Assignment: Modeling Growth Writing Task

Mathematical models are useful in nearly every discipline and field. Even a person involved in solely creative endeavors for a living must be able to make predictions regarding availability of supplies, costs, and projected income. The field you currently study, the career you envision for yourself, and your personal life will all, at some point, certainly involve mathematical models.

As you’ve seen in this module, growth (and decay) models can be used to make predictions about many real-life situations:

  • Medical professionals may need to predict the longevity of a drug in the human body.
  • Teachers may need to analyze trends in learning outcomes.
  • Artists may need to make predictions about future earnings.

The assignment

In three to five paragraphs, discuss how you think you might encounter mathematical models in your future career. For the purposes of this assignment, assume that you will at some point either create or analyze a mathematical model. That is, don’t use this assignment to make an argument for how you won’t encounter mathematics in your career. If you are undecided on a career or feel that your career will be purely creative in nature, consider that you will at least at some point wish to manage a budget or  allocate monthly savings to obtain a desired retirement income.

Include your predictions about each of the following in your written piece:

  • In what career do you envision yourself spending most of your working life? If you are undecided, either give a set of possibilities or describe a career that looks interesting or in which someone close to you is employed.
  • Estimate the level of quantitative reasoning involved in this career. Will the mathematics in your career appear mostly in personal finance issues, or will you be working daily with tables, charts, and predictions?
  • Give specific details about how you may need to use or analyze models to make predictions in your career. Do you see yourself becoming proficient with spreadsheets in order to present data analysis or will you need to be sufficiently quantitatively literate to assess the information provided to you by others?
  • What aspect (or aspects) of the modeling strategies presented in this module has helped to inform you about how quantitative reasoning will impact your future life?