This might be a stupid question, I'm not use to asking questions about math... I just started on optimization. Can someone tell me What optimization is used for and how I could apply it to a problem. When it comes to a problem, I could do it like if it asks " Find two numbers that satisfy the given requirements,' The sum of (S) and the product is maximum.'" Like when They ask me that I can definitely do that no problem, but my teacher usually gets us with blinding questions that I have never seen before in our books, I know he's only trying to prepare us for the Ap exam, but sometimes No matter how much I study from the book I just don't know how to prepare for the test. He teaches us the material and I'm all like "Hey I totally get how to do this" But during the test he gives us problems we have never seen before and wants us to apply what we learn, so I want to prepare for the worst. I want to know why optimization is used. I know it's used to find max volume, minimum distance and area and min length, But why? Can someone give me a definition of optimization or show me using an equation how it originates.