Tara throws a party every month. The number of cupcakes Tara bakes depends on how many kids will be at the party. Tara likes to have two cupcakes per kid. Let *c* be a variable representing the number of cupcakes Tara bakes, and let *k* be a variable representing the number of kids who will be at the party. You can also let *l* represent Tara's sense of inner loneliness, but that one won't play a part in this particular equation: *c* = 2 ยท *k*.Which variables vary in this situation? | |

Since the number of kids at the party can vary from month to month, *k* varies. Since *c* depends on *k*, *c* varies also. Here's hoping Tara gets a lot of *k* next month and needs to make a boatload of *c*'s. Go get 'em, Tara. Notice that, in both of the previous examples, we used letters for our variables that were chosen specifically to remind us what they represented: *c* for cupcakes and *k* for kids. We have mainly been using *x* and y all along, but there is no rule saying we can't give the rest of the alphabet a chance. So, whenever possible, use variables that seem more intuitive. Your brain will thank you for it. | |