This is sort of a rehash of Computational modelling vs. mathematical modelling, but that didn't get any answers so I'll try to be more specific.

The context of this question is that I'm supporting an area51 proposal, Mathematical Modeling, which several people seem to be of the opinion is a duplicate of this site. Those people include user mbq, who is the original creator of the Computational Science proposal and who marked it as a duplicate on Area51. We have had other people indicate that this may be a duplicate of Mathematics, MathOverflow, and Physics, but all of those are false and the site is being promoted within those communities as a way to deal with some questions which don't quite belong on any of these sites. However, it could still be a duplicate of this site. I don't know as I'm not active here.

Our goal for the proposal is to create a community of applied mathematicians working in finance, industry, and other areas not traditionally considered mathematics, as well as others who use mathematical modelling techniques in their work. This seems different from Computational Science, which based on your help center is focused specifically on computational methods. While that could come up on a modelling site, I think we're often more interested in the principles behind constructing models rather than solving them. However, the help center could be wrong and it could be that such questions would actually be welcome here. With that in mind, here are my questions:

  1. Are questions about building models, modelling principles, what models already exist for a given system, and other similar modelling questions (which are not computational in nature) welcome here? If so, could the help center be changed to reflect this? You can see some example questions on the proposal page.

  2. Is this "close enough" that it would make more sense to expand the scope of this site to include modelling rather than making a new site? I do not know what this community is knowledgeable about. If it turns out that you have many people who are experts in modelling and are willing to expand your scope to cover things like modelling principles (and it makes sense to do so), then rather than going through area51 we can just come here.

Please don't hesitate to say "no" on both counts if this site is really focused on computational science and not on mathematical modelling. While I'd be happier with "yes" responses, a "no" would at least give us a canonical reference to point to when others claim that Mathematical Modelling is a duplicate of Computational Science.


I would say that the construction of meaningful, computable models is core to computational science, and certainly on-topic here. For example, I would consider most papers in the SIAM Journal on Multiscale Modeling and Simulation to be appropriate for discussion here. I'm not opposed to expanding scope a bit, especially considering that in my opinion, modeling is too often divorced from computing, leading to peculiar models that are not accurate, but still difficult to compute.


While I agree with Jed's answer, questions here are rarely about the actual development about the models. There would be significant overlap between the sites, however I don't believe the scope of the modelling site would fall completely within ours.

For instance, the current top two questions on the proposal would be a large stretch to fit here. Developing models in such a way to allow efficient computation while maintaining an accurate representation of the sytem are on topic here, but not all models have computational components.


My perspective in the earlier Meta post here was that a question about modelling without computational aspects would be welcome at Math.SE or MathOverflow (or perhaps a discipline specific site such as Biology, Physics, or CrossValidated).

My notion of computation is broader than just computer implementation, and includes discrete as well as continuous math. In that sense I expect many modelling questions to be on topic here. Whether you'd find a "deep bench" here waiting to address all of them is open to doubt, but in my experience the community is more supportive than antagonistic about scope issues.

I'll add some thoughts to the Area 51 discussion.

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