Using the United States Census Data to Introduce Differential Equations
Department or Administrative Unit
This article describes a method for using the United States Census data to open a differential equations course. The question of finding a model for the United States population data gives students a first experience with creating a model using differential equations, and also understanding derivatives, what they mean, and how to calculate them in the context of real data. This model-building start motivates further exploration in many of the standard differential equations topics: the method of separation of variables, slope fields, autonomous equations, equilibria, and stability.
Linhart, J. M. (2019). Using the United States Census Data to Introduce Differential Equations. PRIMUS, 29(7), 702–711. https://doi.org/10.1080/10511970.2018.1472156
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