Mathematical Modelling 101: Introduction & Viability Selection

I think the best place to start would be to state the following: Do not fear math. I spent far too long dodging equations and, when that wasn’t possible, freezing in a state of absolute confusion when faced with something like:

By the end of this post, you’ll hopefully be able to understand the above is not just a bunch of jibberish. Now before we get into the nitty gritty of the subject, I think a clarification of my assumptions is in order:

  1. That you’ll have a basic understanding of evolutionary biology. If not, then may I suggest Evolution as a very good, and highly comprehensive, introductory text. Failing that, you can always pop over to the wikipedia page.
  2. Although these posts will refer to evolutionary biology, my background is in linguistics and socio-cultural evolution — and as such, I will tend to default to the position of explaining these latter areas.
  3. It might sound insulting, but you’ll also need a basic understanding of math. You’ll be surprised by the number of people who, despite being very bright, lack even an elementary grasp of the fundamentals. A good place to start is with Kahn Academy’s wonderful online resource:
  4. Having said that, I’m not really expecting anything beyond algebra level math, and I’ll do my best to try and clarify any confusions in the comments section. Also, I’m hardly a math guru, so I welcome anyone with a solid background in math to provide any hints, tips or suggestions, and, in the event I’m plain wrong, point out any mistakes.

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Some links #3

Of my random meanderings around the Internet, I think the coolest thing I’ve seen this past week certainly has to be the Steampunk sequencer:

With that out of the way, here are some links: