informs ny Meeting Notes
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Notes from February 11, 2004
Putting Practitioners in the Classroom
Dr. Patrick J. Driscoll Professor of OR at West Point. 

The talk outlined (to beta test the concept) an NFS sponsored project, centered around a web site, meant to create a virtual community consisting of student (college and high-school) teams, faculty mentors and practitioners collaborating to solve real-world mathematical modeling problems.

The design involves a (textual) document repository of research problem statements and project proposals.  Faculty or Practitioners originate problems, students in turn create proposals collaborated over few of iterations by them, with a help from practitioners.  Also, a geographical 'span of influence' on modeling community would be identified. The focus is more on process than the product.

Target participation - 500-700 teams in 10 countries.  The project envisages competition and prizes, e.g. MCM (Mathematical Contest in Modeling), Math Serve or INFORMS awards.  Some of the end products here are: a better understanding of the state of modeling and problem solving in USA, creation of a structure to facilitate interactions, provide help to those who need it, make experience mentor heavy.

For more details and a sample of interesting projects please consult the or the speaker directly.