Professor Karen Bliss co-authors handbook on math modeling

May 5, 2014 - Karen Bliss, assistant professor of mathematics, has helped author a handbook titled, "Math Modeling: Getting Started and Getting Solutions."

Published this month by the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, the handbook provides instructions and a process for building mathematical models using a variety of examples to answer wide-ranging questions.

"Mathematical modeling is being introduced to students in the K-12 curriculum because it holds a prominent place in the Common Core State Standards for math," Bliss said. "Students don't have to wait until calculus to find answers to important questions. They can use whatever mathematical tools they have available."  

Bliss wrote the handbook along with Kathleen Fowler, an associate professor at Clarkson University, and Ben Galluzzo, an assistant professor at Shippensburg University.

Fowler and Bliss are members of the problem development committee for Moody's Mega Math Challenge, a free national math modeling competition for high school students that awards $125,000 in scholarships each year. Workshop attendees will receive a $50 VISA gift card as well as a copy of, "Math Modeling: Getting Started and Getting Solutions."

"Math modeling allows students to view math as the powerful tool that it can be," Bliss said. "It requires a lot more creativity and thoughtfulness than memorizing equations and applying them over and over again. This is what makes it fun.  Unfortunately, it's not obvious how to get started and if you've never done it before it can be intimidating.  We're hoping this handbook fills this need."

For more information about the workshop, email Lucie Howell, director of the Bristol-Myers Squibb Center for Science Teaching and Learning, at

PDFs of the handbook are available for free download at