Math 233 and Math 235 (and Differential Equations, Math 331, is recommended). Some familiarity with a programming language is desirable (Mathematica, Matlab, Java, C++, Python, etc.). Some familiarity with statistics and probability is desirable.

Textbook: Not following any particular book.

General mathematical references:

Topics in Mathematical Modeling, by K. K. Tung, Princeton University Press, 2007;

Introduction to Probability by Charles M. Grinstead and J. Laurie Snell. American Mathematical Society.

Game theory by James N. Webb. Springer Undergraduate Series.

Math 456 is an introduction to mathematical modeling, and is one of the Integrated Experience courses approved by the General Education Council. The main goal of the class is to learn how to translate problems from "real-life" into a mathematical model and how to use mathematics to solve the problem. We will learn how to build, use and critique mathematical models. In the beginning, we'll focus on differential equation based models. For the second half, we will study a number of topics from games and gambling, economics, social sciences, for which we will use elementary tools from probability, game theory, information theory, and optimization.

In addition, each student will join a group of 3 students, and the group will investigate a modeling problem. Each group will give a final presentation at the end of the semester. Each student will write an individual report on the group project at the end of the course. After discussion/consultation with the instructor, the choice of modeling topics will be determined by the interests and background of the enrolled students, and the mathematical methods applied will draw upon whatever the students have already learned.