AT 10-001_FA20: Course Alias:
Many complex phenomena in nature, including the flocking of birds, the schooling of fish, the intricate patterns on spiral seashells, animal spots and stripes, the arrangement of flower petals, and the spreading of forest fires, can be described by simple mathematical models. These models show us that beauty in nature is more than skin deep ? it is elegant, often profound, and based on fundamental principles. The kinds of models we will investigate are frequently used by biologists, wildlife managers, and Hollywood special effects teams. We will look for examples of natural phenomena on the campus grounds, describe the phenomena with simple mathematical models, and explore the models using table-top games and graphical computer simulations. Neither computer programming experience nor math beyond high school algebra will be required.