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Student: Hector Hernandez

Project #2: Optimization


Math 1210: Calculus I
Instructor: Garth Butcher
A Norman window has the shape of a rectangle surmounted by a semicircle. If the
perimeter of the window is 25 feet, find the dimensions of the window that will admit the
greatest amount of light.

This is a representation of the window,

Since we know that the perimeter is 28 feet, you can assume that the rectangle is 2x and y as
seen in the image, so we have the perimeter as:
𝑃 = 2𝑥 + 𝑦𝜋𝑥
2𝑥 + 𝑦 + 𝜋𝑥 = 28
𝑦 = 28 − 2𝑥 − 𝜋𝑥
= 28 − (𝜋 + 2)𝑥

Assume the area of the window as the area of the rectangle + area of the semicircle
1
= 𝑥𝑦 + 𝜋𝑥 2
2
Since the area of the function A is a function of two variables, we have to reduce it to a function
of one variable only.
1
𝐴 = 𝑥[28 − (𝜋 + 2)𝑥] + 𝜋𝑥 2
2
1
𝐴 = 28𝑥 − (𝜋 + 2)𝑥 2 + 𝜋𝑥 2
2
To optimize A, we need to find the value of the variable x for which A contains maximum value:
𝑑 1
𝐴′ = (28𝑥 − (𝜋 + 2)𝑥 2 + 𝜋𝑥 2 )
𝑑𝑥 2
𝑑 𝑑 1 𝑑
= 28 𝑑𝑥 (𝑥) − (𝜋 + 2) 𝑑𝑥 (𝑥 2 ) + 2 𝜋 𝑑𝑥 (𝑥 2 )

1
= 28(1) − (𝜋 + 2)(2𝑥) + 𝜋(2𝑥)
2

= 28 − 2(𝜋 + 2)𝑥 + 𝜋𝑥

= 28 − (𝜋 + 4)𝑥

A’=0

28 − (𝜋 + 4)𝑥 = 0

28
𝑥=
𝜋+4

28
𝑦 = 28 − (𝜋 + 2)
𝜋+4

28(𝜋 + 2)
= 28 −
𝜋+4

28𝜋 + 112 − 28𝜋 − 56


=
𝜋+4

56
=
𝜋+4

We take the 2nd derivative…

𝑑
𝐴′′ = (28 − (𝜋 + 4)𝑥)
𝑑𝑥

= −(𝜋 + 4)

<0
This result from the 2nd derivative attains maximum value for
28
𝑥=
𝜋+4
So, we can conclude from our calculations that the dimensions of the Norman window that allows
maximum possible amount of light are:

Length =
28
𝜋+4

And height =
56
𝜋+4

Reflection:
We refer to Optimization as the function of a set to maximize or minimize a goal
representing a range of choices available for a certain situation. Common applications for
example, trying to minimize costs, maximize profit, minimize error, optimal design, optimal
management, variational principles, etc. One of the greatest challenges is to convert the word
problem into a mathematical optimization problem. A great example is when a farmer wants to
fence off a rectangular field that borders a straight river, where he needs no fence along the river,
where he knows the amount of fence that he has and then he wants to figure out what are the
dimensions of the field that has the largest area. One of the main and important things to keep
in mind too is to introduce notation assignment for the quantity that is going to be maximized or
minimized and also select symbols for unknown quantities, therefore you can start getting the
derivates of the function and work from there. And something to keep in mind which is very
important is to test endpoints and critical values at the end to find out if the procedure/result
was done correctly.