Mathematical Modeling for Society and Biology second edition draws on current issues to engagingly relate how to use mathematics to gain insight into problems in biology and contemporary society. For the new edition, the author uses mathematical models tat are simple, transparent, and verifiable. Also new to the book is an introduction to mathematical concepts that every quantitative scientist in the biological and social sciences should be familiar with, such as Bayesian inference and differential equations. Additionally, each chapter now includes a detailed discussion on how to formulate a reasonable model to gain insight into the specific question that has been introduced -- P. 4 of cover
Some philosophers of mathematics argue that the role of mathematical models in science is merely representational: when scientists use mathematical models they only believe that they are adequate representations of the physical phenomenon under investigation. Others disagree with this view and argue that mathematical models also serve as genuine explanations in science. Consequently, the application of mathematical models in science cannot be treated instrumentally and we ought to be realists about mathematics. I advance two reasons to reject realist conclusion: genuine mathematical explanations are indistinguishable from spurious ones. And, for mathematical models to be explanatory, they have to be “bottom-level”; I deny that we can know which explanations (if any) are bottom level in science. I contend that what plays the explanatory role is the impure function that links physical structures to mathematical structures.
Mafia (also called Werewolf) is a party game. The participants are divided into two competing groups: citizens and a mafia. The objective is to eliminate the opponent group. The game consists of two consecutive phases (day and night) and a certain set of actions (e.g. lynching during day). The mafia members have additional powers (knowing each other, killing during night) whereas the citizens are more numerous. We propose a simple mathematical model of the game, which is essentially a pure death process with discrete time. We find the closed-form solutions for the mafia winning-chance, w(n,m), as well as for the evolution of the game. Moreover, we investigate the discrete properties of results, as well as their continuous-time approximations. It turns out that a relatively small number of the mafia members, i.e. proportional to the square root of the total number of players, gives equal winning-chance for both groups. Furthermore, the game strongly depends on the parity of the total number of players. ; Comment: 12 pages, 4 figures; after corrections
A formal mathematical model is used to explore the problem of fair representation in the case of cleavage according to one or two criteria. In two-criterion situations, a solution exists that meets minimal equity requirements only if the two criteria are binary. This may explain an observed tendency to political bipolarization. 5 Tables, 8 References. Modified HA