Mathematical Modeling

Written by Scott Martin

Mathematical modeling describes the process of representation arrived at by mathematical means, to create a more acute understanding of a given phenomenon. In this process, the goal is to "match" symbolic statements with observations, in order to elicit findings. Though there is much to discover through mathematical modeling, this process will necessitate hiring an appropriately-trained statistician for proper execution and accurate results.

Mathematical Modeling Overview

The "modeler," or constructor of mathematical models, must first decide which factors apply to the problem, and which factors do not directly relate. After this step, the model should be developed, and it can then be examined and implemented to begin answering questions. Because of this process, the mathematical modeling process is a fluid one; each time that new insight occurs, the process restarts with altered factors.

Your statistician can help you determine which approach to mathematical modeling would benefit your particular study most. Usually, you will want to schedule an initial consultation, to help identify the problem you wish to answer, and define terms for your problem or question. From there, the statistician might even draft diagrams, when needed, to help outline your study at its outset.

He or she will most likely start with a straightforward and simple model, examining which aspects of the studied phenomenon should receive the most attention. During this process, it is important to make certain all assumptions made are clearly stated, for accuracy and ethics. Your statistician will then identify relevant variables, separating them from unimportant variables and determining relations between the two. Finally, the mathematical modeling expert you use will create an equation or set of equations which will express the significant relationship, if any, between examined variables and constants.