For our first episode of 2009, we visited SeaWorld in San Diego and met with one of their trainers Mike. We got to help feed the Beluga Whales there and Mike talked with us about the math involved in the animals' diet. The total amount of daily food intake is determined for each animal from several different variables such as gender, weight, age, and time of year. Then proportions of four different kinds of fish must be made for each animal to correctly balance different nutritional elements. These are basically "mixture problems" from an algebra class.
We also talked about methods to estimate the size of crowds, inspired by the Amgen Tour of California bicycle race that finished in Escondido over the weekend. The claim was that 300,000 spectators witnessed the final leg in San Diego county and over 2 million watched the race throughout California. How did they come up with those numbers?
This week's links: