On Mathematical Modeling and Data Science Education
Mathematical modeling with data can connect people with mathematics. These powerful tools empower choices and decisions. As modelers gather and analyze relevant data, they make creative decisions that depend on the context of the problem and the objectives of the client. Scroll down for some free resources for teaching!
Modeling and data science almost always require simplifying assumptions. Models can embed preferences, ethics and even biases. The mathematical sciences help us understand when algorithms and models work, how they work and under what conditions they can fail.
I have been passionate about educating teachers in mathematical modeling since the early 1990s when I was teaching middle school and Everly Broadway invited me to provide professional development for Durham Public School Teachers.
Recently Cynthia Anhalt and I co-organized the Critical Issues in Mathematics Education March 2019 meeting on Mathematical Modeling in K-16: Community and Cultural Contexts at the Mathematics Sciences Research Institute (MSRI). See this article by one of our participants and facilitators, Greta Mills.
You can download SIAM and COMAP’s free Guidelines for Assessment and Instruction in Mathematical Modeling Education (GAIMME Report). Readers can “look over the shoulder” of expert facilitators of mathematical modeling and gain a gentle introduction to mathematical modeling from Kindergarten to Undergraduate classrooms.
The National Science Foundation funded a project called IMMERSION (STEM-C 1441024). The program has been sustained in California as the Pomona Unified School District Math Modeling Summer Institute. In 2019 PUSD held the 5th summer institute in mathematical modeling for elementary school teachers, taught at Harvey Mudd College by elementary teachers who were former participants. These PUSD teachers are available to provide professional development in mathematical modeling education to teachers from other school districts!
If you are looking for resources to teach mathematical modeling, check out Mathematical Modeling: Computing and Communicating, one of the many free resources offered by SIAM as part of the Mathworks Math Modeling Challenge (M3 Challenge) which welcomes high school student teams to the world of modeling and data science.
The Math Modeling Hub is an online community and resource suite to support mathematical modeling education.