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.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.
Given the economy, you are greatly concerned about meeting your own minimum daily requirements while spending as little as possible.
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.
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.
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.
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