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Reflections on 40 Years of Mathematical Modeling of Water Resource Systems: What Makes a Useful Model?

Dr. Lindell Ormsbee, P.E., P.H., Ph.D., D.WRE, F.ASCE, F.EWRI

Lindell Ormsbee

Tuesday, February 5, 2019
1:30 – 2:30 p.m. Central Time
Texas A&M University
AgriLife Services Building, Room 116
(1st Floor Conference Room)
College Station, Texas

Dr. Lindell Ormsbee is the Raymond-Blythe Professor of Civil Engineering at the University of Kentucky. He currently serves as the director of the Kentucky Water Resources Research Institute, the executive director of the Tracy Farmer Institute for Sustainability and the Environment, and the associate director of the University of Kentucky Superfund Research Center.

Dr. Ormsbee’s seminar will examine applied, theoretical, and academic motivations for mathematical models for water resource systems along with specific examples from each category. He will present nine general questions for use in evaluating model usefulness expressed as a balance between model accuracy and model complexity, along with some general rules for model development and application in each category.

General modeling questions to be addressed include:
1. Do the assumptions and approximations of my model limit its usefulness?
2. Have I fallen into the trap of believing my approximated model is reality?
3. Have I identified the real problem?
4. Does my model lead to a change in the original problem definition?
5. Is my model still relevant to the original problem?
6. Do the errors or uncertainly in my model exceed the relative improvement obtain by optimization?
7. Have I verified my model against a robust data set?
8. Is my model too complex?
9. Am I comparing my model’s performance against the simplest available useful model?

RSVP to John.Tracy@ag.tamu.edu if you are planning to attend the seminar. Off campus viewers can access the seminar via WebEx. For WebEx access, RSVP to John.Tracy@ag.tamu.edu to receive a WebEx invitation.

Download the flyer.

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