- The Ice Cream Stands Problem : This problem involves planning for efficiently using resources. There are many solutions to the problem, although the solutions that require the least amount of resources will be the best ones for the problem as stated. Various strategies can be used to approach the problem, and no single strategy is better than all the rest.
- Brute Force and Other Algorithms: An algorithm is a systematic method or recipe for solving a problem. Students explore and talk about algorithms that could be used to solve the Ice Cream Stands Problem.
- Proving You Have Found the Minimum: It is not hard to evaluate which of two possible solutions to the Ice Creams Stands Problem is better, but how can you be sure there is not still a better one waiting to found? This question, in various forms, pervades all of mathematics. Applying it to the Ice Cream Stands Problem (and others like it) is an opportunity for students to grapple with the notions of mathematical truth and proof.