Introducing WSU’s Industrial Math Clinic

Based in WSU’s Department of Mathematics, Statistics & Physics (MSP), WSU’s Industrial Math Clinic will solicit projects and collaborations with industry on problems requiring expertise in mathematics, statistics, or physics.

An Industrial Mathematics Clinic project at WSU is a year-long sponsored research project undertaken by a team of undergraduate students. Such projects are mentored experiences with a real-world problem.

WSU is particularly fortunate in having an Innovation Campus next to its main campus in Wichita where industry leases space for collaboration between WSU faculty and students. Current tenants on the Innovation Campus include Airbus, Spirit, NetApp and Deloitte. This makes MSP an ideal place for WSU’s Industrial Math Clinic.

There are two organizational parts to the Clinic:

  • Industry-sponsored and funded projects with teams of 4 to 5 undergraduate and graduate students guided by an MSP faculty with appropriate skills.
  • Workshops or seminars on topics of interest to potential industry partners. Topics requiring significant background which are not part of the MSP standard curriculum might be offered as a special topics course in MSP which could be used by students and industry employees for credit toward advanced degrees.

We have chosen to adopt the model of the Clinic at the University of South Australia, which itself is modelled on the well-established Clinic at Harvey Mudd College, CA. At the present time, we aim to start out slowly with one or two year-long projects involving a few selected students and advisors (faculty and industry). Industry will supply some financial support for faculty release. Students will receive academic credit and possible connections to future jobs.

Benefits to sponsors

  • Progress on a significant real-world project, e.g. a proof of concept, a design proposal, system
    analysis, or software development and implementation.
  • Fresh insight on the problem.
  • Cost-effective way of making progress.
  • Ownership of project intellectual property.
  • Contribution to training the next generation of scientists.
  • Opportunities to recruit graduates.

Benefits to students

  • Experience of working on a large real-world research project.
  • Industry context, deliverables, deadlines, etc.
  • Communication skills (technical writing, oral presentation, etc.)
  • Teamwork skills.
  • Programming skills.
  • Employment opportunities.