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Estimating the Area of Virginia - Project Assignment

Author(s): 
Julie Clark, Caren Diefenderfer, Steve Hammer, and Trish Hammer,

Here are links to four additional state maps.

          

          

          

          

California 

Illinois 

Maryland 

North Carolina


Choose any one of these states and use MAPLE to approximate its area in two ways:

    1.  Use a trapezoidal approximation with at least 20 subintervals

    2.  Use Simpson's rule (parabolas) with at least 20 subintervals.

Your project should answer the following questions:

  • How/why did you choose your state?
  • Are your approximations "close" to the true area?  
  • Which approximation is better and why?
  • How could you improve these approximations?
  • How and why did you adjust the MAPLE worksheets?  
  • Did you have to interpret the MAPLE results in new/different ways?  How and why?  
  • When you have completed this work, decide whether you would choose the same state again.  If you were starting from the beginning, understanding what you NOW know, which state would you choose?  

Your final solution should be a carefully written MAPLE worksheet, containing your MAPLE code as well as several paragraphs (with complete sentences) that explain your work and conclusions.


Julie Clark, Caren Diefenderfer, Steve Hammer, and Trish Hammer,, "Estimating the Area of Virginia - Project Assignment," Loci (December 2004)

JOMA

Journal of Online Mathematics and its Applications

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