Posted by Anil on .
why are these equations poor models of hitting a baseball:
y= 0.002x(x433.1)
I get maximums of (216,93). Other problems' maximums are in the (220, 100)range. So are they poor models because the distance and heights are unreasonable?
2) Why is the constant a in y=ax^2 + bx + c negative in a reasonable model?
is it because the graph is then a hill versus a valley?

algebra 
Steve,
1. Plenty of players hit the ball 400 feet or more. This function has roots at 0,433, so it appears to model typical hitting ability.
2. negative a means that there is a downward force acting on the ball: gravity. so, yes, the graph is a hill. The ball takes off at some speed, but gravity slows down its ascent and makes it drop back to earth. 
algebra 
Damon,
y= 0.002x(x433.1)
is
y = .8662 x  .002 x^2
I do not see anything very wrong except that the baseball does not start out at zero height. When x = 0 y should be like one meter high so I might prefer something like
y = 1 + .8662 x  .002 x^2
Yes, coef of x^2 must be negative because as x gets big the ball must drop.