Traffic flow model

Morgan Fonley
Alma College,
Author Profile

This activity was selected for the Teaching Computation in the Sciences Using MATLAB Exemplary Teaching Collection

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This page first made public: Aug 16, 2018


This assignment relates to a traffic flow model. Each problem involves graphing in two and three dimensions and interpreting those graphs.

Learning Goals

This activity is meant to be practice toward reading and interpreting three-dimensional graphs. They should be synthesizing their graphical understanding with their experience in traffic.

Context for Use

This is an individual assignment to be completed after class instruction on graphing in two and three dimensions using MATLAB. This can be used in an entry level class but could be modified by requiring students to develop the density function from a differential equation or to model the density in some other way.

Description and Teaching Materials

Class instructions on matrices/graphing (Acrobat (PDF) 122kB Jul30 18)
Water level matrix file (Comma Separated Values 91kB Jul30 18)
Exercise data from FitBit ( 12kB Jul30 18)
Traffic flow activity (Acrobat (PDF) 29kB Jul30 18)

Teaching Notes and Tips

Our students struggled more to interpret their graphs rather than creating them.


We inspect the graphs they've created and their answers to our traffic flow problems.

References and Resources