Free course

Developing modelling skills

Free statement of participation on completion

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.

NOTE: As part of a review of content, this course will be deleted from OpenLearn on 11 January 2019. It has been replaced in part by the new course Dynamics.

Course learning outcomes

After studying this course, 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 appropriate
  • obtain mathematical relationships between variables, based on or linking back to the simplifying assumptions.

You can start this course right now without signing-up. Click on any of the course content sections below to start at any point in this course.
If you want to be able to track your progress, earn a free Statement of Participation, and access all course quizzes and activities, sign-up.

Course content