MATH 102 Mathematics of Growth (3)

Catalog Description:

This course is designed to present essential concepts in mathematical modeling, data analysis, and problem solving through contemporary applications which explore the effectiveness of replacing a real-world situation with a mathematical model. Course content includes arithmetic, quadratic, geometric, and logistic growth, as well topics in statistics such as the graphical interpretation of data and statistical techniques for analyzing a particular model. Meets General Education Mathematical Sciences requirement.


Two years of high school algebra

Required Course Materials:

Jean Soper, Mathematics for Economics and Business: An Interactive Introduction, Blackwell Publishing, 2004 (ISBN: 978-1-4051-1126-3)

Course Coordinator:

Angela C. Hare, Ph.D., Professor of Mathematics

Course Audience:

The typical course audience is first or second year students whose major does not require a particular mathematics course, and MATH 102 meets a general education requirement. MATH 102 is not a required course for any major.

Course Objectives:

A student who successfully completes this course should be able:

  1. To use difference equations to model patterns in data.
  2. To write mathematical functions that replace difference equations.
  3. To implement numerical, graphical, and functional approaches to data analysis.
  4. To explain characteristics of and solve applied problems involving linear, quadratic, exponential, trigonometric growth, and mixed models.
  5. To use a spreadsheet and other computer software, as needed, as an aid in working with the mathematics of growth models.

The following are the objectives of the course as a General Education course fulfilling the mathematical science requirement:

  1. To introduce students to the methods and philosophy of the mathematical sciences.
  2. To introduce students to at least one of the three mathematical sciences of computing, mathematics and statistics from a liberal arts perspective.
  3. To help students develop logical, analytical, and abstract thinking through quantitative problem solving activities.
  4. To integrate student use of the computer as a tool in the pursuit of the above objectives.

  1. Sequences and difference equations
  2. Arithmetic growth
  3. Linear graphs, functions, and equations
  4. Quadratic growth models
  5. Quadratic graphs, functions, and equations
  6. Geometric growth
  7. Exponential functions
  8. Mixed models (including financial models)
  9. Logistic growth and chaos



Revised: October 2013 (textbook); September 2011 (objectives)

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