As part of Lee’s Mathematics Internship Program (MIP), Lee University and Dalton State College recently collaborated to create a partnership with Whitfield County School System. Six Lee students worked on two projects analyzing data for the school system and recently presented their projects to the visiting school system officials.
“Our partnership with Lee University and Dalton State has been immediately beneficial to the operations of Whitfield County Schools,” said Mike Ewton, assistant superintendent for operations. “Student researchers were able to dive deeply into our operational data and perform analytics that will be useful with future strategic decision-making relating to transportation and construction projects. We look forward to the future of this mutually beneficial partnership.”
One project analyzed the schools’ bus fleet and the other one analyzed the school buildings’ maintenance. The project was an interdisciplinary collaboration between Lee’s mathematics department and the School of Business. Whitfield County school system officials included Angie Brown, school nutrition director; Ewton; and Rick Holsomback, director of transportation.
“This program provides a unique opportunity for our students to apply their mathematical skills in real world problems,” said Dr. John Asplund, professor of mathematics at Dalton State. “Furthermore, collaborating with community organizations provides students a practical outlet to practice knowledge gained through classroom instruction. We hope to make the real world of mathematics more accessible to undergraduate students so they can better prepare for their future careers.”
Lee students James Clevenger, Kelsey Martin and Scott Odell worked on the first project, “Analysis of Transportation Fleet of Whitfield County Schools.” The objective was to determine at what point older buses were costing the school system more than they were worth.
Stephen Carter, Rihen Khatri and Daniel Prata’s project was “Cost Analysis of Schools System’s Buildings.” Data provided to the team of students included maintenance expenses for school buildings, operations expenses, and enrollment. In addition to analyzing the data at hand, they predicted the costs of maintaining the buildings in the future.
“I am very thankful for the opportunity to work on this internship program,” said Prata. “This project was an amazing experience that allowed us to apply the knowledge we gain in class to real projects."
According to Dr. Caroline Maher-Boulis, professor of mathematics at Lee, students will continue to develop projects in the fall.
“We are happy to see this internship program grow in terms of students who make use of it, as well as partnerships created with local Businesses, Industries and Government (BIG),” said Maher-Boulis. “We hope that these projects encourage BIG to collaborate with us. It benefits everyone: the students, BIG, and the community.”
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