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Problem

[Math Processing Error]

[Math Processing Error] [Math

Processing Error]

The value of y varies

directly with x, and We can set up a proportion with

y=20 when x=2. the y’s on top, and the x’s on

Since x and y vary directly, we know bottom (think of setting slopes

that y=kx. Since the problem was

stated that y varies directly with x, equal to each other )

Find y when x=8. we place the y first.

the original problem

Solve for k, using the values of (“y=20 when x=2”), it means

(Note that this may be x and y that we know (x=2,y=20). that that x goes with that y.

also be written “y is We see that k=10.

proportional to x, and

y=20 when x=2. Find

We can then cross multiply to get

y when x=8“.) Now use y=10x. We plug the new the new y.

x, which is 8. We get the new y=80.

It’s really that easy. Can you see why the proportion method can be the preferred method, unless

you are asked to find the k constant in the formula?

Again, if the problem asks for the equation that models this situation, it would be “y=10x”.

Here’s another:

Direct Variation

Formula Method Proportion Method

Problem

[Math Processing Error] [Math [Math Processing Error]

The amount of money

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raised at a school

fundraiser is directly

proportional to the We can set up a proportion with

number of people who

Since the amount of money is the y’s on top (amount of

attend.

directly proportional (varies money), and the x’s on bottom

Direct Variation

Formula Method Proportion Method

Problem

directly) to the number who attend, (number of attendees). We can

we know that y=kx, where y= the then cross multiply to get the new

amount of money raised and x= the amount of money (y).

Last year, the amount number of attendees. (Since the

of money raised for 100 problem states that the amount of

attendees was $2500. money is directly proportional to the

number of attendees, we put the We get the new y=25000. If

amount of money first, or as the y). 1000 people attend, $25,000 will

be raised!

How much money will

be raised if 1000

people attend this

We need to fill in the numbers from

year?

the problem, and solve for k. We see

that k=25. We have y=25x. We plug

the new x, which is 1000.

people attend, $25,000 would be

raised!

[Math Processing Error]

Brady bought an energy

efficient washing machine for

her new apartment.

We can set up a proportion with the y’s on top

(representing gallons), and the x’s on bottom

If she saves about 10 gallons (representing number of loads). Remember that “per

of water per load, how many load” means “for 1 load”.

gallons of water will she

save if she washes 20 loads

of laundry?

We can then cross multiply to get the new y. Brady will

save 200 gallons if she washes 20 loads of laundry.

Direct Variation Problem Proportion Method

See how similar these types of problems are to the Proportions problems we did earlier?

Again, a Direct Square Variation is when y is proportional to the square of x, or y=kx2. Let’s

work a word problem with this type of variation and show both the formula and proportion

methods:

Direct Square

Formula Method Proportion Method

Variation Problem

[Math Processing Error]

[Math Processing Error] [Math

Processing Error]

the y’s on top, and x2’s on the

Since y is directly proportional bottom.

If y varies directly (varies directly) to the square of x, we

with the square of x, know that y=kx2. Plug in the first

and if y=4 when x=3, numbers we have for x and y to see We can plug in the numbers we

what is y when x=2? that k=49. have, and then cross multiply to

get the new y.

x, which is 2, and get the new y, We then get the new y=169.

which is 169.

Inverse or Indirect Variation

Indirect Variation

Formula Method Product Rule Method

Problem

[Math Processing Error] [Math

Processing Error]

The value of y varies Since x and y vary inversely, we

inversely (or know that xy=k, or y=kx.

indirectly) with x, and

y=4 when x=3. We know that when you

multiply the x’s and y’s (with the

Find x when y=6. We first fill in the x and y values with same subscript) we get a

x1 and y1 from the problem. constant, which is k. You can see

Remember that the variables with the

that k=12 in this problem.

same subscript, such as x1 and y1,

stay together. We then solve for k,

which is 12.

The problem may also We can just substitute in all the

be worded like this: numbers that we are given and

solve for the number we want –

Let x1=3, y1=4, and We then put the y2 value in for y. We in this case, x2.

y2=6. then solve for x2, which is 2. (If the

x2 value were given, you’d put that in

Let y vary inversely as for x, and solve for y2).

x. This way is easier than the

formula method, but, again, you

Find x2. will probably be asked to know

The formula way may take a little both ways.

more time, but you may be asked to

do it this way, especially if you need

to find k, and the equation of

variation, which is y=12x.

Inverse Variation Problem Product Rule Method

For the Choir fundraiser, the [Math Processing Error]

number of tickets Allie can buy is

inversely proportional to the price

of the tickets.

We know that when you multiply the x’s and y’s we

get a constant, which is k. The number of tickets Allie

can buy times the price of each ticket is k. We can let

She can afford 15 tickets that cost

$5 each. the x’s be the price of the tickets.

How many tickets can Allie buy if We can just substitute in all the numbers that we are

each cost $3? given and solve for the number we want. We see that

Allie can buy 25 tickets that cost $3. This makes

sense, since we can see that she only can spend $75

(which is k!)

Here’s a more advanced problem that uses inverse proportions in a “work” word problem;

we’ll see more “work problems” here in the Systems of Linear Equations Section and here in

the Rational Functions and Equations Section.

Product Rule Method

Problem

If 16 women working 7 hours [Math Processing Error]

day can paint a mural in 48

days, how many days will it

take 14 women working 12

hours a day to paint the same Since each woman is working at the same rate, we know

mural? that when we multiply the number of women (x) by the

number of the hours a day (y) by the number of days

they work (z), it should always be the same (a constant).

(Try it yourself with some easy numbers).

(The three different values

are inversely proportional; for

example, the more women you

have, the less days it takes to We can just substitute in all the numbers that we are given

paint the mural, and the more and solve for the number we want (days). So we see that it

hours in a day the women paint, would take 32 days for 14 women that work 12 hours a day

the less days they need to to paint the mural. In this case, our k is 5376, which

“Work” Inverse Variation

Product Rule Method

Problem

complete the mural.) represents the number of hours it would take one woman

alone to paint the mural.

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