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Population Growth Estimate Gets Spooky


Here’s a statement of mathematical certainty…”On October 31, the world population will reach 7 billion people”. Or will it? The Wall Street Journal article, “How Do You Get to 7 Billion People” discusses this topic and the issues associated with population accuracy.

Extra Credit Assignment (worth 5 points on your next learning packet – comments due by the date and time your packets are due) follow the directions below carefully. If directions are not followed exactly, points will not be earned.

ARITHMETIC STUDENTS (MAT082) – Respond to the following in the comments area below:

  1. Your first name, last initial, and the class you are in (082)
  2. The linked article talks about some of the issues with accurately counting people. Name one of these issues and why it makes accurate counting difficult.
  3. What does the article say about why accurate counting is important? Why do we care? List at least one reason and why it is important.

INTRODUCTORY ALGEBRA STUDENTS (MAT092) – Respond to the following in the comments area below:

  1. Your first name, last initial, and the class you are in (092)
  2. Using the listed data for the US Population in 1950, 2010, 2050, make a reasonable estimate for our population in 2100. Explain your process carefully.
  3. How does your estimate compare to what the article says will be the US population in 2100? What might account for the difference?

INTERMEDIATE ALGEBRA STUDENTS (MAT122 or 121) – Respond to the following in the comments area below:

  1. Your first name, last initial, and the class you are in (122 or 121)
  2. Use LINEAR regression to write an equation for the population growth of China from 1950 to 2010. Then, use EXPONENTIAL regression to do the same thing. Include your equations here and explain your processes.
  3. Use your equations above to compute the population of China in 2050 and include those numbers and calculations here. Which of your models is more accurate to the 2050 prediction?
  4. What might happen to explain the predicted drop in population from 2050 to 2100? Would either model have anticipated this?
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