As was indicated in Section 1.1 in Chapter 1, “mathematical modeling” is used as a principal tool in engineering analysis. It is reasonable to ask “What is mathematical modeling?” Different answers to the question will be given by different people. Our definition of mathematical modeling is that it is “an act of translating back and forth between mathematics and physical situations.”
An analogy to the above definition might be a beautiful melody being developed in the mind of a composer with his or her subsequent expressing this melody in symbolic notes on the stave, as illustrated in Figure 2.1
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