WPI Puts Fun into High-School Math at Free Teachers' Workshop

Contact: Arlie Corday, WPI Media & Community Relations

What: Mathematics in Industry Workshop for High-School Teachers

When: Monday, June 26, through Friday, June 30. The daily schedule will consist of morning (8:30 a.m.-noon) invited presentations and afternoon (1-3 p.m.) industrial project sessions. A detailed daily schedule is attached.

Where: Higgins Laboratories, Room 116, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Worcester, Mass.

Why: Aimed at high-school teachers interested in real applications for mathematics and statistics, the workshop will help to bring the excitement of industrial mathematics into the high-school classroom. Participants will work on mathematics and statistics projects developed in WPI's industrial mathematics program. They will discuss current and future applications of mathematics, curricular changes in high schools and colleges and career paths open to students of mathematics.

"We're trying to educate the teachers that for math majors, there are a lot of opportunities they may not know of," said Bogdan Vernescu, director of WPI's Center for Industrial Mathematics & Statistics (CIMS) and associate professor of mathematical sciences.

How: Participants will develop mini-projects that are accessible to high-school students and illustrate the ways that mathematics and statistics are used in business and industry. They will work with undergraduates on current industrial projects and deepen their understanding of mathematical research and its industrial applications.

More: There is no fee for the workshop, which is funded by the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM) through an NSF grant. On-going registration can be completed at the workshop Web site at http://www.wpi.edu/~cims/siam.

Speakers include Sheila Tobias, noted author and science education consultant, who will present "Math Anxiety: An Update" Friday, June 30, at 10:30 a.m. in Higgins Laboratories, room 116. Industrial presentations will be made by Solomon Garfunkel of COMAP Inc., Andrew Conn of the IBM T. J. Watson Research Center, Robert LaBarre of United Technologies Corp., Charles MacCluer of Michigan State University, Cleve Moler of MathWorks, Peter Perrotti of The Hartford Investment Management Company Inc., Bruce Turkington of the University of Massachusetts and Robert McOwen of Northeastern University.

On Wednesday, June 28, the group will visit United Technologies Research Center and Pratt & Whitney to get a better view of how mathematics is used in the real world.

For more information, contact Arthur Heinricher, associate director of CIMS, Mathematical Sciences Department, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, at 508-831-5241, Vernescu at 831-5242, or e-mail cims@wpi.edu.

Founded in 1865, WPI enrolls 2,700 undergraduate and 1,000 graduate students in science, engineering, management, humanities and arts, and social sciences. Under the WPI Plan, undergraduates complete three projects focusing on their major course of study, the humanities, and the interactions among science, technology and society.