Discrete Dynamical Systems

Discrete dynamical systems can be used to model and analyze many real-world problems including population growth, compound interest and annuities, radioactive decay, pollution control, and medication dosages. Such problems are usually delayed until calculus; however, the discrete dynamical systems approach uses only high school advanced algebra. Teachers who complete this module will be able analyze a variety of discrete dynamical systems using the TI-83 or TI-84 calculators (or any other calculator with similar graphing and sequence capabilities). They will also learn how to integrate this material into advanced algebra, precalculus, and calculus courses. This course was developed at our MTL partner institution, Illinois State University. Credit: 1 grad. sem. hr.

Common Core Standards for Mathemtical Practice that are emphasized include:

  • 1. Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them.
  • 2. Reason abstractly and quantitatively.
  • 5. Use appropriate tools strategically.
  • 7. Look for and make use of structure.
  • 8. Look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning.

Discrete Dynamical Systems for Teachers was written by Professor John Dossey of Illinois State University and posted on MTL in September, 1997. It was revised by Tony Peressini in July of 1998.