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Optimization

1. An open box is to be made from a 16 inch by 30 inch piece of cardboard by cutting out
squares from the four corners and bending up the sides. What size should the squares
be to obtain a box with the largest volume?
2. A closed cylindrical can is to hold 1 L (1000 cm3) of liquid. How should you choose the
height and the radius to minimize the amount of material needed to manufacture the
can?
3. Find a point on the curve y = x2 that is closest to the point (18, 0).
4. A liquid form of penicillin manufactured by a pharmaceutical firm is sold in bulk at a
price of $200 per unit. If the total production cost (in dollars)is
C(x) = 500 000 + 80x + 0.003x2
and if the production capacity of the firm is at most 30 000 units in a specified time,
how many units of penicillin must be manufactured and sold in that time to maximize
the profit? [Note: P(x) = R(x) C(x)]
5. Determine the shortest distance from the point (3, - 3) to the curve y = x2 + 3
6. A cone shaped paper drinking cup is to hold 10 cm3 of water. Find the height and
radius of the cup that will require the least amount of paper.
7. A cylindrical can, open at the top is to hold 500 cm 3 of liquid. Find the height and
radius that minimizes the amount of material needed to manufacture the can.
8. A window consists of a rectangle surmounted by an equilateral triangle. If the
perimeter of the window is 16 m, find the dimensions of the window such that the
maximum amount of light may be admitted.
9. A box of a constant volume c is to be twice as long as its width. The material on the
top and four sides costs three times as much per square metre as that on the bottom.
What are the most economical dimensions?

10. A running track of 440 m is to be laid out enclosing a soccer field in the shape of a
rectangle with a semicircle at each end. If the area of the rectangular portion is to be
maximized, find the lengths of its sides.

11. A church window is to be built in the form of a rectangle topped by two equal
semicircles across the top. The window needs to be decorated with paper borders
along the edges. The border to go along the edge of the semicircles costs $20/m. The
border to go along the edge of the rectangular part costs $10/m. The window must
have an area of 32 m2. Find the window width that minimizes the cost of decorating
the edges. (Leave your answer in radical form.)

12. If the volume of a box with a square base is to be 800 cm3, find the dimensions of the
box that minimizes the amount of material required to make the box.

13. A grain silo (a right circular cylinder topped with a hemisphere) has a volume of 700
m3. Kathy has been hired to paint it. If a can of paint covers 20 m2, what is the
minimum number of cans that Kathy will need to purchase to get the job done? How
likely is it that Kathy will be purchasing the minimum number of paint cans?

14. A rectangular swimming pool of uniform depth is to be constructed with a volume of


120 m3 and the ratio of width to length is to be 2:5. What is the minimum amount of
material that is required for a pool liner?

Optimization - Answer Section


8. ANS: Let x be the length of the window and the side length of the triangle, since the triangle is
equilateral. Let y be the width of the window.
P = 16
P = 2y + 3x

Set


9. ANS: Let width = x, length = 2x, and height = h.
V = (x)(2x)(h) = 2x2h
V=c
Area of the bottom and the area of the top = 2x2
Area of the sides = 2xh + 2xh + xh + xh = 6xh
If the cost of the material for the bottom is $D, then the cost for the top and the sides is $3D.
E.D.

, where D and c are constants


Set

is positive and hence minimum.

Therefore, the most economical dimensions are


10. ANS: Perimeter of the running track is 440 m.
Let x be the length of the rectangular portion and r be the radius of the semicircular portion.
2x + r + r = 440
2x + 2r = 440
(1)
Let A be the area of the rectangular portion.
Therefore, A = 2rx.
From (1),
Set

x = 110

r = 35
The radius is 70 m.
= negative, hence, it is a maximum.
Therefore, the area is maximized when the length of the rectangular portion is 110 m and the radius of the
circular portion is 35 m.
11. ANS: Let r represent the radius of each semicircle; thus, the total width of the window is 4r.Let h
represent the height of the rectangular part of the window.
Area

Cost C = 20(2r) + 10(2h + 4r)


= 40r + 20h + 40r
=

=
Set

.
The cost is minimized when the width of the
window is

m.


12. ANS: Let x be the width of the box. Let h be the height of the box. Let V be the volume of the box. Let
SA be the surface area of the box.

Since x is a dimension of a solid,

negative
decreasing

positive
increasing

minimum at
The dimensions of the box are 9.28 cm by 9.28 cm by 9.28 cm.


13. ANS: Let r be the radius of the silo. Let h be the height of the silo. Let V be the volume of the silo. Let
SA be the surface area of the silo.

Since r is a dimension of a solid,

negative
decreasing
minimum at

positive
increasing

The minimum surface area of 302.6 cm2 occurs when the cylindrical portion of the silo is non-existent.
This scenario would required Kathy to purchase 16 cans of paint (
, rounded up to ensure
sufficient quantity). Since grain silos have a cylindrical section, it is unlikely that Kathy will purchase the
minimum number of cans of paint. She will need to purchase more since the height of the cylindrical
portion will not be 0 m.
14. ANS:
Let w be the width of the pool. Let l be the length of the pool. Let h be the height of the pool. Let V be the
volume of water in the pool. Let SA be the surface area of the walls of the pool.

Since w is a dimension of a solid,

negative
decreasing
minimum at

positive
increasing

The minimum amount of material required for a pool liner is 124 m2.