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Mathematical Modeling Discussions


Jean Carlos Silveira
João Luiz Domingues Ribas

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This paper aims to make a critical analysis of the discussions about Mathematical Modeling in the teaching process, reports the main themes addressed during the I EPMEM (Paranaense Modeling Meeting in Mathematics Teaching) held in the city of Londrina-PR. October 14, 15 and 16, 2004, by the State University of Londrina (UEL).

The search for new mathematical teaching methodologies must be constant, at the moment much talk about Mathematical Modeling, but even after almost twenty-five years of discussions and studies there are still many doubts about Mathematical Modeling, at the time we had the opportunity to discuss together with master teachers and doctors in the area in question about the difficulties and benefits of working with modeling in teaching our students.

Key words: Teaching Methodology of Mathematics, Mathematical Modeling, Applications, daily life.

According to prof. Dr. Dionísio Burak UEPG - Ponta Grossa - PR, Mathematical Modeling in Brazil began to be worked in the 80s at the State University of Campinas - UNICAMP - with a group of teachers, in Biomathematics, coordinated by Prof. Dr. Rodney Carlos Bassanezi- IMECC.

In principle, the studies involved carcinogenic growth models. An experiment with Modeling was also conducted by Professor Rodney, with a regular Food Engineering class, in the discipline of Differential and Integral Calculus, which had a defined program. The experience was very satisfactory.

In Brazilian education Mathematical Modeling began with the specialization courses for teachers, in 1983, at the Faculty of Philosophy Sciences and Letters of Guarapuava - FAFIG, today State University of the Midwest - UNICENTRO.

With the beginning of the Master's Program in Mathematics Teaching by UNESP - Rio Claro Campus, Modeling attracted adherents, because the great concern felt was to find alternative ways to teach Mathematics that worked or had the concern of starting from situations. experienced by the students of the 1st and 2nd grades, currently elementary and high school.

The first works focusing on Modeling as an alternative to Mathematics Teaching, began to be elaborated in the form of dissertations and articles, from 1987. In 1999 the 1st National Conference was held.

Discussions about mathematical modeling and teaching-learning

Due to the great advancement of computer technologies many of our daily activities started to be done by machines, with computers came, for example, the “Age of Informatics” where information spread on a large scale revolutionizing the way of life of humanity.

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With all this revolution brought about by computer science, mathematical concepts have become implicit, because computer programs are able to perform calculations in a fraction of a second, which manually would take hours for humans to solve.

With this “ease” that computer technology provides, there was a natural dematthematization of people in general, thus causing a devaluation of mathematical knowledge, that is, why decorate formulas or theorems, if in the computer they are all already stored?

According to Prof. Dr. Jonei Cerqueira Barbosa of Jorge Amado-Salvador University, mathematics can serve as “power for someone” acting as an instrument of social control, because after all, numbers govern the world, decisions are made from formulas, calculations, From statistics, government planning is decided through mathematics, decisions that affect the lives of all those who submit to them.

In this sense many people question the role of mathematics in the formation of our students, which teacher has never heard that old question that students always ask: "What is the purpose of this subject that I am learning?"

Perhaps an answer to this question may be Mathematical Modeling, because it aims to interpret and understand the most diverse phenomena of our daily lives, due to the "power" that modeling provides by the applications of mathematical concepts. We can describe these phenomena, analyze them and interpret them with the purpose of generating reflective discussions about such phenomena that surround our daily lives.