Format of Math-in-Industry

Format of Math In Industry Workshop

The Math In Industry workshop consists of two events: Graduate Student Mini-Camp and the main Workshop immediately following.

he Mini-Camp (July 24 – 26, 2009) is designed for the benefit of mathematics graduate students by having them work on Applied Math problems in a team format. They will work closely with professors from the Claremont colleges and elsewhere, becoming familiar and getting up to speed with the process of the workshop format. The Mini-Camp designers have developed problems for the students that will facilitate increasing the students’ stamina, sharing problem solving tips intended to improve quick and thorough thinking, relationship building activities intended to develop trust and camaraderie, and preparing the younger group to the pace and intensity of the upcoming week.

The workshop (July 27 – 30, 2009) begins Monday morning with each industry liaison presenting their specific problem to the entire group of faculty, graduate students and scientists. Each presentation will last up to thirty minutes and will include a question and answer period. The nature of these problems will vary widely and those in the audience will select the problem of specific interest or expertise that they intend to work on over the remainder of the week. Small group teams / study groups will be finalized by the Team Leaders so that there is sufficient and commensurate attention to each problem. These groups will remain together throughout the week - working continuously in nearby classrooms on the Harvey Mudd College campus. On Friday morning, each group will present their results informally and six weeks subsequent to the workshop, a written report on each problem will be submitted to the industrial representative together with a composite report. CCMS values the relationships we have already developed with industry leaders and encourage new contacts expanding the diversity of problems further.

The format will follow one introduced by Oxford University Applied Mathematicians in 1968 which has been replicated frequently in the UK, Europe and in various other countries (there are from 6-8 such workshops each year); please visit the link www.math-in-industry.org. The workshop will be preceded by a student modeling camp which will follow a similar format except the problems will be presented by faculty. Some of these problems may have been partially addressed by the faculty presenter, others not, but the aim of the camp is to bring the student participants into the culture of group, intensive work, and to give them confidence in starting the week when ALL the participants start with the same ignorance of the outcome but with the confidence that their experience and hard work will bring success.

Apart from a substantial record of success in providing answers to the problems (this is catalogued at the website given above, where e-prints for 250 individual reports from recent workshops are available in many, quite diverse, application areas) there are multiple goals for the event: establishment of closer connections between industrial and academic scientists; education of students and faculty of the requirements of industry in the use of mathematics; training of students in group participation projects (the norm in industry) and the experience of working alongside faculty and joining in the ups and downs of intensive work as the week progresses as the progress is measured by an industrialist in need of a result. The organizers of the workshop have many contacts in industry as a result of the 35 year-old Claremont Mathematics Clinic, in which 237 year-long problems have been addressed by student/faculty teams from about 80 different sponsors, and they have been soliciting their industrial contacts for problems.

Shortly before the start of the Mini-Camp and the Workshop, a description of the problems to be presented at both will be available on this website.