Department of Mathematics and Statistics

MAT 349-01 (Preparation for Industrial Careers in Mathematical Sciences)

pic math (mat 349) 2015 poster This course prepares mathematical sciences students for industrial careers by engaging them in research problems that come directly from industry.

  • Pr. permission of instructor

This course is for undergraduate majors in mathematics and related disciplines.

Student learning outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, students shall be able to:
  • Formulate the industrial problem in mathematical terms.
  • Model certain aspects of the problem.
  • Summarize the results.

Teaching methods and assignments for achieving learning outcomes:

Students will work in teams (3-5 members) on a project from an industrial company, non-profit organization, business or national laboratory. The whole class will meet once a week for a teacher's lecture (weeks 1-2) and student presentations/discussions (weeks 3-15). Every team will also meet at least once a week with the instructor/faculty mentor and at least once a week without a faculty mentor. During the team meetings, students will coordinate the efforts and monitor progress towards the final product (written and oral reports providing a solution to the client's problem).

At the beginning of the semester, teams will choose an industrial problem, do a literature search and study the background of the problem. Then, the exact work will vary slightly depending on the particular problem, but typically will include the following:

  • formulate the problem in mathematical language
  • develop a long term (10 weeks) and short term (2 weeks) plans to solve the problem
  • code an appropriate computer simulation(s)
  • analyze existing data
  • provide solution to the problem
  • prepare oral and written reports to be presented in class and to clients
  • suggest further improvements and/or potential future work

Current industrial partners

Additional Resources

  • UNCG Speaking Center Tips: Helpful tip sheets that may answer some of your communication questions.
  • MAA Mathematical Communication: A developing collection of resources for engaging students in writing and speaking about mathematics, whether for the purpose of learning mathematics or of learning to communicate as mathematicians.


This course was developed through the PIC Math program - a program by Mathematical Association of America (MAA) and Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM) and supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF grant DMS- 1345499).