Introduction to Mathematical Modeling (Math 1470)

Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi

Department of Mathematics and Statistics

- Instructor: Dr. Ping-Jung "Charlene" Tintera
- Office
- Phone: 825-3483
- Address: ST 219
- E-Mail address: ptintera@tamucc.edu

Modeling for the Millions, Blair Sterba-Boatwright, published by Fountainhead Press. You should also have a calculator (either TI-83 or TI-83 +).

- Objective #1. You begin the class by learning the definition of and purpose for mathematical models through memorization and writing about examples. You need to do this so that when you encounter models in other courses and in your careers, you will be able to recognize them as such and know what models can and cannot tell you.
- Objective #2. Past math classes taught you skills, but usually not how they will be useful in your majors and careers. In this class, you will learn how to work out the algebraic details of different kinds of models with utility in a wide variety of situations. You will learn this through example and practice in lecture, lab, and homework.
- Objective #3. You will learn how to make inferences and predictions about real life based on mathematical models. You will do this in lectures, labs and homework by producing and analyzing graphs and tables of numbers, as well as memorizing important features of common models. We ask you to do this because when you encounter mathematical models in the future, it is important to be able to evaluate them yourselves to see if you agree with the conclusions of the original modelers.
- Objective #4. You will learn basic graphing and formulaic skills in Excel in the labs. We will introduce you to these skills, then expect you to be able to perform them as needed later in the course. We feel that these Excel skills will be directly and immediately useful for other classes and for the rest of your life.
- Objective #5. As opportunities arise during the semester, you will learn
algebraic skills that you may not have seen, or didn't understand the first
time, or just plain forgot. We do this because we regard these topics as important
skills in careers and life, and because we think any people who call themselves
"educated" should be able to do these things.

- Core Curriculum: This course satisfies the mathematics requirement of the Core Curriculum. In particular, all five course goals listed above address the Mathematics Skill component of the core. We will also work on the Core Skills of Critical Thinking and Writing in lecture, in homework assignments, and in labs. The course also addresses the Core Perspectives 3 ("The phenomena of the physical work and the relationship of the individual and society to it.") and 4 ("The relationships among abstract quantities.")

- Homework: 10%
- Attendance: 10%
- Tests: 20% each (3 tests)
- Final: 20%
- Labs: 20%

- Grade Ranges: A: 90-100 B: 80-89 C: 70-79 D: 60-69 F: 59 and under.
- DO NOT GIVE ANY JUMP for borderline case.

- Homework exercises: Homework exercises will be assigned, collected and returned
on a weekly basis. Homework exercises are either questions that ask you to
reflect about material we've gone over in class, or calculations and predictions
based on data or models. Homework exercises may be turned in as group work
(that is, more than one name on the paper, up to three people.) In general,
homework is due on Wednesday the week after it is assigned. The semester homework
grade is determined by the formula

(total of all HW points you received) / (total of all HW points possible) x 100 - Labs: Each of you is also registered for a lab section for this course.
In that lab, you will be using a computer to work problems and examples that
are too complicated or tedious to do by hand. Specific instructions for each
lab can be found in the lab manual sold at the bookstore. Lab sections are
conducted by graduate Teaching Assistants, and your TA will collect and grade
your lab work. Labs have three parts:

- Practice table: Most labs (although not the introductory Lab 0) have a "Practice Table" to fill in. We expect you to read the lab and think about the Excel formulas you'll need to do the lab before actually coming to lab. Practice Tables must be done individually, and are due without exception at the start of your lab session for that Lab. Late Practice Tables are not accepted. Practice Tables count 10% of your lab grade if you turn them in, but you must turn in a Practice Table to get credit for that Lab.
- In the Lab: As the title says, this is the part of the lab you are expected
to do in the lab session. You may submit your "In the Lab" work
as part of a group (no more than three people to a lab writeup). The due
date for "In the Lab" work is the start of the following week's
lab meeting. After the Lab: These are questions that you can do in the
lab, but can also be done any time before your next lab meeting. Again,
you may submit your "In the Lab" work as part of a group (no
more than 3 people to a lab writeup). The due date for "In the Lab"
work is the start of the following week's lab meeting. Warning: no make
up or late lab work will be graded. If two groups have the same copy of
homework, I will consider a ZERO for both groups.

- Tests and Final: I will discuss these in more detail as the times for them approach. As a general rule of thumb, tests cover the material from lecture, homework, and the "Practice Table" part of the labs. You will be permitted one 8.5 by 11 "cheat sheet" of notes for each test and for the final exam.

**Attendance** **Please plan to attend each and every class
meeting**. It will be difficult to complete daily work and homework if you
don’t. If for some reasons you are not able to attend class, please notify the
instructor as soon as possible. You are the only person responsible for your
registration in this class. If you do not wish to continue the course, you may
drop it without my signature. If you decide this, I welcome a chance to meet
with you so that you can be sure that dropping is necessary. On the other hand,
no one but yourself can drop you. If you quit coming to class and do not drop,
I will be forced to assign you a grade based on the work you have completed,
usually an F

**Help: **Free tutoring is available at the Tutoring and Student
Learning Center on the Second floor of the library. A student solution manual
is also available on reserve in the library and for sale in the bookstore. A
computer-tutoring program is also available there. Wherever you get it, don’t
wait for the last minute to get help.

**Class Rules**

- Attendance in lab: I am more concerned about lab attendance than lecture attendance. Please attend the lab you signed up for. If you do not attend lab, for whatever reason, you must turn in your lab work by yourself, not as part of a group. In general, I DO NOT accept homework and labs after the announced deadline.
- Missed tests/final: If you are unable to attend a test or the final and you wish to make it up, I need to hear from you no later than 24 hours after the missed test or final. You should be able to provide adequate documentation of why your absence was necessary. If you wait more than 24 hours to contact me, you will also need to provide adequate documentation of why you were unable to meet the 24-hour deadline. As an example, "I was called out of town unexpectedly on business" might be a valid reason to miss a test, but it is not an adequate reason to miss the 24-hour notification requirement.
- Multiple TA's: There may be more than one teaching assistant assigned to labs for this class. In similar situations in past semesters, I found that one TA or another was an easier grader or a harder grader than the others. At the same time, by random chance, some labs have better-performing students than others. There are standard statistical tests to determine if particular TA's are grading harder or easier than their peers. At the end of the semester, I will run these statistical tests and use curves to correct for differences between TA's if they are statistically significant.
- Students with disabilities: The Mathematics Program complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act in making reasonable accommodations for qualified students with disabilities. If you need disability accommodations in this class, please see me as soon as possible. Please have your accommodation letter from TAMU-CC Services for Students with Disabilities Office with you when you come see me. If you suspect that you may have a disability (physical impairment, learning disability, psychiatric disability, etc.), please contact the Services for Students with Disabilities Office (located in Driftwood 101) at 825-5816. It is important that you contact them in a timely fashion as it may take several days to review requests and prepare accommodations.
- Attendance in lecture: I will take attendance each class meeting. You are the only person responsible for your registration in this class. If you do not wish to continue the course, you have to talk to your degree councilor. If you quit coming to class and do not drop, I will be forced to assign you a grade based on the work you have completed. This is usually an F. Please do not let this situation occur. If you have more than 6 (3 times) unexcused absences, your final grade will be dropped by “TWO”(“One”) letter grades. IF YOU MISSED THE DATE FOR FINAL EXAM, YOU WILL BE ASSIGNED A ZERO FOR THE FINAL. YOU WILL NOT HAVE ANY OTHER CHANCE TO MAKE UP FOR THE FINAL EXAM.