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Unit information: Mathematics and Data Modelling 1 in 2018/19

Please note: It is possible that the information shown for future academic years may change due to developments in the relevant academic field. Optional unit availability varies depending on both staffing and student choice.

Unit name Mathematics and Data Modelling 1
Unit code EMAT10008
Credit points 20
Level of study C/4
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Dr. Simini
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of Engineering Mathematics
Faculty Faculty of Engineering


This unit gives students the opportunity to learn some of the skills of modelling in the real world, using mathematics. By 'doing' rather than 'listening' and working in groups, individual students develop skills that translate the experience of learning and practising mathematics, into communicating the results of their finding to a wider, and possibly lay, clientele.

Aims: To introduce the principles of mathematical modelling and the design process, through lectures and small group projects.

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this unit students will have:

  • acquired basic skills in mathematical modelling
  • begun to appreciate the mathematical modelling cycle of model construction, analysis, comparison with experimental data, and the application of results to the original engineering problems
  • worked in small groups to solve a practical mathematical modelling problem
  • developed their oral and written communication skills

Teaching details

There will be a mixture of lectures, seminars, demonstration exercises and tutorials:

20 Lectures, 8 Seminars, 12 tutorials and 8 demonstration sessions.

Assessment Details

100% coursework; combination of written report on group modelling project (70%,) group oral presentation (25%), and group written report review (5%).

There will be a short report on the students interactions with their industrial mentor. This is pass/fail assessment and must be passed in order to pass the unit.

Group modelling project will assess the following learning outcomes:

  • basic skills in mathematical modelling
  • appreciation of the mathematical modelling cycle
  • small-group work
  • written communication skills

Oral presentation will assess the following learning outcomes:

  • oral communication skills

Group written report review will assess the following learning outcomes:

•ability to critically evaluate strong and weak points of a scientific and technical report

•provide useful feedback

Students individual contributions will be measured in a number of different ways:

  • Through weekly meetings with an academic mentor during the course of the unit; in addition to providing support, guidance and feedback on the development of the project, individual contributions will be discussed
  • Through students own records of their group work, e.g. emails & logbooks, submitted at the completion of the project
  • Through contribution and discussion at the oral presentation session (attended by student groups as well as staff).
  • All students will be required to complete an individual (confidential) self-evaluation following completion of the project, reflecting critically on the entire process, including their own individual contribution, and that of their peers
  • In cases where there are particular problems, academic staff will discuss the issues with the entire group and/or individually as appropriate

Reading and References

  • Berry, J. & Houston, K. Mathematical Modelling (Edward Arnold, 1995)
  • Giordano, F. First Course in Mathematical Modeling (Brooks/Cole, 2008)
  • Edwards, D., Hamson, M. & Towers, D. Guide to Mathematical Modelling (Palgrave Macmillan, 2001)