Carlos A. de Moura
Mathematical Modeling- an art, a duty, a danger

Carlos A. de Moura, Rio de Janeiro State University, Brazil

Abstract:

Mathematical modelling is an essential component of many scientific studies and, we could even say, a sensible part of our everyday experience. Sciences based on mathematical models deserve to be called “exact". This allows them to bear a more respect-full status as compared to the ones known as “soft". An important fact is overlooked, though: to model is to pretend. When facing a mathematical truth no questioning may be posed and often one is led 8 to the same attitude towards a mathematical model. But mathematical conclusions about a model are true for that model, not necessarily for the modelled phenomenon.

These remarks are intended to guide the discussion on a topic that nowadays is of utmost importance: the use of numerical parameters to rate scientific papers and journals.
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