Interim report: ‘Industrial problems for the HE curriculum (stats)’

Neville Davies and John Marriott of the Royal Statistical Society Centre for Statistical Education, University of Plymouth, have submitted the following as an interim report for their project ‘Industrial problems for the HE curriculum (stats)‘.

Four meetings have taken place with the industrial partner, a major food producer and processor in the south west. Mary McAlinden attended one of these meetings, but was unable to attend another. Dr Shirley Coleman, Newcastle University, is advisor to the project and she will be attending the next meeting in March.

The range of industrial problems suitable for embedding in the HE curriculum is very large, with the industrial partner producing several million items of food a week. We have focussed on products that are mass produced and have discussed a range of problems that can be devised using the large amount of real data provided.

The data to be used for some of the problems involves measuring pre- and post-baking weights and dimensions of the items for a range of different products. Measurements and counts are being used to create real problems that will populate the Moodle-based management system that has been developed.

The software for generating different real data for each of the problems has been designed and successfully tested. The mechanism by means of which student will be allocated a random problem, with associated data, when they choose a problem is currently being implemented.

The system will allow free access to individualised problems and their solutions at two levels of difficulty. A third, higher level of project-related problems is being created which will involve the student contacting the company and engaging with a real industrial project.

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