Optimization: Calculus for “Glass Half Full” People

I’m generally an optimistic guy, so I like this topic. Okay, that’s a bad pun.  Optimization Problems, sometimes called Max/Min Problems, are really about optimizing or finding relative maximums or minimums of functions. Let’s say a function models the profit you make from manufacturing various amounts of a certain product. This process lets you quickly determine the exact number of units to manufacture to maximize your profit. Alternatively, another function might model how much material is necessary to manufacture something. This same process would let you figure out how to minimize production costs by minimizing the amount of material used.

Of course, the hard part is coming up with the functions you want to optimize!

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