The SIMIODE Challenge for Undergraduates in Differential Equation Modelling (SCUDEM) offers students the opportunity to improve their mathematical capacity, ability to think critically, and communication skills through researching, developing, and presenting on a differential equations model for a natural phenomenon. During the fall 2019 SCUDEM, we chose to model population dynamics of phoretic parasitism through chemical espionage of anti-aphrodisiacs by parasitic wasps. Additionally, we modelled the dispersion of anti-aphrodisiac pheromones from impregnated butterflies and the propagation of resultant action potentials in wasps due to stimulation of olfactory receptor neurons from these pheromones. This article displays a summary of our undergraduate student team’s response to a provided prompt in SCUDEM IV. This article additionally shares personal testimonies from three students about the modelling challenge to highlight the benefits of participating in differential equation modelling challenges.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.