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Clayton E.

Design Engineer

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Microsoft Excel

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Question:

My boss has given me a spreadsheet that has roughly 1000 rows in it. Column A lists all of the part numbers that our facility makes, and Column B lists the corresponding profits per part number. He has given me the task of figuring out the total price of any part number that contains "A100" in it; however, many of the parts contain this section of the part number in various parts. For example, we have one part number that is XFZA100435 and another part that is A10045662. Is there a way I can pick out "A100" and sum up the total profits from all of these values?

Clayton E.

Answer:

Rest assured, there is an easy way to find your solution and to make your boss a happy camper. For this problem, we will be using the SUMIF function. Excel has a function that will allow you to sum certain values, only if a certain criteria has been met. The SUMIF function looks like this. SUMIF(range,criteria,[sum_range]), where range is the range of numbers that is to be evaluated, criteria is the specific values you are looking for, and [sum_range] is the range that is going to be added together. In a cell below your total profits, type the function =SUMIF(). Now for the range, you will be selecting the entire column of part numbers. These are the values that you are sorting through. For the criteria, you will need to add in what you are searching for. In your case, you need to sort through which part numbers have a "A100" value in it; however, we can't simply use this value in the function. If you put just that value, it will only return part numbers that only have the string A100 in it. Instead, we need to use a wildcard command that will search each part number for that specific number in it. To do this, surround the criteria with asterisks. You'll also have to use quotations around the wild card so Excel sees this value as a string and not an integer. If you leave it without the quotes, the function won't return the value you want and will give an error flag. Finally, we need to enter the sum range, or the range that will be summed. These are the total profit values in column B. Your equation should look something like this. =SUMIF(A1:A1000, "*A100*", B1:B1000). This will give you the desired result.

Pre-Calculus

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Question:

Predict the effect on the graph of the function f(x) = x^2 in graphing (a) y = f(x-1) -2 (b) y = -f(x+2)

Clayton E.

Answer:

Although transformed graphs seem intimidated, they're pretty okay after you practice a few of them. Let's look at (a) first. For this function, you would replace x with (x-1). This gives you an equation of y = (x-1)^2 - 2. We know that y = x^2 is a parabola, so this shape of this graph will look similar, assuming the transformations doesn't shift it too much. When you look at the section (x-1), we can see that the graph is shifted to the right by one unit. This means the whole parabola will shift to the right by one. Now when we take a look at -2, we can see that the graph will shift down by two units. So overall, the graph will shift to the right by one, and down by 2. The low point or bottom of the parabola will be at (1, -2). Now let's take a look at (b). y = -f(x+2). When we substitute in the function, we are left with the equation y = - (x+2)^2. Again, this graph will also take a form of a parabola since we are substituting in an x^2. Take a look at the (x+2). The +2 tells us that the parabola will be shifted to the left by 2 units. So when you plot it, the graph will be a simple parabola that is shifted to the left by two units, with a low point at (-2,0). But what about that "-" sign in front of the function? Well, this means that the parabola, or function, is negative and all we have to do now is reflect the graph across the x axis. The final result will be a parabola shifted to the left two units that is opening down, or making a frowny face.

Algebra

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Question:

The rate to rent a small moving van is $30 per day, plus $0.50 per mile. Jada rented a van to drive to her new home. It took two days, and the van cost $360. How many miles did she drive?

Clayton E.

Answer:

The dreaded story problem! Don't worry, these problems aren't as bad as they seem once you get used to what they are asking and what you are given. If you read the last part of the problem, we are asked to find how many miles Jada drove. The problem tells us that a van costs $30 a day to rent, and each mile that is driven costs $0.50. In order to solve how many miles were driven, we need to first figure out how many days the van was used and how much in total it would cost to rent the van. Once we have that number, we can subtract that from the total cost and all we are left with is a rate per mile which will allow us to figure out how many miles were driven by Jada. Okay, so look at it this way. The total trip costs $360. The problem says that Jada rented the van for two days. If it costs $30 a day to rent the van, then that means in total, it would cost Jada $60 to rent the van, not including mileage. If you subtract the $60 from the total cost, $360, you are left with $300. Now we can divide that remaining amount by the cost per mile to find out how many miles Jada drove. This will give us the answer we are looking for. Let's write it out in an expression. $30 * days + $0.50 * mile = $360 $30 * (2 days) + $0.50 * mile = $360 $60 - $60 + $0.50 * mile = $360 - $60 $0.50/$0.50 * mile = $300/$0.50 miles = 600 Jada drove 600 miles for this trip. That's quite the distance!

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