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Math Help - Optimization

  1. #1
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    Optimization

    Consider an isosceles triangle whose two equal sides are of length 5. What is the largest possible area for such a triangle?
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  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velvet Love View Post
    Consider an isosceles triangle whose two equal sides are of length 5. What is the largest possible area for such a triangle?
    Have you tried to draw a diagram? Just draw the triangle with the sides equal to 5, and treat the base as a variable x. Try to derive an expression for the area as a function of x. That's the best way to start on a problem like this.
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  3. #3
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    Yes. The area formula is .5*b*h.
    But I don't have the height. And all the formulas I know for height need the base.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velvet Love View Post
    Yes. The area formula is .5*b*h.
    But I don't have the height. And all the formulas I know for height need the base.
    Split the triangle into two right triangles each with bases equal to \frac{1}{2}x and then use the pythagorean theorem to represent the hieght in terms of x.
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