Mathematical modeling is the process of analyzing real-world problems through the lens
of mathematics and then relating the solutions back to the real world.
Topics to be covered include discrete-time simulations of dynamical systems, Markov chains
and Monte Carlo simulation, cellular automata, diffusion, agent-based models, and
Centenary assures students with disabilities equal opportunity to reach the same level of
achievement as other students. Strict confidentiality will be maintained on students with
disabilities. Services for students with disabilities are available through the
, located on the ground floor of Rotary Residence Hall, phone (318) 869-5424.
All students are bound by the Honor System. The Honor System is applicable to all academic
work. See the Centenary College Handbook
for the complete Honor Code
All code you write and turn in for a grade is understood to be pledged. You
may discuss topics with other students and tutors, but all code you write must be your
own, and you must be able to explain to me how it works. In this
course, it is a violation of the honor code to look at code from previous semesters or
in other students' directories.
Extensions and rescheduling for labs, projects, exams and quizzes are only given when
circumstances beyond your control (e.g. being sick, choir or sports travel)
prevent you from completing a project on time. You must notify me either by
email or phone of your circumstances well in advance of the due date.
No extensions are given for requests made within three days of the due date.
Quizzes and Participation
You are encouraged to attend class and participate in discussions every day.
Sporadically throughout the semester, there will be short quizzes covering
material from the
previous class. These quizzes will serve as records of your attendance, and in total they
will comprise 5% of your final grade. Active participation in class discussions will
comprise another 5% of your final grade. This will be awarded for answering questions, asking questions,
presenting material, etc.
Extra credit for this course can be earned by participating in the
Centenary Math Problem of the Week
(POTW). Each reasonable submission will be worth an
additional 0.5% toward your final grade, CC me with your submission for credit. A maximum
of 7% extra credit can be applied to your final grade.
We will be using pieces from both textbooks and alternating between their approaches.
We will also be using additional supplemental material such as
and background material for the lab assignments.
Readings will be assigned before material will be covered in class. You are expected
to review the material and come to class prepared. As readings are assigned,
they will be posted here.
Much of your experience with modeling in this course will be through semi-weekly labs,
which will comprise 30% of your final grade. All labs are weighted equally within the Lab
portion of your final grade.
You may work with a partner on the lab assignments if you choose. Their name must be
listed on any work you hand in as joint work.
- Lab 1: Oil Spill
- Lab 1a: Car Sales Profit
You may resubmit Lab 1 modeling the Car Sales Profit problem from the lecture notes above. Follow the same format as
Lab 1, using the OilSpill Maple Worksheets as a template. Be sure to tweak a parameter and discuss the robustness of your model.
- Lab 2: Growth and Decay
- Assigned: Jan 22th
- Due: Jan 27th
- Lab 3: Caffeination
- Assigned: Jan 27th
- Due: Feb 3rd
- Lab 4: Population - Competition
- Assigned: Feb 10th
- Due: Feb 12th
- Lab 6: Monte Carlo Simulation
- Assigned: March 12th
- Due: March 17th
- Lab 7: Markov Chains
- Assigned: March 24th
- Due: March 26th
You will have one large project in this course.
The purpose of this project is to improve your research, writing and communication
skills as well as give you an opportunity to explore in-depth a particular area of
modeling. You will analyze, model, and evaluate a real-world situation and
and share this with the rest of the class through a paper and a presentation.
The details for this project will be posted as the semester progresses. One option for
a project topic is to work on the
Mathematical Contest in Modeling on February 5-9.
There will be two exams, each worth 20% of your final grade. They
will consist of modeling theory and practical situations.
- Exam 1: March 3rd
- Exam 2: May 6th 12-3 pm
Your final grade for this course will be based on the Labs, Projects, Quizzes, Exams and
Participation described above.
© Mark Goadrich, Centenary College of Louisiana