Many of you reading this have already found reasons to model, which is why you signed up for this course. You may have run into a problem at work, one with an elusive, complex solution. You may have been asked by a boss or teacher to approach some problem or project by thinking with models. Or, you may have simply heard of this course and decided to sign up. These are all great reasons to learn how to model.
Still, one of the goals of this course is to help students find even more reasons to model. As you learn models, you will recognize more social circumstances, news stories, and complex problems that lend themselves to model thinking. You will find yourself in more situations in which modeling comes to mind. You might make up your own models. You might even find a model retrospectively – after you have toiled through a problem in a more complicated way than was necessary. We’ve all been there.
In this week’s “Why Model” lecture, Dr. Page lays the groundwork for the course by suggesting a number of reasons to model. Among them are becoming a more intelligent citizen of the world, using data more effectively, and designing more intelligent institutions and corporations.
Needless to say, each of these reasons to model won’t apply to everyone. But the hope is that, at the beginning of the course, each of you will find at least one reason to model that applies to your life. And then, the even bigger hope is that you will return to these introductory videos again and again throughout the course, finding new reasons to model, and more ways for models to fit into your life.
As a former student of Dr. Page’s modeling course at the University of Michigan, I can attest to the fact that I think of these models on a daily basis – whether it’s at work, sitting in traffic, or talking with friends. So enjoy the “Why Model” videos, and put them in your back pocket to enjoy some more later.