Quantitative reasoning, mathematical biology, science education, predator-prey model


The classical predator-prey equations are in nearly every differential equations text and mathematical biology text. Usually they are presented fait accompli, leaving the student to analyze them or play with a computer program. Here we show that the process of fully understanding where these equations come from and how they are derived provides numerous opportunities to teach or reinforce quantitative reasoning skills necessary to future scientists. This example is used to invoke logic, systems thinking, causal reasoning, understanding functions of one or more variables, quantities versus rates of change, proportional reasoning, unit analysis, and comparison to data.



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