###### Modeling makes math both important and interesting!

# What is Math Modeling?

Mathematical modeling refers to the process of creating a mathematical representation of a real-world scenario to make a prediction or provide insight. Real-world issues can be complex and messy. While it can sometimes feel intimidating to get started, the open-ended nature of real-world problems leads to building and applying problem solving skills, creativity, innovation, and mathematics.

## What does the math modeling process look like?

### Mathematical modeling can be thought of as an iterative process made up of the following components:

### Make Assumptions

It is impossible to account for all the factors in a given situation, so the modeler must make choices about what is important to include.

### Define the Problem

Modeling problems are open-ended, so the modeler must be specific in defining what it is they would like to find out.

### Define Variables

Making assumptions helps reveal the variables that will be needed. Limit the number of variables; start with only the most important.

### Get a Solution

Eventually, a relationship between variables must be established to find a solution.

### Analyze the Solution

When considering the results and insights gained from the model, ask if the answer makes sense.

### Iterate

Refine the model by repeating the process, adjusting as needed to improve the solution.

### Communicate

A clear report on the model and its implementation makes the model understandable to others.

Want more information? Check out this one-page summary of the math modeling process. Dig in even further by reading these free math modeling handbooks for newbies!

Video Series

## What is Math Modeling?

Check out this quick how-to video series featuring students working through the components of the modeling process!

Video Series

## Essentials of Math Modeling

For a deep dive into the modeling process, watch Essentials of Math Modeling, a seven-part workshop series focused on students, and featuring technical computing with MATLAB. The first hour of each is instructional and most valuable. Second part is interactive/working through parts of problems.