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Industrial Mathematics: A Course in Solving Real-World Problems

Avner Friedman and Walter Littman




"This is REAL. It has a different spirit. It gives students the distinct feeling that they could go into industry and actually work on problems like those in this book. The standard teaching of 'here is the mathematics, use it to solve this problem' has been replaced with 'here is a problem, use mathematics to solve it.' This book refreshes the interest of students in mathematics and motivates them to learn more of it. It helps them understand the nature and the importance of mathematics in real world applications." -- Oscar Bruno, Assistant Professor of Mathematics, Georgia Institute of Technology.


Are Calculus and "post" Calculus (such as differential equations) playing an important role in research and development done in industry? Are these mathematical tools indispensable for improving industrial products such as automobiles, airplanes, televisions, and cameras? Do they play a role in understanding air pollution, predicting weather and stock market trends, and building better computers and communication systems? This book was written to convince the reader, by examples, that the answers to all the above questions is yes!

Industrial Mathematics is a fast growing field within the mathematical sciences. It is characterized by the origin of the problems which it engages; they all come from industry: Research and Development, finances, and communications. The common feature running through this enterprise is the goal of gaining a better understanding of industrial models and processes through mathematical ideas and computations. The authors of this book have undertaken the approach of presenting real industrial problems and their mathematical modeling as a motivation for developing mathematical methods that are needed for solving the problems.

With each chapter presenting one important problem that arises in today's industry, and then studying the problem by mathematical analysis and computation, this book introduces the reader to many new ideas and methods from ordinary and partial differential equations, and from integral equations and control theory. It brings the excitement of real industrial problems into the undergraduate mathematical curriculum.

The problems selected are accessible to students who have already taken what in many colleges and universities constitutes the first two-year basic Calculus sequence. A working knowledge of Fortran, Pascal, or C language is required.

Partial Contents

Introduction; Preface to the Student; Chapter 1: Crystal Precipitation; Chapter 2: Air Quality Modeling; Chapter 3: Electron Beam Lithography; Chapter 4: Development of Color Film Negative; Chapter 5: How Does a Catalytic Converter Function?; Chapter 6: The Photocopy Machine; Chapter 7: The Photocopy Machine (Continued); Index.

1994 / Softcover / Approximately 152 pages / ISBN-13: 978-0-898713-24-4 / ISBN-10: 0-89871-324-2 /
List Price $48.00 / SIAM Member Price $33.60 / Student Price $19.50 / Order Code OT42
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