Logistics of Mathematical Modeling-Focused Projects

By Richard Corban Harwood

Mathematics, George Fox University, Newberg OR USA

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Projects provide tangible connections to course content and can motivate students to learn at a deeper level. This article focuses on the implementation of projects in both lower and upper division math courses which develop and analyze mathematical models of a problem based upon known data and real-life situations. Logistical pitfalls and insights are highlighted as well as several key implementation resources. Student feedback demonstrate a positive correlation between the use of projects and an enhanced understanding of the course topics when the impact of logistics is reduced. Best practices learned over the years are given along with example project summaries.


R. Corban Harwood earned his Ph.D. in Mathematics from Washington State University in 2011 and is currently Assistant Professor of Mathematics at George Fox University in Newberg, OR. In teaching, he loves drawing connections between mathematics and different disciplines like music, biology, and philosophy. On occasion, Corban does mathematical modeling consulting ranging from testing financial phone apps to designing optimal battery chemistries for hybrid-electric vehicles. His research interests include numerical partial differential equations, semilinear operator splitting methods, and modeling reaction-diffusion phenomena. On the side, he enjoys cycling through the Willamette Valley and hiking to waterfalls with his family.


This is a preprint of an article under consideration for publication

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  • Richard Corban Harwood (2016), "Logistics of Mathematical Modeling-Focused Projects," https://simiode.org/resources/2800.

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