Encouraging optimization of energy

  • Encouraging optimization of energy

    Jorge Garcia
    Designing strategies to optimize energy is a concern that we face in our daily lives. Optimizing energy is important because we need to conserve resources on our planet to ensure that resources are always available. Scientists in different fields often encounter situations in which they need to optimize. For instance, engineers frequently minimize the material used in construction, and biologists advise on spending the least amount of nonrenewable natural resources. Additionally, employees in the business world who travel might visit multiple locations and want to reduce travel time and expenses. Avoiding using the same road twice would minimize backtracking and costs associated with it (this becomes the Traveling Salesman problem). In our daily schedules, we find ourselves running such errands as visiting stores, the school, and the bank, and we often plan our routes to save gas and time. We could design a delivery map in our heads, then sketch it on paper, representing each location with a dot and representing roads between those locations with lines. People in a branch of mathematics called graphtheory commonly call a diagram consisting of dots and lines a graph (see fig. 1).
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