Math Models in Nature
How is it possible that mathematics, a product of human thought that is independent of experience, fits so excellently the objects of reality? — Albert Einstein
Can Math Explain How Animals Get Their Patterns?
This video looks at Alan Turing's Reaction-Diffusion Model, which mathematically defines how patterns might be formed in Nature.
Turing, the father of computers, created a set of formulas that describe how these patterns could be created. Biologists are now looking to see if they can find evidence of Turing's Reaction-Diffusion Model in the real life.
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Using data from the National Climate Data Center, students manipulate and trace changes in the bee population via simple math modeling techniques. Such models are being used increasingly in many sub-fields of biology.
This site provides a familiar content to introduce these techniques and sensitizes students to systemic interactions. Since most kids are familiar with bees, applying math models is not so far-fetched.
This post by Peter Tyson and NOVA looks at how you can describe a tree or cloud, a rippled pond or swirling galaxy using numbers and equations. This article looks at how scientists use mathematics to define reality, and why.
This article from the Fractal Foundation describes fractals as a never-ending pattern, created by repeating a simple process or mathematical formula over and over again. Fractal patterns are extremely familiar, since nature is full of fractals, like trees, rivers, coastlines, mountains, clouds, seashells, hurricanes, etc.
Includes an Educators Guide and on-line, interactive examples.
This post by Wired magazine shows some of the most stunning natural examples of fractals on our planet.
By building upon extant online databases – heretofore unavailable to students – students can acquire a set of advanced knowledge in data integration and application.