It is possible to build our mathematical models out of the abstract concepts of mathematics using simply pen and paper or blackboard and chalk. During the model-building activity, we are in a dream world of idealisations and imagination but the real world is still somewhere in the background. If our models are to be more than just curiosities of interest only to mathematicians, they must be made to confront reality and it is through data or conclusions made from data that this confrontation occurs.
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