Math Modeling, Fall 2011

  • Course Notes - unfortunately, a computer crash destroyed these
  • Helpful books
    • Linear Algebra (the end of chapter 2 has the least squares things we did from a linear algebra standpoint
    • NIST Handbook (in particular, see chapter 4 and section 4.4.4 for things related to our discussion of least squares and fitting a model to data. We went through the Load Cell Calibration example in lab)
    • I reserved “A course in mathematical modeling” by Mooney and Swift at the library. Chapter 4 in that book contains a great introduction to the sort of material that we are studying with least squares and regression errors.
    • Epidemic modeling book—we had the first chapter as a pdf file. The library has an electronic copy of the entire book. The rest of the chapters address, for example, variable population, etc.



When I do use software in class, I will probably use Sage, which is based on the free industry-standard language Python. You can access Sage for free on the internet.

Free Software

  • Sage: A free open-source alternative to leading commercial math packages. You can download it to your computer or you can use the Drake Sage server (please see me to get an account).
  • Octave: Open-source free alternative to Matlab. You can download versions for Windows, Mac, or Linux.

Commercial Software

  • Mathematica: A comprehensive computer algebra system. I think we have a campus license, so you can use it for free while you are here. Student licenses are not valid after you graduate, so student versions are basically “rented” until you graduate. Depending on what you do when you leave, Mathematica may cost thousands of dollars after you graduate.
  • Maple: A comprehensive computer algebra system.
  • Matlab: Software that is typically used in engineering to do linear algebra. This software costs tens of thousands of dollars once you are not a student.

Other resources

I've collected a number of links to online resources for this class and posted them to my Teaching Resources page. Many students have benefited from using the resources listed under the general resource section and the calculus section.

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