# How to Use the Extrema Function of Several Variables to Solve Word Problems

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Using the extrema function of several variables to solve word problems requires you to keep a few key things in mind. Use the extrema function of several variables to solve word problems with help from a longtime mathematics educator in this free video clip.

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## Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Jimmy Chang, and we're here to talk about how to use the extrema function of several variables to solve word problems. Now when it comes to extrema functions it often involves finding the maximum or minimum value so in other words finding the highest or lowest values and the extrema functions. That's what they're all about and when it comes to finding the max or the min it involves finding the derivative. So in word problems when you're asked to find the max or min, the implication there is going to be finding the derivative or within the context of the problem it will imply to find the highest or the lowest values. So there's two paths that you can use for that is the first derivative test is one of them. Now as you might imagine what it involves is you have to take the equation that you've developed or that's given to you, find the derivative, find the critical values and being able to test them and you'll find out what the max or min would be. Now, the other option would be the second derivative test where you have to find the first derivative, find the critical values and then plug those critical numbers back into the second derivative to find out which will give you your max and/or your min. So depending on what path you choose both of these can give you the max or min values that are asked for in those word problems. So, I'm Jimmy Chang, and that's how to use the extrema function of several variables to solve word problems.

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