What Is Mathematical Modeling

The first person possibly documented to have used logic or mathematics in a device to create an outcome was the Spanish theologian Ramon Lull in 1274 a.d. (3). Lull's device was based on concentric disks of card, wood, or metal mounted on a central axis. Each disk would contain a number of different words or symbols, which would be combined in different ways by rotating the disks. By spinning the disks, you could achieve different sentences such as "This is an apple" or "That is a book."

We have come a long way from such humble beginnings to complex statistical methods of linear, logistic, nonlinear regression and artificial neural networks. Mathematical modeling is simply the use or equations or relationships (linear or non-linear) and logic to achieve some outcome, be it a prediction or a representation of the truth.

Some of the more commonly used methods will now be discussed.

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