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Mathematical Models, Solutions for Life Problems

President Joko Widodo entertains the vision of shaping Indonesia into a maritime axis of the world. Various commitments to achieve these goals have been declared. One of them is to encourage the development of infrastructure in the maritime field from the manufacture of sea tolls, ports, to maritime tourism.

To plan the development process, it takes a number of people who are experts in the field, among others, expert in modeling a problem, especially related to the field of maritime. To be able to model a maritime problem, experts must first be able to create practical systems with accurate calculations.

We also have to get used to building a model, starting from simple models, such as building a model based on observations of animal velocity or forces acting on a coat hanger. Once accustomed, gradually we will start to master the process of modeling to a complicated thought. The modelling process will shape the mindset into something more logical and structured.

Modeling can be used not only for science but for various jobs in life. For example, the process of financial planning or decision-making is based on the analysis of cost, effort, and time.


To provide an understanding of mathematical modeling, the Mathematics Study Program of Parahyangan Catholic University (Unpar) invited Dr. FPH van Beckum, commonly called Frits, to provide a workshop on basic modeling. Frits worked as a lecturer at the University of Twente, the Netherlands, until his retirement in 2005. His research field is related to mathematical physics, such as predictions of circumstances that will occur in the Java Sea when Mount Krakatau erupts again.

In addition, he mentioned about the modeling of the Garuda Project, a project of building a giant dyke “Giant Sea Wall ” and the reclamation of the Jakarta coast. The greenhouse effect caused sea levels to rise as high as 20.3 centimeters since 1880. If this upward pattern continues, some parts of Jakarta are predicted to sink by 2030.

In a three-day workshop on 5-7 July 2017, Frits provided some important concepts about speed, acceleration, and pressure. The process of heat transfer in a cup of coffee to room temperature and what occurs in a thermos is described as the initial model in this workshop.

Frits also introduced heat transfer in heat exchangers used in refrigerators, refineries, or chemical plants. Another concept that is discussed is the cleaning of a tub whose water is polluted by draining clean water from the top of the tub and removing dirty water from under the tub. Styles that occur on the hanger, the truss in the scissors, to the bridge is another mathematical modeling that is also discussed in the workshop.

In the final session, participants were divided into several groups and given the task of completing a simple modeling project. Some topics of modeling work include heat transfer from an electric kettle to heated water; the forces that occur on the bridge, such as the Argo Parahyangan railway line, which is circular at the bottom; as well as an explanation of the pressures that occur at the top, middle, and bottom of the monument.

Equipping students to be skilled in modeling by building mathematical models to solve real problems is part of Unpar Mathematics Study Program curriculum. Established since 1993, the study program has two applicative concentrations of Industrial Mathematics and Financial Engineering and Insurance. Alumni of Unpar Mathematics Program has worked in various sectors such as industry, banking, insurance, education or continuing study both at home and abroad.


Source: KOMPAS – Griya Ilmu (Tuesday, 12 September 2017)