Mathematical Models, Spring 2016
Topics, Notes, and Homework
This page is for a past course. Find your current course here.

For each date below, you will find the homework assignment that is due that day, any lecture notes for downloading, and the key topics that are covered that day.
This schedule is approximate and subject to change!

Monday, February 1
• Includes Section 1.1 and Section 1.2 to middle of page 18. (Notes pages 0–11) '
• What is Mathematical Modeling?
• Steps of the Modeling Process
• Groupwork: Choosing a problem statement
Wednesday, February 3
Before class:
• Email me at chanusa@qc.cuny.edu with the following four things.: (1) Your name, (2) Your class (Math 245) (3) the email address where you are best contacted, (4) your graduation year.
• Thoroughly read the class web page including the syllabus and schedule. This should answer all the questions that you may have about the class. Next, take the syllabus quiz on Blackboard. Retake the quiz as necessary to earn a score of 100%.
In class:
• Includes pieces of Sections 2.1, 2.2, 3.1, and 3.2 (Notes pages 12–18) '
• The mathematical definition of error
• Errors inherent to the modeling process
• Groupwork: Simplifying assumptions and formulation errors
• When is a model descriptively realistic?
Monday, February 8
• Includes Section 3.1 (Notes pages 19–28) '
• Ways in which a model can be good.
• Definitions: Accuracy, Descriptive Realism, Precision, Robustness, General, Fruitfulness
• College enrollment examples
• The advantages of inaccuracy: Traveling Salesman Problem
Wednesday, February 10
• Includes Section 1.3 to top of page 26, pages 114–119, and pages 151–152 (Notes pages 29–46) '
• Situating Fitting data in the modeling process
• Functions you should know on sight
• Plotting data, scatterplots, proportionality
• Fitting linear data visually
• Transformations for fitting y=Cxk. and y=Ckx.
Wednesday, February 17
Before class:
In class:
• No new notes to download
• Modeling exponential data and population growth
• Residuals, interpreting residual plots
• Interpolation and Extrapolation
Monday, February 22
Before class:
• Read the Mathematica part of this website.
• If desired, download Mathematica to your home computer, or learn where you can access it on campus.
• Choose who you want to work with on the group project.
If you are without a group, see me at the beginning of class.
In class:
• Class meets in Mathematica Lab, Kiely 236. (Enter through Kiely 220; stay outside until I arrive.)
• Introduction to Mathematica; tutorial 1.
Wednesday, February 24
Before class:
• Explore Mathematica further outside of class.
• Meet with your group to discuss possible project topics.
In class:
Monday, February 29
Wednesday, March 2
Before class:
• Project statements are due today.
Email Prof. Chris before class and bring a hard copy to class.
In class:
• Class meets in Mathematica Lab.
• Mathematica tutorials 2 and 3.
• Prof. Chris will meet with each group to discuss your project statement
Monday, March 7
Wednesday, March 9
Before class:
• Complete Homework #2.
• Revised project statements are due today.
In class:
• Class meets in Mathematica Lab.
• Mathematica tutorial 4.
Exam 1 Information
• The first exam of the semester will take place on Wednesday, March 16.
• The exam covers all material covered since the beginning of the semester.
• Here are more details about the first exam.
• My students often ask for an example of the style of exam that I am liable to give. I am including my exam from last year. The topics covered by the exam are the same topics, but you should expect your exam to be very different because there are many ways for me to ask questions that test your knowledge on these topics. Click here for last year's exam.
Monday, March 14
• Question and Answer Day
Wednesday, March 16
• Exam 1
Monday, March 21
Before class:
• Project organizational statements are due today.
In class:
• Includes Section 5.3A and probability (Notes pages 78–87) '
• Introduction to probability
• Determining probability of events
• Independent events
• Expected Value
• Component Reliability
Monday, March 28
Continue your work on the project.
• Class was cancelled due to sick kid!
Wednesday, March 30
• Includes Vectors, Matrices, and Section 1.5 (Notes pages 88–95) '
• Vectors, Matrices, and multiplication
• Transition Matrices
Monday, April 4
• Leslie Matrices
• Vectors and Matrices in Mathematica
• In-class Project Work Day in Kiely 236.
Wednesday, April 6
• In-class Project Work Day in Kiely 236.
Monday, April 11
Project final draft due today. Bring in one complete copy of your project.
Wednesday, April 13
Monday, April 18
Homework #3 is due. Important: Homework 3 has been updated with a third problem!
• In Mathematica Lab, Kiely 236
• In-class Draft Critique Day.
• Tutorial 6 / Homework #4 work day.
Wednesday, April 20
— Spring Break —
Monday, May 2
• In Mathematica Lab, Kiely 236
• Catch up with the notes.
• Tutorial 7 / Homework #4 work day.
Wednesday, May 4
Peer Review Day. Bring in three copies of the final draft of your paper.
Exam 2 Information
• The second exam of the semester will take place on Wednesday, May 11.
• The exam covers all material in the course notes since the first exam.
• Here are more details about the second exam.
• My students often ask for an example of the style of exam that I am liable to give. I am including my exam from last year. The topics covered by the exam are the same topics, but you should expect your exam to be very different because there are many ways for me to ask questions that test your knowledge on these topics. Click here for last year's exam.
Monday, May 9
Homework 4 due on Monday, May 9.
• Question and Answer Day
Please fill out the college-wide course evaluations, distinct from the course evaluations that will be given out in class. Thank you for your feedback!
Wednesday, May 11
• Exam 2
Monday, May 16
• Presentations
Wednesday, May 18
• Presentations
Please fill out the college-wide course evaluations, distinct from the course evaluations that will be given out in class. Thank you for your feedback!
Monday, May 23, 11am–1pm (Our Final Exam period)
• Presentations