About the course

This state course is a variation of the state’s Advanced Mathematics and Decision Making (AMDM) course. This particular version focuses on deterministic and probabilistic mathematics used in solving problems that arise in industry and government. Such situations include maximizing the output of productions facilities, minimizing distribution costs, determining the length of a queue, and finding the best shipping routes. The mathematics involved includes programming (linear, integer, and binary), graphs and networks, probability, and decision trees. The course makes heavy use of Microsoft Excel to analyze data.

This course can be viewed as an introduction to operations research. The course was created through the efforts of the Mathematics Instruction using Decision Science and Engineering Tools (MINDSET) Project. MINDSET is a collaboration between educators, engineers, and mathematicians at three universities (Wayne State, NC State, UNC Charlotte) to create, implement, and evaluate a new mathematics curriculum and textbook. You can find out more about MINDSET here.

This is currently being taught as a one semester course. I first taught this course, and the first time it was offered at the Magnet School, was the 2012-13 school year.

The course was on hiatus for the 19-20 school year, but is back for the 20-21 school year!

The textbook

The text is produced by the MINDSET Project and is only available through training provided by the MINDSET group. It is called When Will We Ever Use This: Making Decisions Using Advanced Mathematics. There are two volumes: one for the deterministic and one for the probabilistic. (Shown above is the deterministic volume.)

The coursework and book is a successor to the activities found in the book Does This Line Ever Move: Everyday Applications of Operations Research. This book has a wealth of activities for classroom use. More such activities can be found at High School Operations Research.