Interesting VC Possibilities

While reading The World is Flat, I’m noticing some unique uses of academic skills in the real-world work place. It would be wonderful to arrange/create/organize a VC for students on these topics/issues. Here’s a sampling:

  • p. 128 Describing the Wal-Mart supply chain: Call it the Wal-Mart Symphony” in multiple movements – with no finale. It just plays over and over 24/7/365: delivery, sorting, packing, distribution, buying, manufacturing, reordering, delivery, sorting, packing….
    Immediately I thought of the elementary economics curriculum in Michigan: supply and demand, scarcity, opportunity cost, producers and consumers. Where could we find someone to explain this supply chain to students? Where everything comes from etc? Or could a classroom-to-classroom project be developed based on this?
  • p. 147. How is math used in supply chain planning? UPS maintains a think tank … which works on supply-chain algorithms. This “school” of mathematics is called “package flow technology,” and it is designed to constantly match the deployment of UPS trucks, shipos, airplanes, and sorting capabilities with that day’s flow of packages around the world.
    So intriguing! This think tank employs mostly math and engineering degrees, including several Ph.D.’s Hmm. How could this fit into a high school math curriculum? Would it help tantalize students to enjoy and be intrigued with mathematical challenges?
  • p. 155. Another intriguing math possibility. Google now employs scores of mathematicians working on its search algorithms. Would kids see it as “cool” to work for Google? Something to make it worth learning and enjoying math? I wonder if any of Google’s mathematicians would want to interact with high school students over VC?

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