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Mathematical modeling refers to the process of describing elements, components and problems using mathematical concepts and principles. It is the application of mathematical concepts to solve the problems that exist in the real world. A simple but perfect example of the use of mathematical modeling to solve life problems is in the pre-historical use of such simple models as maps and other diagrams to calculate distances and locate places. In today’s world, mathematical models are used in areas such as survey to find out the area of a given piece of land. This is u application in real estate sectors and physical planning where land developers and planners apply these concepts to know the size and use of constructed structures.

To solve an existing problem situation in the real world, there has to be a series of processes that are followed. These include, but not limited to:

  •  Development of a clear understanding of the situation at hand from all perspectives.
  • Construction of a mathematical model. This model ought to have the capability to describe the importance of the relevant elements and relations that make up the problem at hand.
  • Interpretation of the expected results from the problem being studied as a means of arriving at a practical situation that gives to the mathematical model to be used in solving the problems at hand.
  • Evaluation of the results that have been derived from the original solution to the problem that was at hand.
  • Communication of the interpreted results to the rest of the world as a means of easing the societal solving of the problems that are now considered as past problems.

Based in a school setup, students tend to ignore crucial aspects of reality yet these aspects determine results to world problems. Research shows that some students taken randomly to represent the entire student population from the Northern Ireland and others from Belgium (Verschaffel, Greer, and De Corte 72) and were subjected to a simple test to match pairs of items experienced difficulties. These items included,

  • A basic problem that is solvable using basic arithmetic operation.
  • A slightly complex problematic item that involved the use of appropriate math applications.

Students’ reactions to the complex problem were notably viewed as avoiding the use of real world knowledge to solve the problems before them. Most of these students chose to use the unrealistic approach to finding the solutions to the problems that lay ahead of them. One of the students who was questioned as to why she did not apply the use of realistic consideration stated that, despite the fact that she knew all things, she chose to ignore things she knew in the test. Her argument was that math was a field involving the use of sums, and hence, she did not need to use problematic methods to solve the solutions to these problems.

From the above discussion, it is evident that most of the students chose to ignore the use of mathematical modeling to solve their problems. Further research derived from the above stated simple tests, proved that most students chose to ignore mathematical modeling as a solution to their problems due to their perception that some problems were unsolvable and complex. Hence the application of mathematical modeling as a solution would make them seem even more complex. Hence the school setup and other key areas that apply the use of mathematics to derive solutions to problems, irrespective of their nature, ought to introduce programs that insist on the use of mathematical modeling to solve such problems. 

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