Applied Communication Task A: Population Forecasting

Applied Communication Task A:
Population Forecasting

Goal and Role: As a city planner for your hometown, your task is to provide future
population projections to the Council (or other governing body) of your hometown for
their consideration as they make decisions about allocating resources. For example, their
decisions about whether to zone land for housing or other uses will be informed
significantly by what they expect the population to be. They have asked you to use your
mathematical skills to prepare projections of the population in the years 2020, 2025,
2050, and 2100.
Audience: Your target audience is members of the Council. You should assume that they
have varying levels of comfort with mathematics; while they all took math in high
school, some have not encountered math for a long time.
Situation: You have a two-part challenge: (1) to make population projections for your
hometown based upon a mathematical model that you create for population over time,
and (2) to convince members of the City Council that your projections are reasonable,
accurate, and backed up by evidence by clearly justifying the decisions that you make.
Product: You need to develop a 1- to 2-page typed report that outlines your projections
and how you arrived at them. Your report needs to include and employ at least one
algebraic mathematical model. If you do not use the model to arrive at one or more of
your population projections, you should clearly and carefully justify this decision; for
example, you might anticipate the relocation of a popular business, which may cause the
population to change more one year than the model predicts. Finally, you should include
a graph and/or a table of values to help justify your conclusions.
Standards: Your report needs to include
1. an introduction, including the previous population data that you used;
2. an algebraic representation of a function that reasonably models the population of
your hometown over some period of at least 20 years that includes 2019; and
3. a clear and accurate written justification for your model and your projections.
Note that your projections need not be based on the model; you should include a
justification of your decision to follow or not to follow the model for each of your
projections. In writing your report, you must adhere to the “Technical Writing DOs and
DON’Ts” posted on the course website.

Assessment: Your report will be assessed for the following learning goals:
• Demonstrate an awareness of your audience (City Council members) by using
appropriate language and engaging with their prior knowledge
• Introduce your notation and define your variables
• Plainly state the purpose of the report or project
• Incorporate a conclusion or discussion
• Use complete sentences and correct grammar in mathematical communication

• Provide constructive feedback on quality of explanation and style of writing to a
peer (to be completed in your Week 3 tutorial)
• Provide constructive feedback on the correctness and completeness of a problem
solution to a peer (to be completed in your Week 3 tutorial)
• Understand and/or apply the modelling process to construct a mathematical model
from real-world data
• Consider the social, political, and/or cultural context of mathematics
Submission: Your report must be submitted in hard copy at the beginning of your Week 4
tutorial. All submissions must include the completed Peer Feedback form from Week 3,
which should be stapled to the back of the assignment. You and your Peer Feedback
partner should paperclip your two projects together before handing them in.
Your report may be hand-written or printed from a computer, but either way it must be
easy to read.