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By — McGraw-Hill Professional
Updated on Oct 3, 2011

#### PROBLEM 2

Suppose a sign manufacturing company gets tired of making rectangular billboards, and decides to put up a trapezoidal billboard instead. The top and the bottom of the billboard are horizontal, but neither of the other sides is vertical. The big sign measures 20 meters across the top edge, and 30 meters across the bottom edge. Two different companies want to advertise on the billboard, and both of them insist on having portions of equal height. What is the length of the line that divides the spaces allotted to the two advertisements? Does this represent a fair division of the sign area?

#### SOLUTION 2

The line segment that divides the two portions is the median of the sign. Its length, therefore, is the average of 20 meters and 30 meters, which, as you should be able to guess right away, is 25 meters. Whether or not this represents a fair split of the sign area can be debated. The advertiser on the bottom gets more area than the advertiser on the top, but the ad on top is likely to be the one that drivers in passing cars and trucks look at first. By the time drivers are finished with the ad on the top, they might be passing the sign.

Practice problems for these concepts can be found at:  Quadrilaterals Practice Test.

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