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PHYSICS

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PX 4514
MODELLING THEORY
CREDIT POINTS 15

Course Co-ordinator: Dr M Thiel

Pre-requisite(s): Level 3 in Engineering, Physics or Mathematics.

Note(s): Physical Sciences intend to describe natural phenomena in mathematical terms. This course bridges the gap between standard courses in physical sciences, where successful mathematical models are described, and scientific research, where new mathematical models have to be developed. Students will learn the art of mathematical modelling, which will enable them to develop new mathematical models for the description of natural systems. Examples from a wide range of phenomena will be discussed, eg. from biology, ecology, engineering, physics, physiology and psychology. A focus will be the critical interpretation of the mathematical models and their predictions. The applicability of the models will be assessed and their use for the respective branch of the natural sciences will be discussed.

The course content reflects the learning outcomes and contains the material for the students to realize these. This course bridges the gap between standard courses in physical sciences, where successful mathematical models are described, and scientific research, where new mathematical models have to be developed. Students will learn the art of mathematical modelling, which will enable them to develop new mathematical models for the description of natural systems. Examples from a wide range of phenomena will be discussed, eg. from biology, ecology, engineering, physics, physiology and psychology.
A focus will be the critical interpretation of the mathematical models and their predictions. The applicability of the models will be assessed and their use for the respective branch of the natural sciences will be discussed.

2 one-hour lectures, 1 one-hour computer lab/lecture, and 1 one-hour tutorial per week.

1st attempt: Continuous assessment (assignments & projects (80%); oral exam (20%)). 6 to 7 in course assessments (solutions to be presented on the board during tutorials), one presentation of the project, a four page manuscript using LaTeX in the style of PRL.

Resit: Mini modelling project (80%) and oral exam (20%).
Only the marks obtained at the first attempt can count towards Honours classification.