Mathematical modeling is proposed as the unifying theme for courses
in Finite Mathematics.
The course begins with teaching the strategies and skills required
for analyzing (modeling) word problems, and ends with an
introduction to Monte Carlo simulations. Using only a simple
calculator with a random number generator key, simulation becomes
both a natural springboard to probability distributions, including
the normal, uniform, and exponential distributions, and also a
realistic application of probability concepts to real world
Richard Bronson is Professor of Mathematics at Fairleigh Dickinson
University with research interests in continuous simulation. He
has written eight books, including Finite Mathematics: A Modeling
Approach for West Publishers, and he was the 1994 recipient of the
NJ Section's Award for Distinguished Teaching.