Consider the following:
- Improve the design of polystyrene
- What is the best way of tackling the
jumps in a downhill ski race to minimise your time of descent?
- Determine the spacing of road humps
so that a vehicle does not exceed the speed limit.
- Determine the distance of a barrier
from a building so that a passerby is not hit by objects falling off
- Calculate the length of bungee ropes
to give a safe but exciting jump.
The connection between these
apparently different topics is that they have all been
successfully tackled by students using the ideas of mathematical
This section explains what is meant by “mathematical
modelling” and also provides a real-life problem
for you to work through to illustrate these ideas.