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Brenda Wilmoth Lerner, Real-Life Math by K. Lee Lerner

By K. Lee Lerner

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This equation states that the amount of money raised will be equal to the number of tickets sold multiplied by the price of each ticket, minus the cost, the car, and the event itself. Because the purpose of this equation is to determine how many tickets to sell and at what price, the committee rewrites the equation with the term TP (representing the number of tickets multiplied by the price of each ticket) alone on the left side of the equation. By subtracting TP from both sides, the equation becomes G Ϫ TP ϭ ϪC Ϫ E.

To ensure that at least this amount of money is available after the paying for the car and the various components of the fundraiser, the committee decides to set up a mathematical model. To analyze the financial details of the event and decide the price of the raffle tickets and the minimum number of tickets that need to be sold, the committee prepares an algebraic formula. The formula will take into account the price of the car, the number of tickets sold, the price to be charged for each ticket, and the ultimate financial goal of raising $20,000.

By logging and analyzing the results of various experiments to test the life of light bulbs under different conditions, the life expectancy of a light bulb has been found to be inversely proportional to the voltage that is applied to the filament. That is, the life expectancy is equal to some number divided by the number of volts raised to a power; when two values are inversely proportional, decreasing one value causes an increase in the other value. The life expectancy of most incandescent R E A L - L I F E M A T H Algebra light bulbs is inversely proportional to the 12th power of the applied voltage and can be expressed as L ϭ a /V12, where L represents the life expectancy, a is a constant, and V represents the applied voltage.

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