MA 422 Mathematical Modeling


handouts syllabus pdf flier photographs

Office Hours

Monday 2-4, Friday 2-4 (no appointment necessary). Feel free to make an appointment if you cannot come to my regular office hours.


No textbook required. Handouts with class material and practice problems will be distributed for each course topics. The textbooks used for the class preparation include the following:
D. Edwards and M. Hamson, Guide to Mathematical Modeling, Published by CRC Press, 1990.
Giordano, Weir, and Fox, First Course in Mathematical Modeling , Thomson Brooks/Cole, 2003.


Matlab will be used extensively. All students are also recommended to have a calculator.

Topics Covered

1. Basic ideas and techniques of mathematical modeling.
2. Programming in Matlab. M-files.
3. Modeling with differential equations. Continuous dynamical systems.
4. Modeling with difference equations. Discrete dynamical systems.
5. Dimensional analysis.
6. Empirical (experimental) models. Effectiveness and validity.
7. Interpolation and model fitting.
8. Simulation modeling. Monte Carlo simulations.
9. Discrete and continuous optimization modeling.
10. Modeling with systems of difference and differential equations.
11. Report writing and result presentation.


Assignment 125%
Assignment 225%
Assignment 325%
Grades are computed according to the following system:
A+ A A- B+ B B- C+ C C- D+ D D- F
grade 97-100 93-96 90-92 87-89 83-86 80-82 77-79 73-76 70-72 67-69 63-66 60-62 0-59

Number of credits



MA201 or the permission of instructor.


Since the course is mostly based on material covered in class handouts and classwork, it is absolutely imperative that students attend all classes. Students are responsible for all material covered in class, even if attendance is not checked or assignments collected.

Assignments, Projects

There will be three assignments plus a student project + presentation. No assignment grade will be dropped. Assignments turned in after their due date will receive an automatic reduction in grade.

Response time

The assignments, projects and exams are typically graded in three days after they are turned in. Special circumstances like snow days, school closing or holidays, may occasionally delay the response time. Barring special circumstances, students’ emails are usually responded to within one working day.

More on Mathematical Modelling

  • Mathematical models are used widely in the natural, health and social sciences. The course will cover a variety of topics related to mathematical modeling and modeling techniques: discrete and continuous models, dynamical systems, stability of solutions, steady states.
  • Algebra, trigonometry, and calculus techniques that students have encounter in previous courses will be used for successful mathematical modeling of more complex phenomena. Because of this, the course can be considered a continuation of earlier mathematics courses and the next step in building students' problem solving skills.
  • The course provides the students interested in continuing their education at a graduate level wem with mathematical techniques that certain graduate programs use.
  • The course emphasizes research ideas, not just mastering various techniques or methods. These ideas of problem solving are often used in various fields and will be a useful concept for students to acquire.

Course Objectives

  • identify a problem and choose an appropriate mathematical model,
  • create a model that adequately describes the problem, using the appropriate technology if necessary,
  • test the validity of the model,
  • solve the problem using the appropriate technology if necessary,
  • present the results orally, on computer and in a form of a written report.

Learning outcomes

Students will:
  • develop understanding of various mathematical concepts and modeling techniques required for successful application of mathematics;
  • be able to model data using the language and techniques of mathematics;
  • be able to understand and solve multidisciplinary application problems;
  • demonstrate proficiency in using mathematical software;
  • know how to use appropriate technology to solve problems applying techniques of mathematics;
  • demonstrate ability to cover a topic independently and present their results in an oral presentation as well as in a written report.

Academic integrity

Academic integrity is at the center of the educational experience at USciences. Students are therefore expected to uphold the highest standards of academic integrity and not engage in nor tolerate academic dishonesty. Academic dishonesty includes, but is not limited to, fabrication, cheating or plagiarism, and unauthorized collaboration. Any violation of academic integrity will be investigated and, where warranted, the student will receive appropriate sanctions through the University's Student Conduct Process. Please familiarize yourself with the current USciences Student Handbook. In particular, adherence to the Student Conduct Policy and Academic Integrity Policy will help to ensure that your learning and living experiences are founded on integrity.

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Compliance Statement

USciences supports the educational endeavors of all students, including students with disabilities. ADA defines a disability as a mental or physical impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities. If you believe that you have a disability that may impact your ability to fulfill your course or degree requirements, and you would like more information on applying for an accommodation under ADA, please contact the Program Coordinator of Student Accommodations who serves as 504 Coordinator at 215-596-8758 or

Mental Health Wellness Statement

USciences encourages students to recognize that academic success requires students to be emotionally and physically well. If you are having difficulty coping with stress associated with the classroom or are experiencing other personal issues, please go to USciences Health and Counseling (SHAC) located on the first floor of Whitecar Hall, or call 215.596.8536, or email Additional emotional support is available 24/7 and can be obtained by contacting the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 800.273.8255 or by texting “Go” to the Crisis Text Line 741-741. The services listed above are all free and confidential.

COVID-19 Syllabus Statement

As we continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic it is important to remember that:
· All individuals, regardless of vaccination status, are required to wear masks indoors on campus.
· USciences mandates that all students, faculty, and staff are vaccinated against COVID-19.
· Practice good hygiene by frequently washing hands.
· Conduct a daily health check before coming to campus.
Check the COVID-19 Return to Campus Guidelines regularly for updates. If we all follow the rules, we will help to ensure that our learning environment is as safe as possible.
Students who are ill, regardless of symptoms, vaccination status or or diagnosis, should not come to campus for classes or activities and should contact SHAC. If students are ill, but able to virtually participate in courses they may do so. Students should not contact the Office of Student Health for “sick notes.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has refocused the need for both mental and physical personal wellness. The University encourages students who are ill to take the time to focus on their health. Additionally, if needed students may reach out to their college dean’s office to inquire about leave of absence options including: short-term leave of absence (up to 10 business days), a personal leave of absence, or a medical leave absence. We firmly believe to learn you must be healthy.