It is easy to confuse the processes for solving for the rate versus the number of years in the compound interest formula. The two MathFAQs compare the process of solving for the rate (using roots or powers) with solving for years (using logarithms)

## Relative vs Absolute Extrema

Although a relative extrema may seem to be very similar to an absolute extrema, they are actually quite different. The term “relative” means compared to numbers nearby…so a relative extrema is either a bump or a dip on the function.

The term “absolute” means the most extreme on the entire function. An absolute extrema is the very highest or lowest point on the function. This may occur at a bump or a dip. They may also occur at the ends of the function if it is defined on a closed interval.

The MathFAQ below illustrates how to find these points on a function.

## How Do You Solve for Different Values in the Compound Interest Formula?

Many problems require you to work with the compound interest formula.

Here are some FAQs that might help you to solve for various quantities in the formula.

## Using the Simplex Method to Solve A Standard Maximization Problem

The basic algorithm for solving a standard minimization problem is covered in Section 4.3. This process, called the Simplex Method, uses matrices and row operations to gauge whether an objective function is maximized at corner points.

In the example below, I write out a standard maximization problem from an application and then solve it with the Simplex Method.

## How Are Cutoff’s Determined On “The Curve”?

In your classes, you might hear about instructors who grade on “a curve”. There is an idea that this might somehow benefit you when it comes to grading. Let’s take a look how that might work if the curve is a normal curve.