Math CentralQuandaries & Queries


Question from Kyle, a student:

I am doing a project and I need to figure out the total perimeter of wisconsin in miles
and only know the square miles of wisconsin which is 65,503 and I need to get that to miles
I have no clue how to do this. I've looked all of the computer for answers but got none.


We have three responses for you

Hi Kyle,

Unfortunately, your question, the way it is stated, can not be answered. You would need more information.

For example, if Wisconsin were shaped like a perfect rectangle whose area was 120,000 miles, it could have a length of 600 miles and a width of 200 miles. Or it could have a length of 400 miles and a width of 300 miles. Or it could have a length of 1200 miles and a width of 100 miles. Or....I could go on and on. Even with the shape being "nice" like a perfect rectangle, you'd still need to know either the length or the width as well as the area in order to determine the perimeter.

While I am not familiar with the actual shape of Wisconsin, you would definitely need more information in order to determine its perimeter.

I know this doesn't answer your question, but maybe this is the conclusion your teacher expected you to discover?




I searched on the web also and couldn't find the perimeter of Wisconsin. Are you in Wisconsin? You might try asking the school librarian.



Hi Kyle,

This website says the length of the boundaries of Wisconsin (the perimeter) is 1379 miles. There is no real connection between the area A of an irregular shape and its perimeter P, except that P cannot be less than 2 x sqrt( 3.14 x A).


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