Interesting Esoterica

How long is my toilet roll? – a simple exercise in mathematical modelling

Article by Peter R. Johnston
  • Published in 2013
  • Added on
The simple question of how much paper is left on my toilet roll is studied from a mathematical modelling perspective. As is typical with applied mathematics, models of increasing complexity are introduced and solved. Solutions produced at each step are compared with the solution from the previous step. This process exposes students to the typical stages of mathematical modelling via an example from everyday life. Two activities are suggested for students to complete, as well as several extensions to stimulate class discussion.

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BibTeX entry

@article{HowLongIsMyToiletRoll,
	title = {How long is my toilet roll? – a simple exercise in mathematical modelling},
	abstract = {The simple question of how much paper is left on my toilet roll is studied from a mathematical modelling perspective. As is typical with applied mathematics, models of increasing complexity are introduced and solved. Solutions produced at each step are compared with the solution from the previous step. This process exposes students to the typical stages of mathematical modelling via an example from everyday life. Two activities are suggested for students to complete, as well as several extensions to stimulate class discussion.},
	url = {https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/0020739X.2013.790502?journalCode=tmes20},
	year = 2013,
	author = {Peter R. Johnston},
	comment = {},
	urldate = {2020-04-09},
	collections = {Attention-grabbing titles,Easily explained,The act of doing maths,Modelling}
}