Mathematical (analytical or numerical) modeling of continuum mechanics problems is an integral part of engineering design, scientific research, and technological inventions. Mechanical engineers are concerned with the design of structures of machines, automobiles, and robots. Aerospace engineers design airplanes and space shuttles. Biomedical engineers are pursuing mathematical modeling of human anatomy. Civil engineers are charged with the design of skyscrapers, bridges, foundations, dams, and roads. Geologists and earth scientists are interested in quantifying fluid flow through and deformation of rocks. In all of these problems, it is of interest to predict the behavior of the structure or body at hand. The crucial step in the process of prediction in these cases is mathematical modeling.
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