Open ended problem: Tables for a party

This problem allows for multiple possible solutions, and will require students to think about some assumptions they will have to make to solve this problem. You can easily vary the difficulty of the problem by changing the number of people invited to the party.

How many tables and how many chairs?

Ellen is planning a party for her friends. She has invited 100 of them, but she doesn’t know exactly how many of her friends will attend. She wants to put out tables for her friends, and she wants to put enough chairs at each table so that none of her friends has to sit alone. Assume that her friends will fill up each table as they arrive. How many tables should she put out, with how many chairs at each table?

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