Math Awareness Week 1993

Mathematics and Manufacturing

Current Outreach Activities || Current MAM Home Page || Previous MAWs/MAMs

From the MAW 93 postcard collection.
 Table of Contents ``` MATHEMATICS AND MANUFACTURING Manufactured products account for some 60 percent of world trade and 75 percent of U.S. trade in today's global economy. Manufacturing is both increasingly fast-paced and internationally competitive. New products can become obsolete within months. And, in order to be competitive, many production processes must be revamped every year or two. In the face of these pressures, U.S. manufacturing needs to continually become more productive and competitive. Such improvements will most likely result from systematic approaches based on quantitative methods in the mathematical and computational sciences. The mathematical sciences have made many contributions to manufacturing. These range from the very concrete -- materials that go into products -- to the very abstract -- information management. For example, statistical analysis reduces data from manufacturing processes and systems to meaningful forms. Modeling reduces manufacturing problems to quantitative relations and equations suitable for attack by algorithmic methods. Mathematical algorithms express the quantitative relations and equations in a format suitable for computational solution. The mathematical sciences have had a dramatic impact on materials used in manufacturing. Mathematical models assist in the design and processing of advanced materials, including: shape-memory metals, high-strength ceramics, polymeric systems, and nonlinear optical materials. Manufacturing processes can be improved through quantitative analysis, mathematical modeling, and computer simulation. Such processes include: microelectronic, molding, crystal growth, casting, joining, curing, and coating. The mathematical models for these processes are differential, integral, and discrete equations. Advances in mathematical control theory have led to improved manufacturing process control. Applications are seen in chemical process manufacturing and metal processing. A number of areas of contemporary manufacturing are undergoing rapid evolution. Intelligent manufacturing and solid modeling are basic technologies that underlie other emerging manufacturing technologies. Rapid prototyping, molecular manufacturing, and biomanufacturing are technologies that did not exist ten years ago. They are expected to be major factors in manufacturing ten years from now. The mathematical and computational sciences are also becoming more deeply involved in developing tools for management decision making in manufacturing. These quantitative methods supplement the traditional humanistic approach to management decisions and include: operations-based performance measures, computer-based information management, flexible manufacturing systems, capital budgeting for flexibility, and integrated manufacturing. The rapid increase of computational capabilities and an increasingly quantitative approach to problem solving is transforming the manufacturing world. Expensive and time-consuming traditional manufacturing cycles are being displaced by more quantitative methods which increase the chances that a product will be built right the first time it is built. This paper, and the text on the theme poster, are drawn from the recent report, The Mathematical and Computational Sciences in Emerging Manufacturing Technologies and Management Practices, by Avner Friedman, James Glimm, and John Lavery, published by the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, 1992. For further information see also: Advanced Materials and Processing: The Federal Program in Materials Science and Technology. Committee on Industry and Technology; Federal Coordinating Council for Science, Engineering, and Technology. National Institute of Standards and Technology, 1992. Manufacturing Systems: Foundations of World-Class Practice. Committee on Foundations of Manufacturing, National Academy of Engineering. National Academy Press, 1992. Mathematical Sciences, Technology, and Economic Competitiveness, edited by James E. Glimm. Board on Mathematical Sciences; Commission on Physical Sciences, Mathematics, and Applications; National Research Council. National Academy Press, 1991. Technology Policy and Critical Technologies, by Mary Ellen Mogee. The Manufacturing Forum, National Academy of Engineering, National Academy of Sciences. National Academy Press, 1991. Application of the Mathematical Sciences to Materials Science. Board on Mathematical Sciences, National Research Council. National Academy Press, 1991. Engineering and the Advancement of Human Welfare, 10 Outstanding Achievements 1964-1989. National Academy of Engineering, 1989. [Back to top] FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Kathleen Holmay Date Mailed: April 9, 1993 MATHEMATICS AWARENESS WEEK IS April 25 - May 1, 1993 (Washington, DC) . . . . . Mathematics & Manufacturing is the theme for Mathematics Awareness Week, which is being observed nationwide from April 25 - May 1, 1993. This theme recognizes the importance of manufacturing to the nation's competitive position in the global economy. The theme also highlights the critical involvement of the mathematical and computational sciences in developing new technologies and decision making tools in manufacturing. A number of areas of contemporary manufacturing that rely on mathematics are undergoing especially rapid evolution. These include intelligent manufacturing and solid modeling - basic technologies that underlie other emerging manufacturing technologies; and, rapid prototyping, molecular manufacturing, and biomanufacturing - technologies that did not exist ten years ago. Branches of mathematics, known collectively as quantitative methods, now supplement the traditional humanistic approach to management decisions and include: operations-based performance measures, flexible manufacturing systems, computer-based information management, and integrated manufacturing. 1993 Mathematics Awareness Week events mark the significant contributions mathematics is making to American manufacturing and the critical role it plays in helping the United States increase its manufacturing capabilities. Nationwide celebrations of Mathematics Awareness Week feature proclamations from many of the nation's governors, legislators, and mayors. Colleges, universities, and research laboratories across the country hold competitions, exhibits, demonstrations, lectures and other events to mark the week. On three Sundays in April the Public Broadcasting Service will air hour-long special MATHNET programs produced by the Children's Television Workshop. The dates and titles are: April 11 - The Case of the Mystery Weekend April 18 - The Case of the Smart Dummy April 25 - The Case of the Bermuda Triangle The applications of mathematics to manufacturing are symbolized by the Mathematics Awareness Week poster, an illustration of how surface molecules might be moved by a scanning tunneling microscope probe, part of a Molecular Manufacturing Machine being developed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology. The poster text is drawn from the recent report, The Mathematical and Computational Sciences in Emerging Manufacturing Technologies and Management Practices, by Avner Friedman, James Glimm, and John Lavery, published last year by the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics. The report focuses on the contributions that the mathematical and computational sciences community makes to technology, management, and education for manufacturing, and on the opportunities for mathematical/computational research that manufacturing creates. Mathematics Awareness Week is coordinated by the Joint Policy Board for Mathematics which represents three national mathematics organizations, the American Mathematical Society, the Mathematical Association of America, and the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics. Funding for the week is provided, in part, by the U.S. Army Research Office. [Back to top] NATIONAL EVENTS TO MARK MATHEMATICS AWARENESS WEEK April 25 - May 1, 1993 Mathematics Awareness Week will be celebrated throughout the United States from April 25 - May 1, 1993. This year's theme is Mathematics and Manufacturing. In addition to hundreds of activities taking place at schools, colleges and universities, and at research labs and within business and industry, several national events and programs are planned. During Mathematics Awareness Week the Manufacturing Technologies Laboratory from the National Center for Manufacturing Sciences will be in the Washington, D.C region. The 36-foot mobile lab contains state of the art technology including robotics and computer-aided design stations. The work stations are networked, machine cells are set up, and robots are programmed. These technologies are used for the design and production of actual products. Dates and locations are: Monday, April 26 - American Chemical Society Tuesday-Wednesday, April 27-28 - Baltimore Museum of Industry Thursday, April 29 - U. S. Capitol, offering hands-on demonstrations to recipients of Presidential Awards for Excellence in Science and Mathematics Teaching and to Members of Congress. On Friday, April 30, University of Chicago Professor Zalman Usiskin, Director of the University of Chicago School Mathematics Project, will be the keynote speaker at a Washington, D.C. reception honoring recipients of Presidential Awards for Excellence in Science and Mathematics Teaching. His topic will be, "The Current State of Elementary School Mathematics and Science, and What We Can Do About It." On Friday April 30, a framed poster will be presented to NIST Acting Director Raymond Kammer during ceremonies at NIST on Friday, April 30, 1993. NIST is the source for the graphic art on the theme poster and postcards for Mathematics Awareness Week 1993. On Thursday and Friday, April 29 and 30, the finals of the national MATHCOUNTS competition will be held. Seventh and eighth grade student teams and their teacher-coaches will represent their states in Washington, D.C. On Sunday, April 25, the Public Broadcasting Service will air the last in a series of three hour-long special MATHNET programs produced by the Children's Television Workshop. The broadcast dates and program titles are: April 11 - The Case of the Mystery Weekend April 18 - The Case of the Smart Dummy April 25 - The Case of the Bermuda Triangle Regional and local celebrations of Mathematics Awareness Week will feature proclamations from many of the nation's governors, legislators, and mayors as well as competitions, exhibits, demonstrations, lectures and other events. Mathematics Awareness Week is coordinated by the Joint Policy Board for Mathematics which represents three national mathematics organizations, the American Mathematical Society, the Mathematical Association of America, and the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics. [Back to top] Background on Mathematics and Manufacturing Mathematics & Manufacturing is the theme for Mathematics Awareness Week, which is being observed nationwide from April 25 - May 1, 1993. This theme recognizes the importance of manufacturing to the nation's competitive position in the global economy. The theme also highlights the critical involvement of the mathematical and computational sciences in developing new technologies and decision making tools in manufacturing. A number of areas of contemporary manufacturing that rely on mathematics are undergoing especially rapid evolution. These include intelligent manufacturing and solid modeling - basic technologies that underlie other emerging manufacturing technologies; and, rapid prototyping, molecular manufacturing, and biomanufacturing - technologies that did not exist ten years ago. Branches of mathematics, known collectively as quantitative methods, now supplement the traditional humanistic approach to management decisions and include: operations-based performance measures, flexible manufacturing systems, computer-based information management, and integrated manufacturing. Mathematics Awareness Week events mark the significant contributions mathematics is making to American manufacturing and the critical role it plays in helping the United States increase its manufacturing capabilities. The applications of mathematics to manufacturing are symbolized by the Mathematics Awareness Week poster, an illustration of how surface molecules might be moved by a scanning tunneling microscope probe, part of a Molecular Manufacturing Machine being developed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology. The poster text is drawn from the recent report, The Mathematical and Computational Sciences in Emerging Manufacturing Technologies and Management Practices, by Avner Friedman, James Glimm, and John Lavery, published last year by the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics. The report focuses on the contributions that the mathematical and computational sciences community makes to technology, management, and education for manufacturing, and on the opportunities for mathematical/computational research that manufacturing creates. [Back to top] EDITORIAL - Mathematics Awareness Week Insuring Global Competitiveness through the Mathematical Sciences Products and entire factories designed by mathematical models and computer simulations, computers designing other computers, intelligent machines working on assembly lines, computers controlling production processes and plants, and robot workers. It sounds like science fiction, but it's happening today. A new industrial revolution is sweeping the globe. This revolution is an entirely new approach to manufacturing. Previously, an inventor designed a widget and engineers designed machines and factories. A few widgets were produced. Then the engineers went back to the drawing board to redesign the machines and factories and kept trying until they got a good widget. This process is called the "build-test-fix" cycle, and it's as obsolete as the covered wagon and going the way of the dinosaurs. In today's highly competitive and rapidly changing global economy, the build-test-fix cycle is too time-consuming and expensive. Mathematical models and computer simulations are being used to design products such as automobile, aircraft, and TV parts, to design the machines and factories that produce them, and to optimize the production processes to produce the highest quality products at the lowest cost. A mathematical model is a way of representing the relationship between two or more variables in a quantitative fashion, as an equation or system of equations. For example, "distance = rate x time" is a simple mathematical model used by everyone who has had algebra. The design of products and manufacturing processes may require mathematical models consisting of hundreds or thousands of variables. Until computers developed the capability of solving such a large system of equations, the build-test-fix cycle based on experience and intuition was the only method available to optimize the design-production process, and it could take months or years of testing. What are the implications of this new industrial revolution for the consumer/taxpayer/wage earner? First, it can mean better products at lower prices. Second, it can mean that the U.S. will improve its competitive position in a rapidly changing global economy. Third, it means that an increasing number of jobs in the future are likely to require knowing a lot more about mathematics and computers. As we focus on jobs and productivity, we are also celebrating Mathematics Awareness Week from April 25 through May 1. This year's theme, "Mathematics and Manufacturing," highlights the contributions mathematics is making in both research and industry. Mathematics Awareness Week serves as an annual reminder that new mathematical ideas and methods are constantly being developed and applied to find the solutions to real-world problems that help our nation compete more effectively in a global marketplace. [Back to top] ```

 Mathematics Awareness Month is sponsored each year by the Joint Policy Board for Mathematics to recognize the importance of mathematics through written materials and an accompanying poster that highlight mathematical developments and applications in a particular area.