An introduction to optimisation i.e. finding a minimum or a maximum of a given function.

We shall consider a variety of problems of a practical nature which necessitate the finding of an extremum

(a minimum or a maximum).

We start by considering the problem of crossing a muddy field then move on to surface tension on a soap film

via the motorway problem.

• Linear programming?

• Goldilocks for sixth formers?

• Dido’s problem

PRIMARY: development of perspective, hands-on development of projections onto a cone and a cylinder.

SECONDARY: plus algebraic representation of transformations.

SIXTH FORM: plus conic sections, polar coordinates.

Copyright Maths Discovery 2015