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Product No. HiMAP Pull-Out Supplementary Print Price: FREE with membership

Racing to War

Rosalie Dance, James Sandefur

Mathematics Topic:
Algebra, Modeling
Application Areas:
Political science, War strategy

| ©2006 Consortium 90 | 8 pages |

Mathematical models of the natural and physical world provide significant input into helping us understand our environment. Mathematical models of human activity, too, can help us understand ourselves and our human society better.

When developing mathematical models, it is wise to begin with a simple model, taking into account those factors it seems necessary to account for and omitting as much of the rest as seems feasible. Then, we would observe how well the model fits reality and adjust the model to make it more accurate, possibly by taking more factors into account. Here we will do only step 1 of the modeling process; that is, we will make an initial simple model. But we will look at the model in the light of some history. We will model a two-nation arms race (or possible two coalitions of nations). In the interest of simplicity, we will consider only broad factors.