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An Introduction to Mathematical Modeling (Dover Books on Computer Science) [Paperback]

Edward A. Bender
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

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Book Description

March 6, 2000 048641180X 978-0486411804
Employing a practical, "learn by doing" approach, this first-rate text fosters the development of the skills beyond the pure mathematics needed to set up and manipulate mathematical models. The author draws on a diversity of fields — including science, engineering, and operations research — to provide over 100 reality-based examples. Students learn from the examples by applying mathematical methods to formulate, analyze, and criticize models. Extensive documentation, consisting of over 150 references, supplements the models, encouraging further research on models of particular interest.
The lively and accessible text requires only minimal scientific background. Designed for senior college or beginning graduate-level students, it assumes only elementary calculus and basic probability theory for the first part, and ordinary differential equations and continuous probability for the second section. All problems require students to study and create models, encouraging their active participation rather than a mechanical approach.
Beyond the classroom, this volume will prove interesting and rewarding to anyone concerned with the development of mathematical models or the application of modeling to problem solving in a wide array of applications.

Frequently Bought Together

An Introduction to Mathematical Modeling (Dover Books on Computer Science) + The Art of Modeling Dynamic Systems: Forecasting for Chaos, Randomness and Determinism (Dover Books on Computer Science) + Stochastic Modeling: Analysis and Simulation (Dover Books on Mathematics)
Price for all three: $45.20

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Product Details

  • Series: Dover Books on Computer Science
  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications (March 6, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 048641180X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486411804
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.5 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #188,119 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
41 of 42 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good survey course in mathematical modeling September 3, 2002
Aimed at senior level undergraduates, the first chapter briefly discusses at a high level what mathematical models are, how they¡¯re formulated and rules of thumb as to how to evaluate them. The rest of the book surveys simple to moderately complex models applied to problems taken from a wide variety of disciplines in business, science, and engineering. As a survey course, brevity and breadth take precedent over depth and the examples are watered-down versions of problems taken from a plethora of sources cited throughout the text. However, the problems and models are not too superficial that they don¡¯t retain the essential issues modelers are likely to encounter.
Although the book is intended primarily for college seniors and first year graduate students, ¡°Part I: Elementary Methods¡± requires only first year calculus and basic probability whereas ¡°Part II: More Advanced Methods¡± also requires differential equations. Therefore, the book will appeal to various levels.
The book is rather dated as is evident by its lack of emphasis on numerical methods and no one should expect to be ready for any serious real world modeling as a result of reading this text alone. However, the book does not pretend to be anything more than what it is and the author cautions that it should merely supplement and not substitute mathematics and science coursework. (I would also add that a few courses in numerical methods and computer science would also be the order of the day.)
Although the first chapter outlines a quick four-step process for formulating mathematical models, the author stresses the role of discussion and research behind each high level step. Any attempt to provide detailed cookbook heuristics would be a sham.
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33 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Eye-opener August 25, 2000
I read this book for the first time when I was in college. It addresses many fundamental and practical questions with tremendous clarity. It particularly stands out in my mind because of its simple and compelling answers to three questions: Why do we need models of reality? What are the constraints on rigorous modelling (trade-offs between precision vs. generality vs.simplicity)? How to evaluate a mathematical model?
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
If you are curious about mathematical modelling and do not know where to start this book is surely for you. This little, old and inexpensive volume will effectively introduce you to the basics of mathematical modelling. It is true that is dated now, as it was first published in 1978, but I will always prefer and recommend it over other extremely expensive books out in the market.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Value for money December 2, 2008
By User313
Built up from various examples in self-contained concise chapters, this books gives a number of ideas for modelling different subjects.

Some confidence in Maths is presumed.
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