What Are Some Real World Uses for Linear Functions?

What Are Some Real World Uses for Linear Functions?

Real world uses for linear functions include solving problems and finding unknowns in engineering, economics and finances. A linear function describes a gradual rate of change, either positive or negative. When drawn, it presents a straight line.

Linear functions are a mathematical concept often taught first in an Algebra I class. Specific real world problems that can be solved using a linear function include:

  • predicting equipment rental cost given a rate and rental period
  • calculating profit for a small business
  • taxes due on a particular amount of income
  • in structural engineering design

Some real world examples with corresponding linear functions are:

  • To convert a temperature from Celsius to Fahrenheit: F = 1.8C + 32
  • To calculate the total monthly income for a salesperson with a base salary of $1,500 plus a commission of $400/unit sold: I = 400T + 1,500, where T represents the total number of units sold