MATH 486/ Math 522 Mathematical Modeling

Instructor: Hemanshu Kaul

Office: 125C, Engineering 1
Phone: (312) 567-3128
E-mail: kaul [at]

Time: 10am, Monday and Wednesday.
Place: 121, Engg. 1 Bldg.

Office Hours: 1pm-2pm Monday and Wednesday; walk-ins; and by appointment. Emailed questions are also encouraged.
TA Office Hours: Chris Mitillos, cmitillo [at], 12noon-3pm, Friday, 129, E1 bldg.

|Course Information| |Advice| |Announcements| |Examinations| |Project| |Homework| |Class Log| |Books| |MATLAB/ Mathematica| |Useful Links|

Course Information:

The Course Information Handout has extensive description of the course - topics, textbook, student evaluation policy, as well as other relevant information. Read it carefully!

Advice for students:

Understanding Mathematics - a study guide

Excellent advice for math majors and graduate students, by Terry Tao, 2006 Fields medallist. Required reading.

Class Announcements:



Instructions: The project is an important part of this course - not just in terms of the grade, but for the sake of comprehensive, practical understanding of how to apply modeling framework to an open ended real-life problem. This is why the problem statements that I have given to you are just short and open-ended descriptions of the certain real-life situations. You have complete freedom in mathematical interpretation of the problem and how you “solve” it. The only requirement is that you use the mathematical modeling process, and justify your model and its conclusions as they apply to the problem. Its a test of your creativity in formulation of models and solution methods, and your ability to find and understand relevant mathematical knowledge.

Read carefully through this list of instructions and advice for your project.

Look through the example project report given at the end of this SIAM report in Appendix B on page 25 of the pdf file for an example on how to format and write your project report. The pages 1-24 of this pdf file are also useful as a detailed overview of how to approach the modeling process for a project.

Deadlines for the semester project:
3/5/2014: Email me with project team members (2-3 per team)
3/9/2014: Email me with your choice of project topic among the 14 project descriptions sent to you by email.
4/7/2014: Discuss the initial draft and model of your project with me in person. All members of your team must be present.
5/1/2014: Final submission of Project report and associated materials/programs/etc.

Homework Assignments:
The homework problems listed below are from the course textbook, Giordano, Fox, Horton, A First Course in Mathematical Modeling, 5th edition.
If you have the 4th edition of the textbook, please compare the problem statements with those in 5th edition before solving them.
You are allowed the use of calculators /computational software, to aid in the basic computational work of the problems. In case of doubt, ask me for a clarification.

Class Log:

Supplemental Reading:

For an alternate point-of-view and for additional applications, refer to the following books:

M.M.Meerschaert, Mathematical Modeling, Fourth Edition.
H.P. Williams, Model Building in Mathematical Programming, Fifth Edition.

MATLAB Information:

MATLAB - getting started at IIT, by Greg Fasshauer
A crash course
MATLAB Tutorial
Older Guide I
Older Guide II

Mathematica Help:

Mathematica Tutorials.
A Beginner's guide to Mathematica.
Introduction to Mathematica.

Links for Additional Information:

Wikipedia on Math Models
OR Models