SYSC 510: Models in the Natural & Social Sciences
This interdisciplinary course focuses on the concept of models in science. What is a model? How do models fit into the scientific method? What is common to all scientific models, regardless of discipline. What are the strengths and weaknesses of models as tools for understanding scientific problems? What makes one model better than another? What types of modeling techniques are available and which are best for investigating different types of scientific questions. These are the types of questions students will address by studying established models and by developing their own models in an area of their interest. The goal is for students to achieve both a better conceptual understanding of how models are used in science, as well as enhanced practical skills in using modeling methods and tools.