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Elementary Mathematical Models: Order Aplenty and a Glimpse of Chaos
 
Elementary Mathematical Models
MAA Press: An Imprint of the American Mathematical Society
Now available in new edition: TEXT/50
Elementary Mathematical Models
Click above image for expanded view
Elementary Mathematical Models: Order Aplenty and a Glimpse of Chaos
MAA Press: An Imprint of the American Mathematical Society
Now available in new edition: TEXT/50
  • Book Details
     
     
    AMS/MAA Textbooks
    Volume: 21997; 345 pp
    MSC: Primary 00; Secondary 58

    Now available in Second Edition: TEXT/50

    The language of mathematics has proven over centuries of application to be an indispensable tool for the expression and analysis of real problems. With numerical, graphical, and theoretical methods, this book examines the relevance of mathematical models to phenomena ranging from population growth and economics to medicine and the physical sciences. In a book written for the intelligent and literate non-mathematician, Kalman aims at an understanding of the power and utility of quantitative methods rather than at technical mastery of mathematical operations. He shows first that mathematical models can serve a critical function in understanding the world, and he concludes with a discussion of the problems encountered by traditional algebraic assumptions in chaos theory. Though models can often approximate future events based on existing data and quantitative relationships, Kalman shows that the appearance of regularity and order can often be misleading. By beginning with quantitative models and ending with an introduction to chaos, Kalman offers a broad treatment of both the power and limitations of quantitatively-based predictions.

  • Table of Contents
     
     
    • Chapters
    • Chapter 1. Overview
    • 2. Sequences and Difference Equations
    • 3. Arithmetic Growth
    • 4. Linear Graphs, Functions, and Equations
    • 5. Quadratic Growth Models
    • 6. Quadratic Graphs, Functions, and Equations
    • 7. Polynomial and Rational Functions
    • 8. Fitting a Line to Data
    • 9. Geometric Growth
    • 10. Exponential Functions
    • 11. More On Logarithms
    • 12. Geometric Sums and Mixed Models
    • 13. Logistic Growth
    • 14. Chaos in Logistic Models
  • Reviews
     
     
    • Kalman uses basic growth models...not only to convey the power of mathematics in solving real-world problems, but also to motivate the study of the elementary functions usually encountered in college algebra courses. There is a natural evolution from a simple hypotheses to difference equations, to their solutions, to the study of the elementary functions associated with the solutions. There is an emphasis on the "why" of algebra and on manipulation associated with applications rather than for its own sake.Numerical, graphical, and symbolic approaches are used throughout, and the numerous exercises include reading comprehension exercises and group selected exercises...Aimed at students at the college algebra or liberals arts mathematics level, the slow careful development should be clear even to those with a weak algebraic background. Highly recommended.

      Choice
    • An innovative alternative to introductory college mathematics intended for any student not headed for calculus. Uses discrete and continuous models of growth to introduce increasingly sophisticated algebraic patterns...An effective blend of narrative, motivation, calculation, and graphical representation that introduces algebraic thinking with a minimum of algebraic formalisms.

      The American Mathematical Monthly
    • The book is well balanced and succeeds in introducing the use of discrete models to students who might view a mathematics class with a weary eye...the author does a superb job of addressing a difficult audience. This is especially true of the problem sets. An excellent mix of reading, simple/short answer, and word problems of varying difficulties are given. Furthermore, complete answers to some of the problems are given in the same chapter, rather than in an appendix.

      Kelly Black, University of New Hampshire
    • This book can be described as the protocol of the ultimate (and apparently successful) teaching experiment, namely to lead students with hardly any mathematical background at all, to a respectable level in the fundamentals of mathematics in such a way, that they will always have positive thoughts about it. ...The expert reader may use this book as a rich source of growth problems.

      Springer-Verlag, Zentallblatt für Mathematik
    • I found the book a refreshing alternative to college algebra textbooks and would recommend it to instructors who are seeking changes.

      The Mathematics Teacher
  • Requests
     
     
    Review Copy – for publishers of book reviews
    Desk Copy – for instructors who have adopted an AMS textbook for a course
    Examination Copy – for faculty considering an AMS textbook for a course
    Accessibility – to request an alternate format of an AMS title
Volume: 21997; 345 pp
MSC: Primary 00; Secondary 58

Now available in Second Edition: TEXT/50

The language of mathematics has proven over centuries of application to be an indispensable tool for the expression and analysis of real problems. With numerical, graphical, and theoretical methods, this book examines the relevance of mathematical models to phenomena ranging from population growth and economics to medicine and the physical sciences. In a book written for the intelligent and literate non-mathematician, Kalman aims at an understanding of the power and utility of quantitative methods rather than at technical mastery of mathematical operations. He shows first that mathematical models can serve a critical function in understanding the world, and he concludes with a discussion of the problems encountered by traditional algebraic assumptions in chaos theory. Though models can often approximate future events based on existing data and quantitative relationships, Kalman shows that the appearance of regularity and order can often be misleading. By beginning with quantitative models and ending with an introduction to chaos, Kalman offers a broad treatment of both the power and limitations of quantitatively-based predictions.

  • Chapters
  • Chapter 1. Overview
  • 2. Sequences and Difference Equations
  • 3. Arithmetic Growth
  • 4. Linear Graphs, Functions, and Equations
  • 5. Quadratic Growth Models
  • 6. Quadratic Graphs, Functions, and Equations
  • 7. Polynomial and Rational Functions
  • 8. Fitting a Line to Data
  • 9. Geometric Growth
  • 10. Exponential Functions
  • 11. More On Logarithms
  • 12. Geometric Sums and Mixed Models
  • 13. Logistic Growth
  • 14. Chaos in Logistic Models
  • Kalman uses basic growth models...not only to convey the power of mathematics in solving real-world problems, but also to motivate the study of the elementary functions usually encountered in college algebra courses. There is a natural evolution from a simple hypotheses to difference equations, to their solutions, to the study of the elementary functions associated with the solutions. There is an emphasis on the "why" of algebra and on manipulation associated with applications rather than for its own sake.Numerical, graphical, and symbolic approaches are used throughout, and the numerous exercises include reading comprehension exercises and group selected exercises...Aimed at students at the college algebra or liberals arts mathematics level, the slow careful development should be clear even to those with a weak algebraic background. Highly recommended.

    Choice
  • An innovative alternative to introductory college mathematics intended for any student not headed for calculus. Uses discrete and continuous models of growth to introduce increasingly sophisticated algebraic patterns...An effective blend of narrative, motivation, calculation, and graphical representation that introduces algebraic thinking with a minimum of algebraic formalisms.

    The American Mathematical Monthly
  • The book is well balanced and succeeds in introducing the use of discrete models to students who might view a mathematics class with a weary eye...the author does a superb job of addressing a difficult audience. This is especially true of the problem sets. An excellent mix of reading, simple/short answer, and word problems of varying difficulties are given. Furthermore, complete answers to some of the problems are given in the same chapter, rather than in an appendix.

    Kelly Black, University of New Hampshire
  • This book can be described as the protocol of the ultimate (and apparently successful) teaching experiment, namely to lead students with hardly any mathematical background at all, to a respectable level in the fundamentals of mathematics in such a way, that they will always have positive thoughts about it. ...The expert reader may use this book as a rich source of growth problems.

    Springer-Verlag, Zentallblatt für Mathematik
  • I found the book a refreshing alternative to college algebra textbooks and would recommend it to instructors who are seeking changes.

    The Mathematics Teacher
Review Copy – for publishers of book reviews
Desk Copy – for instructors who have adopted an AMS textbook for a course
Examination Copy – for faculty considering an AMS textbook for a course
Accessibility – to request an alternate format of an AMS title
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