Mathematical Modeling

Prepared by:

Joseph Malkevitch
Department of Mathematics and Computer Studies
York College (CUNY)
Jamaica, New York

Mathematical modeling is the branch of mathematics which helps individuals, governments, and businesses (organizations) to get insight into problem situations which arise outside of mathematics. Examples include helping a city to design efficient street sweeper routes, assisting a company to decide the best mix of ingredients for a product to minimize cost or analyzing how a person can arrange an efficient route for running errands. The problems involved may involve the desire to optimize (find the "best" solution) a system, assess risk, be fair, or measure how much alike or dissimilar two things are. In this course problems arising from the desire to improve urban services and to understand fairness questions will be emphasized.

The range of areas where mathematical modeling can be applied is very broad, and ranges over the sciences, humanities, social sciences, business, etc. Here these is an emphasis on Operations Research questions, particularly in an urban setting, and fairness questions.

Some of these ideas and materials were developed in cooperation with Stuart Weinberg of Teachers College.

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