Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Mathematics and Statistics

Committee Chair(s)

Brynja Kohler


Brynja Kohler


James Cangelosi


Luis Gordillo


What is mathematical modeling and how can inservice and pre-service teachers develop the skills and competencies necessary to increase confidence and interest in teaching relevant mathematical modeling lessons? Mathematical modeling is “the process of choosing and using appropriate mathematics and statistics to analyze empirical situations, to understand them better, and to improve decisions” (CSSM, 2010, p. 72). By providing students with an opportunity to engage in relevant mathematical modeling prompts, we provide them with transferable skills and knowledge. The aim of this paper will be to provide insight into the relevance of teaching mathematical modeling, provide resources for integrating modeling tasks into a high school classroom, and to assist in developing higher confidence and interest in teaching relevant mathematical modeling lessons.

In addition, this thesis discusses the author’s journey to develop confidence and interest in teaching relevant mathematical modeling lessons through the development of a lesson about disease spread and the impact of the lesson on mathematical modeling competencies and discusses answers to the questions; (1) In what way, if at all, does engaging in a mathematical modeling lesson change the participants confidence and interest in using mathematical modeling lessons in future teaching?,(2) What ideas for new lessons arise when participants engage in the mathematical modeling task?, and (3) In what ways, if any, did participants engage in elements of the mathematical modeling process?

Knowledge gained from this study can be used to help develop meaningful and engaging modeling tasks intended to spark the interest of both the creator and the problem solvers.

Included in

Mathematics Commons