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Autumn Holden

Brenda Santistevan

MATH1210 Optimization Project

Problem:
A Norman window has the shape of a rectangle surmounted by a semicircle. If the perimeter of
the window is 25 feet, find the dimensions of the window that will admit the greatest amount of
light.

25 = 𝜋𝑟 + 2ℎ + 2𝑟

25 − 2𝑟 − 𝜋𝑟
=ℎ
2

𝜋𝑟 ,
𝐴(𝑟) = 2𝑟ℎ +
2

𝜋𝑟 ,
𝐴(𝑟) = 25𝑟 − 2𝑟 , − 𝜋𝑟 , +
2

𝐴′(𝑟) = 25 − 4𝑟 − 𝜋𝑟
0 = 25 − 4𝑟 − 𝜋𝑟

25 = 4𝑟 + 𝜋𝑟

25 = 𝑟(4 + 𝜋)

25
𝑟=
4+𝜋

𝑟 ≈ 2.86948

25 25
25 − 𝜋 6𝜋 + 47 − 2(𝜋 + 4)
ℎ=
2
25
ℎ=
4+𝜋

𝜋𝑟 ,
𝐴 = 2𝑟ℎ +
2
25
25 25 𝜋(4 + 𝜋),
𝐴 = 28 9 8 9+
4+𝜋 4+𝜋 2

625
𝑀𝑎𝑥 𝐴𝑟𝑒𝑎 = ≈ 273𝑓𝑡 ,
2(4 + 𝜋 )

When solving an optimization problem, it’s important to understand what’s given to you
in the problem, as well as what is being asked. You are given a constraint in the problem to
constrain what you’re trying to maximize or minimize. You first need to find an equation to
reach your final answer. From the constraint, you can eliminate any extra variables from your
equation. The maximum number of variables you can work with is two. In the problem shown
above, there are 3 variables, so one was eliminated through substitution. Then, the derivative is
found from the equation you made. Then you need to find the critical numbers of the derivative,
which can be found by making the equation equal to zero. This will show an answer to one of
your variables. This answer can then be used to find the answer to the second variable. Then, you
can plug the true values of both variables into your original equation to find the answer of the
optimization problem. I learned the methodology to working optimization problems by
practicing problems over and over. I wrote the order of steps on the side of the paper to help
guide me piece by piece. My biggest challenges was learning how to narrow the amount of
variables, but this became easier with practice. Small algebra errors were also hard to avoid, but
easier with practice. My new skills in optimization can be used in all walks of life. As the
example above, any geometrical problem can use optimization, particularly construction work.
This is important to maintain accuracy when building something, and accuracy can greatly affect
the safety of a build structure when it’s not accurate. You can also optimize allocation of
resources in the health service industry geographically, when you combine calculus with
GIScience. In both examples, it’s important to maximize the profits and efficiency in work done,
so that there is more growth in a business or industry.