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Maximizing the Fit of a Box Spring Mattress up a Stairwell

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Mathematics Teacher Volume 100, Number 4, ISSN 0025-5769


The students of a Mathematical Modeling and Problem Solving class investigate and explore the mathematics involved in fitting a box spring mattress up a stairwell by solving various optimization problems and by using The Geometer's Sketchpad. The results show that a very small fraction of the class was actually able to solve the problem without tilting the mattress while moving it, as the use of the Sketchpads led to certain incorrect assumptions made by the students.


Buhl, D.A., Morissette, M.A. & Wolff, J. (2006). Maximizing the Fit of a Box Spring Mattress up a Stairwell. Mathematics Teacher, 100(4), 241-246. Retrieved August 15, 2020 from .

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