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Math Seminars

The Grand Rapids Community College Mathematics Department will host its first Mathematics Seminar of the 2014-2015 academic year on Thursday, September 18, 3:00- 4:00 PM in 104 Cook.  Our presenter, Duy Duong-Tran, is a former GRCC student currently at Western Michigan University double-majoring in Mathematics and Industrial-Entrepreneurial Engineering.  He will discuss applications of mathematics in the field of engineering.  See below for title and abstract.   

This talk should be of interest to students considering a career in engineering or applied mathematics, or to anyone who would like to learn more about real-world applications of mathematics.  A working knowledge of Intermediate Algebra (Ma 107) would be helpful.  As always, everyone is welcome to attend GRCC Mathematics Seminars.

Pop and cookies will be served at 2:45 PM.


Mathematics in the World of Industrial Engineers

The influence of mathematics in our society is amazing. For example, mathematics plays a role in the infrastructure of the automobile industry (aerodynamic simulation through the use of math modeling), bioengineering (footwear design through piecewise linear interpolation and modeling), and the aviation industry (cubic spline interpolation at Boeing Research and Development to replace “lofting” technique).

This seminar will discuss the use of mathematics in the world of industrial engineering.  Specifically, we will talk about Optimization Problems in the industry using Linear Programming (LP).  Surprisingly enough, LP problems often do not employ any computer algorithm techniques, and most mathematics students are exposed to LP problems early in their careers without an official introduction to the topic.  Well-known LP techniques can be applied to scheduling, transportation, assignment, capacity planning, network optimization models, project management, facility planning, and capital budgeting problems.

All of these reside under the applied mathematics field called Operations Research (OR).  We will go through the technique of solving a couple of problems, and will be surprised at how much impact OR (or more generally mathematics) has upon the success of a manufacturing based corporation.

Students with knowledge of Intermediate Algebra (Ma 107) or above are encouraged to attend; no knowledge of calculus is necessary. The seminar is also designed to encourage students with a passion for both mathematics and engineering to move forward with confidence.