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Mathematical modeling concerns the development of mathematical equations which represent (model) real world events. In this math course, we will develop different types of models for different situations, study the mathematics needed to solve and understand these models, and use these models to discover useful facts about the underlying situation.
We will develop models in many areas, possibly including: plant growth, spread of epidemics, optimal strategies for games, resource allocation, planetary motion, movement of pollution in rivers, and design of musical instruments.
In developing these models, we'll study different areas of mathematics, like: difference equations and chaos theory, game theory, probability, statistics, optimization, and numerical methods.
Prerequisites: Good algebra and general math skills. If you know more math, we'll use more, but we'll develop most of the mathematics we need as we need it. We'll also be using computers to perform experiments and to try out our models. No programming experience is necessary, unless you want to write your own programs.
Course Instructor: Dr. Charles R. Collins (B.S., Texas A&M University; Ph.D., University of Minnesota) is an Associate Professor of Mathematics at UT, where he teaches courses involving using computers to solve mathematical problems.
"The nice thing about computers is that they will do exactly
what you tell them to do. Unfortunately, they will do it exactly, so you
need to get your instructions exactly right"
--David J. Eck, The Most Complex Machine, p.173
"A computer lets you make more mistakes faster than any
invention in human history,
with the possible exception of handguns and tequila."
-- Mitch Ratliffe, Technology Review, April 1992