Linear Inequalities, Variation, and Solving by
Graphing
Definition of a Linear Inequality
Definition
A linear inequality
is an inequality
that has one of the four forms below

Ax + By < C

Ax + By >
C

Ax + By <
C

Ax
+ By > C

We follow the follow the procedure listed below to graph the inequality:
Solving Linear Inequalities
Steps for solving Inequalities

Write a Ttable plotting the x and
y intercepts (find where
x = 0 and where
y = 0). If the equation gives (0,0) as a point, plot another convenient
point such as when x = 1.

Plot the two points on the xyplane.

If the inequality is "<" or ">" then connect the two points with a
dotted line. The dotted line is analogous to the open circle on the
number line. Otherwise, connect the two points with a solid
line. The solid line is analogous
to the closed disk on the number line.

If (0,0) is not on the line, substitute
(0,0) into the inequality to see
if it is true for (0,0). If it is true, shade the half plane that includes
(0,0). If the inequality
is false for (0,0), then shade the half plane that does not include
(0,0).
If (0,0) is on the line, then follow the same procedure using (1,0) or
(0,1)
whichever is not on the line.
Example
Sketch the solution to
2x  y < 2
Solution

We have

We plot the points (0,2) and (1,0)
in the xyplane.

Since the inequality is "<", we connect the points with a solid line.

(0,0) is not on the line. We test:
2(0)  (0) < 6
or
0 < 6
Since this statement is true, we can shade in the half plane containing (0,0).
This is the half plane above the solid line.
Example
Sketch the solution to
x + 3y > 0
Solution

Since (0,0) is on the graph, we pick a second point, letting
x = 3 so that we can avoid fractions.

We plot the points (0,0) and (2,1)
in the xyplane.

Since the inequality is ">", we connect the points with a solid line.

(0,0) is on the line. We test instead the point (1,0).
1  3(0) <
0 or
1 < 0
Since this statement is false, we can shade in the half plane not containing (1,0).
This is the half plane below the solid line.
Exercises
Sketch the solution of the following
2x + y > 10
x + y < 2
x + 4 > 2
y  6 < 1
Now try to put the following inequalities on the same plane.

3x  y < 9
and 4x+ y > 4

2x  y > 10 and
x + y < 3
Variation
Some Terminology
In word problems there are a few phrases that come up often enough to give
them special focus. Here is the dictionary:
Phrase 
Math 
varies directly as 
= k times ___ 
is proportional to 
= k times ___ 
varies inversely as 
= ___/k 
is inversely proportional to 
= ___/k 
varies jointly as A and B 
= kAB 
We call k the constant of
proportionality. k reflects the unit system
we are working with.
Remember the first step after reading the word problem is to label the
variables.
Examples

The intensity of sound varies inversely as the square of the distance
from the source.
We let
r =
the distance from the source
I =
the sound intensity
then
k
I =
r^{2}

The voltage of a circuit is directly proportional to the current.
Let
V =
the voltage
I =
the current
then
V
= kI

The area of a circle varies directly as the square of the radius.
We let
A = area of the circle
r = the radius
Then
A
= kr^{2}
You probably know what famous constant k is.

The time that it takes to arrive is inversely proportional to the
speed at which we travel
We let
t = the time it takes to arrive
s = speed we are
traveling
then
k
t =
s

The Volume of a right circular cylinder varies jointly as the square
of the radius and the height.
We let
V =
the volume of the cylinder
r
= the radius
h =
the height
Then
V
= kr^{2} h
Initial Value Problems
Sometimes, we are given information about the initial conditions of the problem
or some other information. We can use this information to find k.
After we find k, we can answer the question.
Example
The population of the world varies directly as the time elapsed
since 1988. In 2002
the population was 7 billion. What will it
be in the year 2018?
Solution
Let
P
be the population of the world and t be the years since
1988.
The
P
= kt
Using our initial value conditions (note that 2002
is 14 years after 1988),
7 =
k(14)
k = 1/2
In 2018, t = 30 hence
P = 1/2(30) = 15
billion.
There will be 15 billion people in the year
2018.
Exercises

The volume of an expanding balloon is directly proportional to the
time since a person begins blowing it up. If after 1 second the volume
of the balloon is 10 cu inches. How large will it be after
3 seconds?

The amount of water flowing down a waterfall varies jointly as the
speed at which the water is flowing and the cross sectional surface area
of the flow. Suppose that at the top of the falls where the water is traveling
at a rate of 2 feet per second and has a cross sectional surface
area of 10 square feet, there is 100 cu feet per second flowing out of the
falls. How many cubic feet per second is the water flowing at the bottom
of the falls where the water is traveling at a rate of 50 feet per second
but has a surface area of only 0.4 square feet?
Solving by Graphing
If we want to solve a system of equations, we can graph them and find the
point of intersection.
Example
Solve
x  2y
= 3
2x  y
=
7
We just graph the two equations and eyeball the intersection point.
The point of intersection looks like it has coordinates approximately (3.7,0.5).
This is only an estimate. The next section will show us how to find the
exact solution
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