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Developing modelling skills

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This free course, Developing modelling skills, is the third in the series of five courses on mathematical modelling. It provides an overview of the processes involved in developing models, starting by explaining how to specify the purpose of the model. It then moves on to look at aspects involved in creating models, such as simplifying problems, choosing variables and parameters, formulating relationships and finding solutions. You will also look at interpreting results and evaluating models. This course assumes that you have previously studied the courses Modelling pollution in the Great Lakes and Analysing skid marks.

After studying this unit you should be able to:

  • create simple models, given a clear statement of the problem;
  • write down the simplifying assumptions that underpin a model;
  • identify the key variables and the parameters of a model;
  • apply the input–output principle to obtain a mathematical model, where appropiate;
  • obtain mathematical relationships between variables, based on or linking back to the simplifying assumptions;
  • interpret the mathematical solution to a modelling problem in terms of the original statement of the problem;
  • understand the processes involved in evaluating a model, both qualitatively and quantitatively;
  • appreciate the role of data in testing the model and, if necessary, in providing parameter values for the model;
  • understand that the purpose of a model is the benchmark used to judge the suitability of the model.

By: The Open University

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Developing modelling skills

Introduction

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This unit provides an overview of the processes involved in developing models. It starts by explaining how to specify the purpose of the model and moves on to look at aspects involved in creating models, such as simplifying problems, choosing variables and parameters, formulating relationships and finding solutions. You will also look at interpreting results and evaluating models.

This unit, the third in a series of five, builds on the ideas introduced and developed in Modelling pollution in the Great Lakes [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] and Analysing skid marks.

This unit is an adapted extract from the course MSXR209 Mathematical modelling.

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