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Math in Manufacturing

mhacker

Plastic
Joined
Aug 26, 2022
Friends, we have a new National Science Foundation-funded project called "Needed Math"

We are trying to sort out what math is needed by technicians in the manufacturing workplace (as opposed to the math that is taught in community college technical or applied math courses).

We're developing a 40-item survey that has been vetted by industrialists but would like to pilot test it with additional colleagues……especially manufacturing technicians or instructors who teach courses for manufacturing technicians.

The survey would take you about 20 minutes. We're not asking anyone to do any of the math, just to tell us if each survey item is clear and relevant.

Might any of you be willing to assist us?

Thanks,
Michael Hacker
[email protected]
 
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Thanks. We’re trying to also determine if technicians, math instructors, and technical subject instructors have different perceptions about the math that’s needed.

Would you be willing to help pilot test our survey?

Michael
 
Machinists should have the basics of how to use CAD.
It help to do some shop math problems in CAD.
Not a cop out for not learning Trig and Geometry,
just that CAD is a handy time saving tool to use.

-Doozer
This is more or less true, however, say you need to write a macro to calculate some point relative to some probed features. All the Cad on earth ain't gunna help
 
Algebra, trig, geometry. Every government indoctrination center (public high school school to some) ought to teach it to every citizen. This is enough.
 
Our project is focused on the mathematics that manufacturing technicians (not engineers or programmers) need to be successful in the workplace.
 
Numeracy in kids and adults is severely lacking, in the USA fractional mathematics would be useful, not so relevant in Europe as metric does not require fractions.
( ok percentages are as close to fractions as we get)
Trigonometric ratios, sin cos tan, and the complimentary ratios if you like arc tan etc, but once the main ones mastered you naturally become conversant.
Not really needed, calculus, almost irrelevant in manufacture, complex numbers, partial fractions and such, differentiating and integrating not needed.
Coordinate geometry, useful, polar, rectangular and such, handy.
You sure as shit don’t need much in the way of Venn diagrams but statistics are handy like standard deviation, Cpk, graphs etc for quality control schemes.
Throw in a bit of electrical, fluid flow ( interesting if nothing else) and basic structural analysis ( vectors etc)
Mark
 
Our project is focused on the mathematics that manufacturing technicians (not engineers or programmers) need to be successful in the workplace.
One of my observations,
Shop guys always try to solve a geometric problem with trig. Where this isn't necessarily a bad thing, most geometry problems (shop related) can easily be solved using simple algebra. Unfortunately, if you walk into a shop and say the word, "Algebra" people will cover their ears and start throwing things at you.
 
Geometry, Trigonometry, along with basic math. I was shocked when I would give math tests to applicants and some could not do what I would call simple word problems. I let them use calculators, but many were stumped when I would ask how many parts could they get out of a 12 foot bar, ran through a bar feeder. I would give them cut-off width, how much faced off, and bar end length. Then I would say now we need enough stock for 10% over. These were all people who claimed to have at least operated machines.
 
One of my observations,
Shop guys always try to solve a geometric problem with trig. Where this isn't necessarily a bad thing, most geometry problems (shop related) can easily be solved using simple algebra. Unfortunately, if you walk into a shop and say the word, "Algebra" people will cover their ears and start throwing things at you.
Maybe too many years away from school has left me nomenclature challenged. I would think the only time I was using algebra in the shop was writing formulas involving tool width variables or the like.
 
a 40-item survey ... would like to pilot test it ... Might anyone be willing to assist us?
Since what you asked in your initial post should be perfectly clear to anyone who reads it, the subsequent lack of relevant responses perhaps indicates you should develop a study on the reading comprehension needed by manufacturing technicians before you attempt the subject of math.

p.s. my response obviously isn't responsive to your request, but I'm not a manufacturing technician so I'm not qualified to participate in your survey. Best of luck to you; it looks like you'll need it...
 
Coordinate geometry, useful,

I have to disagree. Coordinates are the one thing that is ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL in machining.

Ever walk up to a cnc knee mill and see written in sharpie on the table... <--- X positive. That shows a total lack of understanding of coordinates, or at least frame of reference.

Maybe... Just maybe.. A little bit of physics so they can understand FRAME OF REFERENCE.
 
Basic trig and geometry and enough simple math to do one's taxes...and percentages, it is surprising how many people are poor with percentages.

Algebra and calculus are a part of most college entrance exams but are not much needed in manual machining.

I wrote a sheet/system on converting GPS Coordinates to Coordinates distance in miles and kilometers, yards and meters with the use of a longitudinal factor. never published it....yet
 
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Our project is focused on the mathematics that manufacturing technicians (not engineers or programmers) need to be successful in the workplace.

IMO, if you are using trig and algebra in your daily manufacturing duties then you would probably be offended if someone called you a "manufacturing technician".

I think there's a big disconnect with education systems portrayal of manufacturing opportunities.

It should really be broken down more like:

Anyone- Entry level button pushing type jobs.

Booksmart, formula memorization, strong sequential thought process, high level math- Desk engineering and programming.

Strong hands on and mechanical comprehension, strong spatial reasoning ability, moderate math skill- Machinist, production engineer, toolmaker.

What manufacturing role is applicable to an individual probably has more to do with how their brain is wired than what level of math they have been taught. IMO, it's not possible for people not wired for some of these jobs to be proficient at them. My wife can change peoples lives for the better just listening and talking to them. She can't parallel park a car or give driving directions. She would be as terrible in a manufacturing role as I would be in psychiatrics.

Above-entry level manufacturing roles require some solid math comprehension/ability.
 
Clearly, we”d have some good dinner conversations and likely a few laughs judging from the responses. Our interest is in collecting data that we can share with educators to enable industry needs to drive what topics and competencies are taught in math courses. We are finding that much of the math in course curriculum is pretty arcane, not relevant to many of the manufacturing technicians we’ve observed and spoken with.

But I digress……back to the first question……will any of you good folks be willing to help us test out our survey items? Should take about 20 minutes of time, likely in mid-September.
 
Hmmmm... An opportunity to give feedback to educators on what the future workforce needs? Instead of complaining about our educational system and the skills that kids lack, I'd be more than happy to give you 20 minutes of my time! How does one access said survey?
 








 
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