What is the Mathematical Modeling?
Develop a clear enough understanding of the characteristics of mathematical modeling to be able to explain your understanding to others.
Time To Complete
I Can Statements
I will know my exploration of the mathematical modeling is of high quality when:
- I can identify the specific key elements that define mathematical modeling, such as variables, formulas, interpretation, validation of conclusions.
Suggestions for Assessing Student Readiness to Move Forward:
- Confer with students to check their understanding of the elements of mathematical modeling.
- Provide students an anchor or model and ask them to code or otherwise identify the elements of the task.
Conduct a mini-lesson on mathematical modeling, describing the key organizational structure, form, and approach of the exemplars. Provide models closely related to the specific format in which students will be working.
Provide several exemplars and ask students to select two or three to examine and create a list of similarities in structure, craft, and form. Or use a jigsaw format, where students work in groups and each group reads texts about mathematical modeling and examines a different exemplar. Then reorganize the groups so that the new groups each have one representative from the former group, and each representative shares their learning with the others in this new group to create a collective understanding of the genre.
Coding the Text—Ask students to examine two exemplars and code the elements they discover. For example, students use the following codes to label parts of the exemplars:
- V: variables
- F: formulas
- I: interpretation
- V: validation of conclusions
- Dan Meyer presents to fascinating applications of mathematical modeling, one complex, one simple but profound (begin at 2:09): https://vimeo.com/132480185
- An explanation of mathematical modeling with simple examples: https://www.mathsisfun.com/algebra/mathematical-models.html
- FiveThirtyEight uses math to model elections, sports, and a variety of other popular culture phenomena: http://fivethirtyeight.com/
Modeling Weather and Climate
- An article describing some of the complex math behind predicting the weather: https://www.theguardian.com/science/alexs-adventures-in-numberland/2015/jan/08/banking-forecasts-maths-weather-prediction-stochastic-processes
- NASA’s climate change website presents various mathematical models in its ‘Vital Signs’ section: http://climate.nasa.gov/vital-signs/carbon-dioxide/
- This National Academy of Sciences website, Climate Modeling 101, explores the what and how of modeling climate using mathematics: http://nas-sites.org/climate-change/climatemodeling/index.php
- In this TED Talk, climate scientist Gavin Schmidt explains how models help us understand climate change: https://www.ted.com/talks/gavin_schmidt_the_emergent_patternsT_of_climate_change?language=en