Introduction

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“Nothing in the world of living things is permanently fixed.”
Hans Zinnser — Rats, Lice and History, 1935

Our world is ever-changing. Stock prices go up and down. Seas and temperatures are rising. New chemicals emerge from the lab that may either be a deadly poison or a modern miracle or possibly both. Search engines must scan a constantly changing web. Even the American pass time of baseball uses sabermetrics to choose and evaluate players.

These situations are all dynamic. “Dynamic” simply means things are changing rather than staying constant or “static.” Understanding these situations requires the use of models. More specifically, quantitative models. Hence the title of this blog: “Quantitative Dynamics”.

This blog is about quantitative dynamics. We’re going to cover topics ranging from cave bats to health care. I’ll also talk about other things that strike my fancy. Mainly these topics will be about environmental science and ecology, but I have a broad interest in how models may be applied across our lives (e.g,. FiveThirtyEight.com). I am writing this blog for several reasons: to share my research with non-scientists, to write down ideas/techniques so that I do not forget them, and to learn about blogging. Last, I enjoy teaching and will use this blog to share what I am learning both on and off the job.

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