MATH 341 Mathematical Modeling (3)

Catalog Description:

Discrete deterministic models. Applications of graph theory, linear programming, game theory, election theory, and finite difference equations. Computer simulation. Case studies in areas of student's choice.



CIS 181 Computer Programming I and MATH 211 Calculus III

Course Coordinator:

Douglas C. Phillippy, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Mathematics

Course Audience:

Mathematics majors whether planning on a career in industry or in teaching. Open to all students.

Course Objectives:

A course in mathematical modeling differs from a course in applied mathematics in one important way. Applied mathematics courses are typically taught as mathematics in search of an application. A mathematical modeling course is centered on real world situations in search of some appropriate mathematics. Thus the following objectives distinguish this course from other mathematics courses in the curriculum:

  1. To change the student's world view, so as to see the pervasiveness of mathematics in the natural sciences.
  2. To give teams of two or three students an opportunity to work together to solve real-world problems of the kind that professional applied mathematicians are paid to do.
  3. To discover the usefulness of discrete deterministic models in areas such as social choice, finance, and population growth.
  4. To learn powerful ideas of mathematics like "transform-solve-invert" and Polya-like strategies for attacking problems like looking for analogies and solving just a useful part of a problem.
  5. To learn to explain the mathematics that one has used to solve a problem both in formal writing and in oral presentation.


  1. Develop a mathematical representation of a problem or situation.
  2. Analyze the resulting mathematical structures.
  3. Research conclusions or decisions.
  4. Translate the results into the language of the original problem.
  5. Estimate how good the results are.


Revised: September 2010

Return to Course Index