EM SC 100S
First Year Seminar

Exercise 3: The Gravity Model

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Introduction 

The Gravity Model is a model used to estimate the amount of interaction between two cities. It is based on Newton's universal law of gravitation, which measured the attraction of two objects based off their mass and distance. The gravity model for cities works in the same way; the amount of interaction between two cities is proportional to the size of the cities and inversely proportional to their distance squared. This explains why cities that are far apart, such as New York and Los Angeles, still interact a lot despite being on either side of the United States, thousands of miles apart.

Instructions

Prepare a 2-page essay (1) explaining how the Gravity Model might be applied to predict student activity on the Penn State campus and (2) how you would test your prediction. Include a simple map. Name the file [your name]Exercise[x].docx (or pdf) when uploading your presentation. Review the rubric below to fully understand the criteria on which your presentation will be graded. Name the file [your name]Exercise[x].pptx (or pdf) when uploading your presentation. Review the rubric below to fully understand the criteria on which your presentation will be graded.

Submitting Your Work

Upload your final paper (pptx, .docx, pdf) to the assignment labeled Exercise 3. Take a look at the instructions in Canvas (link is external) for uploading a file as an assignment.

Grading Information and Rubric

Grading Rubric
Criteria Full Points Half points No points
1. Clarity of thought Addresses the topic with clarity; organizes and synthesizes information thoughtfully; and draws logical conclusions from available information; reader can easily follow the line of reasoning. Addresses the topic; lacks substantive conclusions; sometimes digresses from topic; reader may struggle at times following line of reasoning. Presents little to no clarity in formulating conclusions and/or organization.
2. Application of course material and models Shows a high level of accuracy when interpreting and/or applying course materials or models; presents the correct response. Shows an acceptable level of accuracy when interpreting and/or applying course materials and models; answer may not be completely correct, but shows understanding. Inaccurately interprets and/or applies course materials or models resulting in incorrect answers.
3. Comprehension of subject matter/course content Demonstrates substance and depth; is comprehensive; shows comprehension of material. Covers topic; uses appropriate sources; demonstrates basic level understanding; is objective. Does not give adequate coverage of topic; does not demonstrate even basic level understanding; lacks sources.
4. Clarity of Presentation Is free or almost free of errors (grammar, spelling, and writing mechanics); appropriately documents sources. Has errors, but they don't represent a major distraction; documents sources. Has errors that obscure meaning of content and adds confusion; neglects important sources or documents few to no resources.