You are on page 1of 7

# Engineering Calculus Peer Led Session Optimization Reference: Section 4.

5 Pre-Assignment: Do the questions below, read the "Why" section and do questions 1 (a) through (c) of the Activity. (1) The base of a triangle is 5 m longer than twice its height. Find a formula that expresses the area A of the triangle as a function of the base b.

(2) A rectangle of dimensions x by y is inscribed in a circle of radius 3 yd. Find a formula that expresses the area A of the rectangle as a function of x.

3 yd y

## (3) Find the critical numbers of the function h x = 2x 315x 224x .

Why? One of the most common applications of derivatives is the determination of optimum values of a function. To optimize a function means to calculate where it obtains a maximal or minimal value. Optimization can be utilized to answer such questions as: What are the dimensions of a rectangle with fixed perimeter that maximize area? What is the least expensive shape of a cylindrical can? At what angle should an artery be attached in bypass surgery that will minimize the energy expended by the heart in pumping blood? Differential calculus is a powerful tool for solving problems that call for maximizing and minimizing a function. In this activity, we will introduce optimization by solving a specific problem.

Activity Intercropping is the method of planting two or more crops together in a field. The method is used to produce higher crop yields or reduce pests. A farmer wants to intercrop corn and southern peas in a field in order to produce a higher crop yield. The total yield in pounds per acre can be calculated by the equation Yield = f x g y where f x = 16600 x 322100 x 2159 x models the yield of corn per percentage x of corn planted and g y = 13100 y 320200 y 210700 y models the yield of peas per percentage y of peas planted. (1) Explore the Yield function: a) Fill in the table below. Percentage of corn planted x=1 .75 .50 .25 .0 Percentage of peas planted y=0 .25 .50 .75 1 Total Yield

b) Which of the above percentages of corn and peas is the farmer likely to plant? Explain why.

## d) Do you need any additional information to maximize your function in (c)?

(2) Constraints: a) Explain how x and y are related and write down an equation that expresses this relationship in a mathematical way.

Note: The equation you wrote down in (a) is called a constraint equation or a secondary equation. b) Use the equations in 1 (c) and 2 (a) to rewrite the yield function in terms of only one variable.

(3) Analyze: Below is the graph of the yield function as a function of x. Use the graph to answer the questions.

a) At which point(s) on the graph is the tangent line horizontal? b) At which point is the maximum of the yield function attained? Estimate the slope of the tangent line at this point. c) How can you use the derivative of the yield function to determine the x-value at which the function achieves a maximum value?

(4) Solve: a) Without doing any calculation, explain what you would need to do to determine the possible x-value(s) where the yield function may achieve a maximum.

b) Explain how can you use the x-values to find the maximum yield.

c) The critical numbers for the yield function can be calculated to be approximately x = .13 and x = .79. How can you find out which, if either, of these critical numbers gives rise to the maximum yield?

d) Find the maximum yield and the percentages of corn and southern peas that the farmer should plant to obtain the maximum yield.

Exercises: (1) True or false? A function f (x) will achieve a maximum value at a point x = c whenever the derivative of the function at c is zero.

In each of the problems below: (a) Determine the constraint equation and (b) determine the equation to be optimized. (2) Find two positive numbers such that the sum of the first number and the square of the second number is 27 and the product is a maximum.

(3) A zoo plans to build a rectangular enclosure for a new tropical bird exhibit. Specifications require that the birds have 500 ft3 of room and that the length of the enclosure is 3 times the width. If the bottom of the cage costs \$5 /ft2 to build and the rest of the sides cost \$12/ft2, what dimensions of the cage will minimize cost?

(4) The product formed in an autocatalytic reaction becomes, in return, a catalyst for the reaction. Suppose the rate of the autocatalytic reaction for a certain substance can be modeled by the equation dP = 3.8 PS ,where P represents the amount of the product formed (in grams) and S represents the dS amount (in grams) of the original substance remaining. If a chemist starts with 20 grams of the original substance, for what value of P will the rate of the reaction be the greatest?

Problem: An offshore oil well is 2 kilometers off the coast. The refinery is 4 kilometers down the coast. Laying pipe in the ocean is twice as expensive as on land. What path should the pipe follow in order to minimize the cost? Draw: Draw three pictures each of which illustrates a different path that the pipe could follow.

## Data List: Write down any necessary equations and formulas.

Solve: Find the path of the pipe that will minimize the cost.

Engineering Calculus Peer Led Session Optimization Activity Report We verify that we all understand and agree with the solutions to these questions. Group #: Manager: Recorder: Spokesperson: Strategy Analyst:

Critical Thinking Questionsto be completed by the recorder. Your peer leader will give you instructions on how to fill out this section.

For Instructors Use Only All questions filled out Names and U numbers printed on activity report Critical Thinking fully justified and written in complete sentences Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory

Reflection on Learning --- to be completed by the Strategy Analyst Describe a general strategy for how to solve an optimization problem.

Group #: