Math 636

Instructor Peter Salamon

Fall 2008




The aim of this course is to teach real-world modeling skills. We will mostly follow the text “Introduction to Mathematical Modeling” by Ed Bender. We will proceed linearly through the text which stays remarkably non-technical, yet manages to be deep. Grading is based on the exams (35%), project (35%), and the homework exercises (30%).


Homework is to be turned in every Wednesday. Part of modeling is learning to communicate about mathematics in the context of an application. You are encouraged to collaborate (preferably in pairs of a math major and a non-math major). One write-up is to be turned in per group of collaborators. The homework solutions need to be word processed in good technical English and should show evidence of discussions and proofreading / editing by all members of the group.


Examinations will closely resemble the homework exercises and are open book/notes/computers. There will be two midterm examinations.


Projects will take up most of the last four weeks of the course and will involve modeling a system of your choice. They are also to be done by teams and need to produce a written report as well as an oral presentation.