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A Googol of Atoms?
What is a googol?  Invented by Edward Kasner, an American mathematician who popularized the number in his 1940 book, Mathematics and the Imagination, it is a 1 followed by a hundred zeros. This directed case in estimation and very large n...

A Recipe for Invention
In this case study, designed to help break down stereotypes about scientists and engineers, students research the personal and professional lives of researchers in their field. The case was designed for use in high school to graduate courses in a varie...

CAMEL Question: Can Applied Math Extend Life?
This directed case study examines differences between the exponential and logistic growth models in biology and how they are applied to solve real life problems. The narrative follows a student returning to the United States as he tries to assess his p...

Campus Outbreak!
This PowerPoint-driven case study follows the progress of three undergraduate students as they attempt to model the rapid spread of an influenza outbreak to determine whether their local newspaper's claim that "40% of the campus has the flu" is accurat...

Chuck A. Luck Wagers a Buck
This directed case study, based on a question asked in a newspaper column about a popular carnival game of chance, was developed for an undergraduate course introducing probabilistic models. Students answer questions that explore both correct and incor...

Markov vs. Markov
In this directed case study, students build a Markov chain probability model of marriage and divorce using statistics - the chance of divorcing in a given year and the chance of divorcing eventually - taken from an article on the divorce rates. Develop...

Mathematically Modeling Aircraft Fuel Consumption
The problem studied in this case deals with the identification of potential ways to lower fuel consumption in a 737 aircraft. Students are presented with actual flight data, such as fuel weights, passenger loads, fuel consumption, trip mileage, and tri...

Mathematics in Conservation
This interrupted case study teaches probability theory and transmission genetics through their application to the conservation of the endangered Florida panther. An endangered population is unlikely to survive simply due to its small population size. B...

Rated MPG for Confusion
This case study follows a family’s dilemma about how to save money on gasoline. Should they keep their SUV and trade in their Corolla for a hybrid sedan? Going from 28 (Corolla) to 48 (Hybrid) miles per gallon (MPG) should really save money on ...

The Concept of Slope
This directed case study is designed for an intermediate algebra course, appropriate for high school mathematics and lower division college mathematics. The ideal class size for running the activity is generally between 16 and 20 students. The main obj...

The Evolving Genetics of Disease Resistance
This interrupted case study for the flipped classroom applies evolutionary genetics research to human health. Students learn about a naturally occurring, but rare, allele of the CCR5 gene, CCR5-Δ32, which provides resistance to ...

Which Came First, the Mutation or the Antibiotic?
This case study presents the story of Phil, an undergraduate majoring in biology, whose Russian cousin Dimitri has contracted tuberculosis (TB) from inmates at the prison where he works.  Phil learns that his cousin's failure to complete his antib...

Zombie Attack!
Students assume the roles of CDC researchers who must determine how to most effectively stop an impending Zombie apocalypse. The story line leads students through the process of developing a mathematical model of a Zombie outbreak, which they then use ...