mathconn 2008
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Bob Gotwals started the workshop today by talking to the students about the Shodor apprenticeship program. This two-year program pairs a student with a mentor who guides them as they learn more about computational science. At the end of the apprenticeship there is the opportunity for students to move on into internships at Shodor or other scientific institutions.

Afterwards, Ruth took over and began discussing linear inequalities. She showed the students how to graph them and how to solve a system of inequalities. Once she had worked through several examples by hand, Ruth used a computer program to illustrate the points satisfying a system of inequalities. Using what they had learned they began an activity where each group of students had to run a business selling two similar products (e.g., M&M's and Snickers). The different products had restrictions, though. For instance, the amount of time required to apply a chocolate coating and the amount of time required to yield a profit. Using the data on the required times and profits, the students had to decide how many of each product should be produced per month to maximize profit.

With businesses ranging from video games to shoe sales, the students began graphing their numbers to try and find the ideal combination for the highest profit. With some trial and error, and help from the Shodor interns, each group finally came up with a solution. When they were all finished the groups compared their maximum profits to see who had made the most.