Understanding and Promoting Mathematical Modelling Competencies: An Applied Perspective

Conference paper
Part of the International Perspectives on the Teaching and Learning of Mathematical Modelling book series (IPTL, volume 1)

Abstract

What is it that the applied mathematicians actually do in applications and modelling at the undergraduate level, and what might we learn from those experiences? A qualitative study was designed to answer this question. Mathematicians involved in applications and modelling from a university department were interviewed over a period of 6 months. Part of the interview involved interacting with dynamic conceptual models designed on Dynamic Geometry Sketchpad software. We anticipated that these applied mathematicians would favor the use of dynamic models in their teaching. What we found out was that there is a strong advocacy supporting “play” in modelling, because apart from the fun and the interest it generates, it might also lead to discovery and a sense of wonder. We identified four other themes from the interviews with respect to modelling and application: finding similar examples or phenomena; connecting physical phenomena with visual concepts; building models from the ground up; and communicating broader context of a modelling solution. These categories not only add to the list of competencies already identified in other studies, but they show a strong need for multidisciplinary collaboration in modelling and application.

Keywords

Applied Mathematician Mathematics Education Mathematical Object Modelling Situation Undergraduate Level 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Simon Fraser UniversityBurnabyCanada

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