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IA (HL) Unsure about the level of maths (differential equations)

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Hello ^_^

So, my math teacher is not used to marking HL IAs as I'm the only student that he's taught in awhile. Consequently, he can't help me much with my math IA. We're both unsure that mine is on the level appropriate. I'm using differential equations to set up a model for the spread of Ebola (SEIR model), but I have to use Matlab (computer software) to solve those equations. Still, I explain the logic behind the equations (why the look like they do) and use the Maclaurin series to rewrite a variable. Is this acceptable or should I aim for more HL maths? 

Sorry for the ramble! :P

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That sounds okay to me! Mine used differential equations, and was probably on the simpler side, but I don't think it is too much of a problem. Just make sure that you emphasize the calculus portions of it and you should be fine :)

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Hello ^_^

So, my math teacher is not used to marking HL IAs as I'm the only student that he's taught in awhile. Consequently, he can't help me much with my math IA. We're both unsure that mine is on the level appropriate. I'm using differential equations to set up a model for the spread of Ebola (SEIR model), but I have to use Matlab (computer software) to solve those equations. Still, I explain the logic behind the equations (why the look like they do) and use the Maclaurin series to rewrite a variable. Is this acceptable or should I aim for more HL maths? 

Sorry for the ramble! :P

 

To be honest, I really know nothing about the SEIR model and how it really works (well, pardon me for neglecting one of the most important biology knowledge :P ). However, after looking at the wiki page about it (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compartmental_models_in_epidemiology), it seems to me like you have to solve a system of first order ODE to get the behavior of Infected (I), which seem to be complicated enough to be a HL math IA. It's also very good of you to include Matlab, thus you've taken very good care of the technology criteria. So more HL maths is not necessary in my opinion.

 

I also want to stress that personal engagement is quite important in an exploration. I don't know anything about your IA at the moment, so I can't judge. However, you may want to put something of your own that really distinguishes your IA from others'. For example, you can try to apply your model into real life situation in Africa at the moment to see whether it matches the situation. Maybe ask yourself what happens if the doctors introduce a good vaccine, then how fast would the graph of the Infected be reduced? etc, etc. You can also introduce some twists to the standard SEIR model (by assuming something different within allowable limits). Just some suggestions,....

 

In general, the level of maths is fine, i think. But you may want include more personal engagement into your IA. Good luck! I hope your IA will reach an A :)

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Guest moonkyu97

I think it is complicated enough for Math HL. One of my classmate got away with doing a IA exploring half life of different isotopes, which is a lot easier than your topic.

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