Year 11 C4E Guest Presentor
By Year 11 C4E Mathematical Methods Student, Olivia Anderson
As part of the STEM Professionals in Schools program, Dr. David Ompong, a lecturer from Charles Darwin University, presented an interesting talk to our Year 11 C4E class on Wednesday 25 March 2020 to share his knowledge of “Mathematical Modelling of Data”.
Dr. Ompong took the class through fitting polynomials and exponential graphs to data sets, using matrices to solve various simultaneous equations and even explain how we could get a computer program to do it for us – something which, unfortunately, will not be allowed in our Mathematical Methods Course tests.
Mathematical Modelling of data sets is used in everything from predicting the products people will buy to estimating the severity of disease outbreaks – something which we have all heard quite a lot about in recent times. One interesting thing we saw modelled was the different ways coronavirus could spread through the population, and, if we had our calculators handy, how we could tell that the spread was slowing down. While inflection points may not be shown on the news for a while, the numbers we were shown became a lot less scary once travel restrictions, social distancing and handwashing was entered into the equations – sadly in the form of probability calculations, rather than proper hygiene measures.
There is good news for everyone stuck at home currently, though – the mathematical modelling agrees with you, and it, judging from the value calculate in class, is very precise.