# Tagged Questions

Optimization is the process of choosing the "best" value among possible values. They are often formulated as questions on the minimization/maximization of functions, with or without constraints.

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### Maximize $x_1x_2+x_2x_3+\cdots+x_nx_1$

Let $x_1,x_2,\ldots,x_n$ be $n$ non-negative numbers ($n>2$) with a fixed sum $S$. What is the maximum of $x_1x_2+x_2x_3+\cdots+x_nx_1$?
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### Largest $n$-vertex polyhedron that fits into a unit sphere

In two dimensions, it is not hard to see that the $n$-vertex polygon of maximum area that fits into a unit circle is the regular $n$-gon whose vertices lie on the circle: For any other vertex ...
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### Using a compass and straightedge, what is the shortest way to divide a line segment into $n$ equal parts?

Sometimes I help my next door neighbor's daughter with her homework. Today she had to trisect a line segment using a compass and straightedge. Admittedly, I had to look this up on the internet, and ...
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### Finding Maximum Area of a Rectangle in an Ellipse [duplicate]

Question: A rectangle and an ellipse are both centred at $(0,0)$. The vertices of the rectangle are concurrent with the ellipse as shown Prove that the maximum possible area of the ...
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### Decomposing a discrete signal into a sum of rectangle functions

Hello math@stackexchange community ! I have a simple question that seems to have a non trivial answer. Given a discrete one dimensional signal $w(x)$ defined in a finite range, and the boxcar (...
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### Optimal path around an invisible wall [duplicate]

The Problem On an infinite plane there are two points, $A$ and $B$, a unit distance apart. There is a $50\%$ probability that there is an invisible wall somewhere between the two points. The ...
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### Heuristics for topological sort

I have a number of modules connected in a Directed Acyclic Graph. My problem is to find an optimal execution order (minimize the total execution time). Any topological sort suffices for a valid ...
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### Determine the minimum of $a^2 + b^2$ if $a,b\in\mathbb{R}$ are such that $x^4 + ax^3 + bx^2 + ax + 1 = 0$ has at least one real solution

I just wanted the solution, a hint or a start to the following question. Determine the minimum of $a^2 + b^2$ if $a$ and $b$ are real numbers for which the equation $$x^4 + ax^3 + bx^2 + ax + 1 = 0$$ ...