Governor's School 2000 - Mathematics Elective


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Elective Description

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.

Useful Computing Materials

How-To Essentials  (unix,vi,zip,email,Xwindows,WWW,f77,gnuplot)   Printable Version (postscript file)
     How to print
Remote Computing
       How to get a UTCC CAFE account (from UTCC)
       How To Connect via modem
       How to get an ISDN line
Online Resources
       on UNIX and the VI editor
       on FORTRAN and C
       on Maple and Matlab
       on Computational Science
       on Internet - WWW - HTML
       Examples - Simulations

Miscellaneous Information


"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

  • SIAM (Society fo Industrial and Applied Mathematics) Report: Some Views of Mathematics in Industry, by Paul Davis
  • Mathematicians of the Day
  • Math majors, Cheer Up !
         According to the U.S.Bureau of Labor Statistics (summer 1996), the median annual
         income for men age 30 and older with a Bachelor's degree in Mathematics is $52,316.
         That figure is second highest among all majors (engineering is about $700 higher),
         and about $8500 above the median for all majors.      [ USA Today, 15jan97 ]
    Programmers' shortage predicted, so learn programming now !
    Careers in Mathematics and some funny occupational descriptions
    New: The Nation's Best and Worst Jobs - April 99 (includes "Mathematician")

    Check the Weather for Knoxville .... and the Temperature outside Ayres Hall 
    Return to Dr. Collins' Home Page
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