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Are Mathematical and Scientific Models different?

Using the fitting of curves to cables this activity examines the nature of scientific and mathematical modeling. Either student instruction or CPD for professionals.

Publisher: T³ Europe

Author: Ian Galloway

Topic:  STEM

Tags  Modeling ,  Parabola ,  Physics ,  Quadratic ,  Software ,  Tangent ,  Vector calculus

When students fit functions to data they are rarely challenged with the question “why does this function fit?”  A good mathematical model for physical data demands an explanation.  This is the power of science …it is an explanatory power.  Responding to the question “why does a mathematical function fit the data?” means providing a scientific model which explains.   In this way mathematical models support scientific models and vice versa.  This is what I understand by STEM. It is, here, the deep underlying connection between mathematics and science. 

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