How frequently is a sunny day followed by a sunny day, or a cloudy day or a rainy day. This is a lot of data to amass. However, for your locale you could start predicting what to expect. If students work in stores they can figure our their sales using matrices. Have you checked the December issue of Mathematics Teacher? Look for activity listings of matrices. -Marielouise, for the Teacher2Teacher service

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