Math for Liberal Arts Workbook
Mathematical Models: Exponential Functions
Arithmetic, Population, and Energy
As we watch the video of Professor Bartlett’s lecture on Arithmetic, Population, and Energy take
notes. Particularly, pay attention to his answers to the following questions. You will not be asked
to address the math techniques.
1. What does Doctor Bartlett claim is “the greatest shortcoming of the human race”?
2. What is meant by ‘steady growth”?
3. How long does it take for a quantity to double if it is growing steadily at 5% per year?
4. How long does it take for a quantity to double if it is growing steadily at 7% per year?
5. Why is this sobering: “Every time a growing quantity doubles, it take more than you have
already used up to that point”?
6. How can he claim that “zero population growth will happen”?
7. When you have bacteria in a bottle and the bottle is 1/2 full, what time is it?
8. How much time does the enterprising bacteria buy for themselves by finding 2 new bottles?
9. What is the analogy that Professor Bartlett wants us to recognize when he talks about bacteria?
Write an essay about this video.
• summarize his main points
• Include points or ideas that you found most interesting, surprising or alarming.
•Be sure to include references to the math he employs, the problems he brings up, and what you learned.
For more information on Exponential Functions read this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exponential_function
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