Industrial Strength Math: Participants in Summer Industrial Mathematics Program to Make Final Presentations July 26

Students to Present Results of Projects Sponsored by Bose Corporation, John Hancock, and Ferrite Inc.
November 27, 2006

WORCESTER, Mass. - Students from 12 colleges and universities who are participating in WPI's Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program in industrial mathematics and statistics will present the results of projects they have been working on for three corporations over the past eight weeks tomorrow, July 26, starting at 9:30 a.m. in Olin Hall, Room 107, on the WPI campus.

The REU Program in Industrial Mathematics and Statistics began at WPI in 1998 with funding from the National Science Foundation. It was the first mathematics REU program in the United States that exclusively involved students in real-world projects sponsored by corporate partners. The intensive eight-week summer program offers 12 outstanding undergraduate students the opportunity to work on mathematical and statistical problems in close collaboration with faculty and industrial sponsors.

The program provides a glimpse into the ways that advanced mathematics is used in the real world to solve complex problems. Participants work on tasks that begin as a real-life problems generated by industrial sponsors. Students work closely with company representatives to define the problems and develop solutions of immediate value to the companies. They are guided by faculty advisors who help them maintain a clear focus on the mathematical issues at the core of the projects. Past corporate sponsors have included Applied Mathematics Inc., Compaq, DEKA Research, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, IBM, John Hancock, Morgan Construction Company, New Frontiers Advisors, Premier Insurance, United Technologies Research Center, and Veeder-Root.

Here are the topics and sponsors of this year's REU projects and the students who are tackling them:

Expert System Design for Long-Term Care Underwriting, sponsored by John Hancock: Wendy Chen, Mt. Holyoke College; Rachel Danson, University of Colorado at Boulder; Mary Korch, Susquehanna University; and Melissa Moon, Pacific Lutheran University. Advisors: Arthur C. Heinricher, professor of mathematical sciences and director of WPI's Center for Industrial Mathematics and Statistic (CIMS), and Jon Abraham, coordinator of WPI's Actuarial Mathematics Program.

Mathematical Model of the Self-Tapping Screw Insertion Process, Sponsored by Bose Corporation: Jason Miller, Marist College; Alla Shved, University of Massachusetts, Boston; Lingfeng Tang, Columbia University. Advisors: Suzanne Weekes, associate professor of mathematical sciences and associate director of CIMS, and William Farr, associate professor of mathematical sciences.

COMSOL Electromagnetic-Thermal Model of Microwave Thermal Processing, Sponsored by Ferrite Inc.: Dena Feldman, Bryn Mawr College; Erin Kiley, University of New Hampshire; Daniel Lawver, Arizona State University; Jody Mullis, Bowdoin College. Advisors: Vadim Yakovlev, research associate professor of mathematical sciences, and Suzanne Weekes.