Bin packing in Core Maths

Copper tubing is sold in 10m lengths.

For a particular job a plumber requires the following lengths:

2m, 8m, 4m, 5m, 2m, 5m, 4m

How many 10m lengths does the plumber have to buy for the job?

In the 'Bin packing' resource students are introduced to the first fit decreasing algorithm and asked to apply it to a host of different problems, including packing bins, filling passenger ferries and project management. For example:

"A factory has a rush order to complete in 16 hours. The activities and times are given below. The jobs are independent, in that they can be done in any order, and none can be speeded up by using more than one worker.

Find the minimum number of workers needed to complete the order in 16 hours."

Bin Packing

More discrete mathematics resources for Core Maths can be found here: 

Core Maths resource packages


Age16-19, FE/HE
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