Group Project
Meat and Potatoes

The Project

Suppose the only foods available in your local supermarket are meat and potatoes. Suppose each portion of potatoes contains 3 units of carbohydrates, 4 units of vitamins, 1 unit of protein and costs 75 cents, while each portion of meat contains 1 unit of carbohydrates, 3 units of vitamins, 3 units of protein and costs 2 dollars. Suppose also a balanced diet requires a daily minimum of 8 units of carbohydrates, 19 units of vitamins and 7 units of protein.

Given the economy, you are greatly concerned about meeting your own minimum daily requirements while spending as little as possible.
Your task at the moment is to model this problem algebraically. You are to clearly define appropriate variables and represent each of the constraints (conditions) as well as the total amount you will be spending in terms of those variables. You do not need to solve the problem at this time; you merely need to set up a model.

The Ground Rules

This project will be completed by competing groups/teams. The teams are listed below.

Some time will be given in class for the teams to get organized, but the bulk of the work is to be done outside of class.

The project will be graded on the basis of 100 points, but will be given a weight of ½ for the purposes of calculating averages. In other words, it will be worth half as much as an exam.

Except in exceptional purposes, each group member will receive the same grade. It is probably a good idea to come to a team performance agreement, but no such agreement is required for this project.


The project report should be self-contained.

Each group will create a written report, which may include charts and sketches if deemed appropriate. The report must include the names of all team members.

An electronic copy of the text must also be submitted to the instructor by electronic mail. The electronic copy should be in plain text (ascii). It should be in the body of the email message, not an attachment. Optionally, groups may submit their projects electronically as html, but that should still be in plain text. The only exception is that if any graphics are included, they may (indeed, must) be sent as attachments. Note it is likely that some information in the written report will be lost.

Alternative: In place of submitting the electronic copy directly, students may create a web page and communicate the url for the web page.

The reports should be prepared so that they would be understood by students with backgrounds similar to those of the students in the class. No prior knowledge of the project should be necessary to fully understand what the assignment was. The report should not contain a reproduction of this sheet; the report must be understandable simply because it is clearly written.

Reports should be mostly self-contained in that they generally should not require the reader to check outside sources, or to trust outside sources, to verify any information. If any formulas are used, they should be explained and, if not generally known by the typical college student, derived. For example, one would not need to derive the formula for the area of a circle but one would need to derive the formula for the present value of an annuity.

Use may be made of standard software, such as spreadsheets. In such cases, their use must be completely explained.

Students who are able to program in standard languages may do so with the permission of the instructor.

Research may be done using Internet, but no use may be made of sites which do calculations for users.

It is recommended that each team member carefully analyze the completed report prior to its submission from the perspective of someone who has no knowledge of the project to make sure that it is written clearly enough, with sufficient explanation so that, for example, someone reading the report would be able to reproduce exactly the same calculations included without looking at those calculations.

All reports will be posted on the course home page.

Confidential Individual Reports

In addition to the team's report, each team member will, in confidence, separately submit an individual report describing how the team divided up the tasks and including an estimate of the percentage contribution of each team member.

Students who do not submit their individual confidential reports by the due date will be penalized. Also, if there is a general consensus within a group that some team members did not contribute their fair share, those students will be penalized.


The report for each group is due Monday, December 1.

Groups are strongly encouraged to bring drafts of their reports to the Writing Center and/or the instructor well in advance of the project's due date. This is the main reason so much time is being given for the project, which could probably be completed by some students by themselves in ten or fifteen minutes.

Groups are encouraged to submit their final reports before the due date; no reports will be accepted after the due date.

The Groups

After December 1, clicking on the name of a group which has submitted its electronic report will bring up a copy of that report. Prior to that time, clicking on the name of a group will bring up an error message indicating the report has not been found.

8:00 Class

Group 1
Chad Boulier, Daniel Hanley, Sonja Henst, James Gerosa, Matthew Stone, Amy Tran

Group 2
Agne Bileviciute, Lindsay Bissonnette, Karen Carlson, Michelle Gravel, Brandon Sweet

Group 3
Anthony Calandro, Kevin Daigle, Alyssa Huddleston, Sara Lima, Daniel Marcil, Maxim Shorey

Group 4
Chris Cardenas, Chase Chemero, Joseph Ciarleglio, Jennifer Rosa, Thanh Tran

9:30 Class

Group 1
Tyler Larrivee, Blayze Markoya, Fernando Piedra, Joshua Sanford, Shawn Smith

Group 2
Jeffrey Albert, Zachary Byler, Habibullah Olomi, Steven Panzella, Eric Trimborn

Group 3
Timothy Cawley, Julian Chan, Stephen Miske, Pedro Muniz, Jonathan Trudeau

Group 4
Manal Ahmad, Frank Caruso, Daniel Curtis, Timothy Gaipa, David Sanchez

Group 5
Michael Bogush, Leo Carey, Igli Cyreku, Eric Demmons, Ryan McNally