On mathematical modeling

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Evgenii Rudnyi

Oct 28, 2012, 6:22:06 AM10/28/12
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From Scientific Representation: Paradoxes of Perspective by Bas C Van

p. 40 'Of course the story is apocryphal, that a professional gambler
funded a mathematician to analyze horse-racing, and was thoroughly
unhappy with the report that began "Let each horse be a perfect sphere,
rolling along a Euclidean straight line ...". But is that so far from
real examples of mathematical modeling?'


Bruno Marchal

Oct 28, 2012, 1:09:43 PM10/28/12
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It just means that there are bad and good modeling. Sometimes we
cannot know in advance.

Note that with comp, the brain is not modeled by a computer, it is
identified (can even be replaced in principle) with a computer. But
here again, that might be false.

To model a horse by a sphere is funny. But to study the solar system,
you can model the sun by a "material point", and everything seems OK.

To find the good models and theories is an art. There are no
mechanical procedure to do that, neither for us, nor for the machines.

Most of the times we must take decision with limited informations,
deformed by the current perspective, and we will use the simplest
model we have at our disposition. To get an idea of what could be like
being under a horse falling on you from a 15 story building, maybe it
might make sense to model the horse by a big heavy potatoes.



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