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# Real-Life Applications of Parabolas and Hyperbolas

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One of the civil engineers you interviewed for your article works for a company which specializes in bridge construction projects. In the process of designing suspension bridges, they must account for many variables in the modeling. Some of these variables include the bridge span; the force of the typical water currents wearing upon the structure; ice flows striking the structure; the forces the current creates caused by river traffic flowing beneath the bridge; height of the bridge and the wind force. The bridge also has to be designed to withstand the constant flow of traffic on the bridge and to bear its weight. Graphing parabolas and hyperbolas can be used to illustrate some of these design issues.

1. How does the graph of a parabola differ from the graph of one branch of a hyperbola? Identify some real world applications of parabolas and hyperbolas (other than civil engineering).
2. Search the Library or other internet sources to find and discuss at least two practice uses of probability today. Be sure to cite your sources.