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ERIC Number: EJ810993
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Jan
Pages: 20
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 11
ISSN: ISSN-1051-1970
An Experimental Approach to Mathematical Modeling in Biology
Ledder, Glenn
PRIMUS, v18 n1 p119-138 Jan 2008
The simplest age-structured population models update a population vector via multiplication by a matrix. These linear models offer an opportunity to introduce mathematical modeling to students of limited mathematical sophistication and background. We begin with a detailed discussion of mathematical modeling, particularly in a biological context. We then describe Bugbox-population, a virtual insect laboratory that allows students to make observations and collect quantitative data easily, thereby learning mathematical modeling in the context of its use in scientific research. Creating a mathematical model for boxbugs involves the same intellectual work as creating a mathematical model for real insects, but without the difficulties involved in collecting real biological data. The analysis of the Bugbox-population data leads to the development of the eigenvalue problem for population projection matrices. (Contains 5 figures and 6 footnotes.)
Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A