MISG Director: Assoc. Professor John Shepherd
About MISG - Mathematics and Statistics-in-Industry Study Group
The annual Mathematics and Statistics-in-Industry Study Group (MISG) workshop brings together leading mathematicians from universities, the public and the private sector from across Australia, New Zealand and around the world to tackle complex technical problems facing Australian and New Zealand businesses and industry.
The MISG workshop aims to provide practical, working solutions to real-life problems using methods from the mathematical sciences. Selected companies are given the opportunity to utilise the collective knowledge and resources of more than 150 mathematicians from Australian, New Zealand and international tertiary institutions, the CSIRO and other government organisations, as well as the private sector. They bring with them a variety of skills from many areas of mathematics, and it is this multi-faceted approach to problem-solving that makes MISG such a dynamic and productive forum.
Since it was founded in 1984, the MISG has worked with a diverse range of more than 85 Australian and New Zealand businesses and industries, ranging from large multinational conglomerates to small-to-medium enterprises, on more than 150 different projects spanning a broad spectrum of industry sectors - including mining, car manufacturing, railways and freight, manufacturing, metal processing, food and beverages, oil and gas, utilities, biomedical science, and technology.
In the past, these successful projects have included:
- Strategic planning and optimisation in an open cut coal mine
- Pinpointing principal moments of inertia in a automotive engine assembly
- Modelling of open vat red wine fermenters
- Modelling the cooking process of a single grain of cereal
- Blending of lubricants in petroleum production
- Modelling the flow of pesticides through bunches of grapes
- Analysing the impact of weather on power supply disruptions in an electricity network
Every year, a large number of companies are invited to submit projects to MISG, and after extensive consulting, MISG select five to seven appropriate problems from a range of different industries to be presented at the workshop.
Selected company’s representatives liaise with MISG researchers to define and clarify the scope and nature of each project. Subsequently, each project is presented to the MISG workshop participants who over the course of several days work in teams to develop solutions for each problem, and present a solution tailored to the needs of the company. The nature of the solution will vary from project to project depending upon the type and complexity of the project, and may take a range of forms, such as a set of equations, experiments or a software program.
Where possible within the timeframe provide, MISG may be able to develop a complete solution to a problem. In some instances, due to the complexity of the problem, it may be necessary for MISG to suggest a procedure or system which allows the company to develop solutions at a later date. Participating companies may also have the opportunity to consult further with MISG researchers following the workshop.
To present a project to the MISG workshop, participating companies are required to pay registration fees of $7000 (plus GST). The fee covers all work before and during the workshop, and all associated costs of the event, a summary, and a complete technical report. The fee does not cover the travel or accommodation expenses for company or industry representatives who attend the workshop. MISG’s researchers volunteer their expertise.
RMIT University’s School of Mathematical and Geospatial Sciences will host the annual MISG Workshop for three years from 2010 – 2012.