It's been a good long while since the last time I have put out a blog post for AP Calc.
This week started off pretty interestingly. This is because of the quiz that we had last Friday about the subject of Optimization. Before taking the quiz I was positive that I knew how to do optimization problems and that I understood it very well. Well, it turns out that I actually did not understand the subject fully. When we got the quiz on Friday, I stared at it for a good long while before I actually started doing it. I looked at the four problems and was essentially lost on how to start them. After like 5 mins, I decided to actually start the thing and when I read the first problem, it wasn't that bad. It was like one of the simpler problems that involved Optimization. The second one got me really confused, and after getting the quiz back i found that I just read the problem wrong, so that sucks. For the third question i forgot to plug the value for X that I had found back into the model equation to find the time value. And, I just left the 4th question blank because I actually had no idea on how to even start the problem. Before we got the quizzes back, we all got a message from our teacher stating that he apologizes if we see any tear stains on our quizzes. I felt really bad because I felt like he explained the concept really well, and that I just didn't put in the effort to further that general understanding.
Getting away from that awful quiz experience, we started a new lesson for this week. This was Related Rates. After our teacher finished explaining what the concept was, I felt like this was a lot more simpler to understand and do than Optimization for me. it made a lot more sense and I could understand what i was doing the whole time. I was legit happy because this meant that I could do the homework problems with no problem at all, and that was the case. Though the questions did get a bit more difficult over time, it didn't get as difficult as most of the Optimization problems did.
Overall I think that the main difficulty that comes with learning Optimization and Related Rates is the setup and finding the right equations to use for each problem. This fact is especially hard for me because there are so many possibilities that I just get even more confused on which one to actually use. But, i found that I should just take the time to try each and every possibility, this not only gives me practice but also insight on how to do the problem itself.
Bryll Matthew Moreno