A project by Lari Garrison
email at lari@iconnect.net

"Optimization? In a geometry class? Don't students need to know some calculus first?" Well, there are several methods one may use to tackle almost every problem in mathematics. One may employ algebra, graphing or numerical analysis to optimize. Without technology both graphing and numerical analysis are cumbersome, but when one has access to graphing calulators and spreadsheets these techniques become viable problem solving methods. Spreadsheets provide an excellent way for students to investigate optimization problems before they learn calculus. As the NCTM Standards advocate, doing optimization problems with geometry students exposes them to some of the types of problems they will be investigating in their study of the calculus, besides they are fun to do!



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