Yuster course combines industry, real-world math problems

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

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Yuster course combines industry, real-world math problems

Students in a new course, designed and taught by associate mathematics professor Debbie Yuster, are working to solve problems faced by industry partners.

Yuster developed the course, offered this spring, with a $5000 grant from the Mathematical Association of America’s Preparation for Industrial Careers in Mathematical Sciences program.

“This course offers students an opportunity to conduct original research and to network with potential employers,” Yuster said. “Students are excited to learn new skills and to make meaningful contributions outside of the classroom.”

Students are working in teams to tackle relevant applied math problems faced by a variety of companies. For example, one group is working with a shipping company to model the amount of the toxic emissions emitted by its ships while laying fiber optic cables across oceans. Another team is working with a financial services institution to evaluate algorithms used to check their customers’ names against a list of suspected terrorist entities whose assets have been frozen.

Students are giving regular progress reports to company representatives, and will present a final report at the end of the semester. One of the projects will be entered into a national competition, and some will receive funding to present their work at the annual MathFest conference.

“Students are learning in a very real way how the skills and knowledge they are gaining at SUNY Maritime will help them in their careers,” Yuster said.