**Author** David Graser, Yavapai College, Prescott, AZ (David_Graser@yc.edu)

**Abstract**

Projects involving Newton’s Law of Cooling are fairly common. This project allows the student to calculate an estimate of a time of death based on the temperature of the dead body. The full project allows the student to estimate the time of death using a rule of thumb and Newton’s Law of Cooling. The goal is for the students to compare and contrast the estimates. Each student has a different temperature at which the body is found based on the number of letters in their name or a similar identifying aspect.

- Content Area – College Algebra, Precalculus
- Time Frame -2 to 3 weeks with mini-lectures
- Published – September 9, 2008
- Keywords – piecewise linear function, Newton’s Law of Cooling, solving exponential equations

**Project Content**

**Scaffolding Resources**

**Technology Assignment** (DOC | PDF)

**Graphing a Function on a TI-83** (Video)

**Graphing a Function Using Excel** (Video)

**Changing a Graph in Excel** (Video)

**Adding Axes Titles To Your Excel Graph** (Video)

**Adding Chart Titles To Your Excel Graph** (Video)

**Handout – Worked Out Example on Piecewise Linear Function** (PDF)

**Notes**

- This project can be broken down into a rule of thumb project (piecewise linear functions) or a Newton’s Law of Cooling project (exponential functions, solving exponential equations).