Chapter 1

Mathematical modelling

A discursive introduction to the ideas of modelling: the phenomenon, the model, analysis and interpretation. Various problems are (briefly) introduced to illustrate the ideas: traffic flow and weather prediction. Some further examples are also discussed: age-dependent population growth, crystal nucleation and growth, delay-differential equations, Lotka-Volterra equations, and energy balance models for ice ages; and there are some exercises on these, to get things going.

Notice that the staples of basic modelling courses---population modelling, traffic flow (and chemical reactions) are dealt with very rapidly; the book is not at an elementary level, even here.