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mathematical model

either a physical representation of mathematical concepts or a mathematical representation of reality. Physical mathematical models include reproductions of plane and solid geometric figures made of cardboard, wood, plastic, or other substances; models of conic sections, curves in space, or three-dimensional surfaces of various kinds made of wire, plaster, or thread strung from frames; and models of surfaces of higher order that make it possible to visualize abstract mathematical concepts.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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