Math 456: Spring 2010

Class Meeting : TuTh 1:00--2:15, Has add 113

Instructor : Luc Rey-Bellet

Office :  1423 J LGRT
Phone :  545-6020
E-Mail :   luc <at>
Office Hours :   Tu 3:30--5:00,   Th 2:30--4:00,   or by appointment.

Syllabus: This course is an introduction to mathematical modeling. The goal of the class is to lear how to translate problems from "real-life" into a mathematical model and how to use mathematics to solve the problem. We will pick problems from a variety of source, from social sciences, biology, and natural sciences. The class cover three main topics:

The prerequisite for this class is a one year sequence of calculus. We will use throughout the class very elementary notions from probability (discrete math), linear algebra, and differential equations. All the necessary mathematics will be introduced from scratch and motivated by examples.

Text: As the class progresses I will post regularly some handouts. You should use as a COMPLEMENT of your class notes, not as a substitute. They will provide a summary of the class and a reference for definitions and main results.

You will find a lot of useful material (lectures notes, applets, references...) about game theory at the website

This website will be a great starting point for you to pick a topic for your project. Go and explore!

Course Web page: Please bookmark The page will be updated regularly. Check it often.

Grading and assignments: Homework will be assigned regularly throughout the class. The homework will be graded.

The class will be divided in groups of three students. Every group will select a subject in consultation with the instructor. You have a lot of freedom to choose your subject as long as it is related to mathematical modeling. In particular game theory is used in a very wide variety of contexts and will give you plenty of options, depending on your tastes and backgrounds.

The group project as 2 parts:

Project presentation: The group presentations will take place on Thursday April 26 and Tuesday May 1 (regular class times) as well as on Friday May 4 in LGRT 101 (8:00 am -- 10:00 am) during the time slot reserved for our final exam. You should plan for a 15 minutes presentation + a few minutes for questions.

Schedule of the projects presentation

The papers are due on May 10 in my mailbox in the 16th floor of LGRT or on the folder nailed on my office door in LGRT 1423J.