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**cberry****Member**- Registered: 2010-02-19
- Posts: 6

I'm looking for a general solution to the following problem.

David Hasselhoff is standing on a beach and sees a swimmer in trouble. David is 'Y' meters from the waters edge, 'X' meters down the beach from the swimmer, and the swimmer is 'Z' meters out into the water from the waters edge. Given that David Hasselhoff moves 'n' times more quickly running on the sand than he does swimming, what is an expression to determine his quickest route to the swimmer. Or in other words, where does he enter the water for optimal time to rescue?

Help please, it looks so simple on paper, but...

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**phrontister****Real Member**- From: The Land of Tomorrow
- Registered: 2009-07-12
- Posts: 3,854

Hi cberry,

After getting nowhere with trying to find a solution to your problem I googled it and found

."The good news about computers is that they do what you tell them to do. The bad news is that they do what you tell them to do." - Ted Nelson

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**bobbym****Administrator**- From: Bumpkinland
- Registered: 2009-04-12
- Posts: 89,117

Hi phrontister;

I haven't touched this problem because it looks perfect for you. Then you can explain it to me.

http://www3.wabash.edu/econexcel/compst … lifeguard/

Also it looks like a nifty application of snells law. Someone else is well suited for this problem she might enjoy working on it!

**In mathematics, you don't understand things. You just get used to them.**

**I agree with you regarding the satisfaction and importance of actually computing some numbers. I can't tell you how often I see time and money wasted because someone didn't bother to run the numbers.**

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**phrontister****Real Member**- From: The Land of Tomorrow
- Registered: 2009-07-12
- Posts: 3,854

Hi Bobby,

I saw that link a couple of days ago and tried out the exercises. Interesting, but all much too advanced for me to try to get a handle on. It would take me a lifetime to begin to understand even just some of it.

*Last edited by phrontister (2010-02-23 11:07:50)*

"The good news about computers is that they do what you tell them to do. The bad news is that they do what you tell them to do." - Ted Nelson

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