Differential equation modeling challenges provide students with an opportunity to improve their mathematical capabilities, critical thinking skills, and communication abilities through researching and presenting on a differential equations model. This article functions to display an archetype summary of an undergraduate student team’s response to a provided prompt. Specifically, the provided mathematical model estimates how certain stimuli from a predator are accumulated to trigger a neural response in a prey. Furthermore, it tracks the propagation of the resultant action potential and the physical flight of the prey from the predator through the analysis of larval zebrafish as a model organism. This article also shares personal testimonies to highlight the benefits of these kinds of challenges for students.

Author Bio

Zachary Fralish will graduate in the spring of 2020 with a bachelor of science in biochemistry and molecular biology and will pursue a PhD in biomedical engineering. He has ambitions to research and develop neuroprosthetics or artificial organs.

Bernard Tyson III will graduate in the spring of 2019 with a bachelor of arts in chemistry and has a position mentoring high school students in the fall. He has ambitions to create products and technologies which enhance students’ educational experiences and unite different disciplines.

Anthony Stefan will graduate in the spring of 2019 with a bachelor of science in mathematics and will pursue his masters in applied mathematics. He has ambitions to continue his research in mathematics, develop modern technology, and teach mathematics in secondary education.