Math 577: Mathematical Modeling (Spring 2022)

"You cannot understand the physical world in any deep or satisfying way without using mathematical reasoning." -- R. P. Feynman

This course will present an introduction and survey of mathematical models for problems in the applied sciences and engineering. The real-world problems, coming from areas like mechanical systems, control theory, bio-chemical reactions, and heat transfer will be formulated as idealized mathematical models. Equations will be derived from first principles in geometry, physics and the calculus of variations. Mathematical techniques such as nondimensionalization, perturbation analysis, and self-similar solutions will then be introduced to simplify the models and yield insight into the underlying problems.


Some background in solving ordinary and partial differential equations [Math 353 or Math 356] and basic physics/mechanics, multivariable calculus [Math 212].

Math 577-01 (4838) Mathematical Modeling

Lectures Wed/Fri 1:45-3:00pm, Room 235 Physics Bldg


Thomas Witelski, Professor, Dept of Math
Office: Room 295 Physics Building

Office hours

Times to be announced, or by email request for an appointment for other times.


Problem sets

Course materials and web links

Reference books