ISIA L01 C1 S1

Intro Stats P2: Lec 01 Concept 1: Models & Reality

S1: Models Simplify Reality

Models SIMPLIFY reality. As the picture on the RHS panel shows, we approximate a complex terrain by a simplified MAP of the terrain, which omits the geographic features. Such a map can be used for many purposes. It can help us find our way, it can help us to calculate approximate distances, times for travel, amount of work/exercise required to complete the journey, etc.

MAPS are useful because it is possible to make the calculations after the simplification of reality. These calculations would be impossible, or too difficult, to carry out in the REAL WORLD complex situations.  We can think of A MODEL as being a MAP of a complex Real World. Thus the MODEL is a SIMPLIFIED PICTURE of the reality. 

SIMPLIFICATIONS of reality, created by MODELS, are done for MANY purposes. One important purpose is to help us understand something which is too complicated to understand in all its detail. A second important purpose is to help use make CALCULATIONS. This is why models OFTEN have a MATHEMATICAL FORM, so that they allow for calculations to be made.