Of course! This is where the study of PreCalc comes in handy! There's a topic in PreCalc called logarithms, and the study of Logs is super useful especially with problems pertaining to population growth. Let me show you!
I really want to try and predict population growth for a Biology Project that I have, but I'm not sure how to. You studied math, is there any way you could help?!
Predicting Human Population Growth
There are various exponential functions that could help us predict values in the future, such as Compound Interest (for predicting dollar value after investing in a Bank, for instance. Other exponential growth functions are very similar to the compound interest formula.
My Biology Professor wants us to try and predict what the population of human beings would be by the year 3031 and she wants us to be as accurate as possible. Where do I even begin?!
Making Predictions Based on Trends in History
The world population in 1950 was about 2.5 billion people and has been increasing at approximately 1.85% per year. Write the function that gives you the world population in year x, where x=0 corresponds to 1950.
This is sounding confusing so far...
A lot of people in Precalculus think that the material learned in that class is never applied to the real world. However, it can be seen in everyday life such as making predictions about future populations
Using Mathematical Strategies vs. Wasting Time
So I don't have to actually count all of these people?! I thought this was going to be a lot more work!
There are various exponential functions that can be utilized to predict future amounts. If you wanted to predict the future value of money you save in a bank with an accruing interest rate, you would utilize the "Compound Interest" equation A=Pert where "P" represents the initial amount, "r" represents the rate, and "t" represents the amount of time passed.
Data collected throughout history suggests that the human species has been increasing at a rate of about 1.85% per year. If we have a starting point to work with (such as the population determined in 1950) we could do a similar process with what we've done with predicting money amounts and instead do so with population.
Be smart about making predictions! No need to count! Utilize trends in history and incorporate them into mathematical formulas to help you save some time!
If the population increases each year by 1.85%, then it increases each year by a factor of 1.0185. Notice the pattern of population growth is the same as that of compound interest.