# Teaching Session

##### Time Slot: Wednesday Morning

##### Room: AUD_B

##### Chair: Daniela Ambrosino

## Introduction to Logistics Systems Management with Microsoft Excel and Python Examples

#### Time: 11:30

#### Roberto Musmanno (Department of Mechanical, Energy and Management Engineering), Gianpaolo Ghiani Univ del Salento, Gibert Laporte HEC Montréal (Canada)

We present the updated new edition of the award-winning introductory textbook on logistics systemmanagement. It provides an in-depth introduction to the methodological aspects of planning,organization, and control of logistics for organizations in the private, public and non-profit sectors.Based on the authors’ extensive teaching, research, and industrial consulting experience, this classictextbook is used in universities worldwide to teach students the use of quantitative methods forsolving complex logistics problems. Fully updated and revised, the third edition places increasedemphasis on the complexity and flexibility required by modern logistics systems. In this context,the extensive use of data, descriptive analytics, predictive models, and optimization techniques willbe invaluable to support the decisions and actions of logistics and supply chain managers.Throughout the book, brand-new case studies and numerical examples illustrate how variousmethods can be used in industrial and service logistics to reduce costs and improve service levels.The book:\\- includes new models and techniques that have emerged over the past decade;\\- describes methodologies for logistics decision making, forecasting, logistics system design,procurement, warehouse management, and freight transportation management;\\- includes end-of-chapter exercises, Microsoft Excel files and Python computer codes for eachalgorithm covered;\\- includes access to a companion website with additional exercises, links to video tutorials,and supplementary teaching material.Introduction to Logistics Systems Management with Microsoft Excel and Python Examples -Third Edition remains an essential textbook for senior undergraduate and graduate students inengineering, computer science, and management science courses. It is also a highly useful referencefor academic researchers and industry practitioners alike.

## Operations Research at high school: its impact on modelling skills and beyond

#### Time: 11:45

#### Eugenia Taranto (Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, University of Catania, Viale Andrea Doria 6, 95125 Catania, Italy), Gabriella Colajanni, Alessandro Gobbi, Marinella Picchi, Alice Raffaele

Operations Research (OR) is a branch of applied mathematics usually taught at the university level. Anyway, in recent years, various initiatives have been developed to introduce OR to secondary school students [1]. In addition to these initiatives, since March 2021 we have been carrying out the teaching experimentation ROAR (Real Applications of Operations Research), a three-year project consisting of three teaching units, designed for three-year secondary school students. In particular, we already tested the first teaching unit in a Grade-10 class. We completely reported the design and the implementation of this first part in [2, 3]. In this contribution, we intend to focus more on the results of these experiments, with an emphasis on the didactical aspects. The Grade-10 class worked in collaborative mode, divided into groups of 4-5 students. During the several activities, they were asked to formalise several optimization problems with two or more variables, by applying Linear, Integer, Binary, or Mixed Integer Programming. They also computed the optimal solutions of these problems by using digital technologies, such as GeoGebra and the add-in Solver of Microsoft Excel. All the meetings of the experiment were video-recorded. By watching these videos, it was possible to reconstruct the modelling processes implemented by the students, by using the modelling cycle described in [4]. Specific modes of action of peer collaboration [5] and discrete techno-mathematical fluency [6] also emerged. Moreover, an initial and a final questionnaire were administered to the students, in order to be able to analyse a possible evolution of their competences from the entrance to the end of the experiment. Qualitative and quantitative analysis on all collected data show first how it is appropriate to include OR and its typology of problems in regular school mathematics lectures. Secondly, how modelling and problem-solving skills, developed through OR, can be fostered by implementing a collaborative way of working, also by making use of digital technologies. Last but not least, how such activities can have a positive impact on students’ understanding and appreciation of OR as well as mathematics in general.

[1] Raffaele, A., Gobbi, A.: Teaching Operations Research Before University: A Focus on Grades 9–12. SN Oper. Res. Forum 2, 13 (2021).

[2] Colajanni, G., Gobbi, A., Picchi, M., Raffaele, A., Taranto, E. (2021). Teaching OR before University: the ROAR Experience (Part I). Book of Abstracts of the 50th Annual Meeting of AIRO – Italian Operations Research Society, pp. 186-187. Roma, Italy.

[3] Colajanni, G., Gobbi, A., Picchi, M., Raffaele, A., Taranto, E.: An Operations Research based Teaching Unit for Grade 10: The ROAR Experience, Part I. INFORMS Transactions on Education (2022). To appear.

[4] Kaiser, G., Bracke, M., Göttlich, S., Kaland, C. (2013). Authentic complex modelling problems in mathematics education. Educational interfaces between mathematics and industry (pp. 287–297). Springer.

[5] Weinberger, A., Stegmann, K., Fischer, F., Mandl, H. (2007). Scripting argumentative knowledge construction in computer-supported learning environments. Scripting computer-supported collaborative learning (pp. 191–211). Springer.

[6] Jacinto, H., Carreira, S. (2017). Mathematical problem solving with technology: The techno-mathematical fluency of a student-with-GeoGebra. International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, 15 (6), 1115–1136.

## OPS4Math project: teaching optimization and problem solving at Secondary Schools

#### Time: 12:00

#### Claudio Sterle (University “Federico II” of Naples – Department of Electrical Engineering and Information Technology), Boccia Maurizio, Masone Adriano, Sforza Antonio

Nowadays, the teaching of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, i.e., the so called STEM disciplines, represents a relevant topic of discussion given their boosting role for the economic growth of any developed and developing country. Several initiatives have been implemented worldwide to foster students interest towards STEM disciplines. These initiatives are based on the awareness that mathematics is essential for scientific and technological advancement: it trains to reasoning and reflection, stimulates logical capabilities and intuition, improve investigation attitude. Most of them recognize also that mathematical problem solving represents an effective way to support teachers and students in their teaching and learning activities, respectively. However, most of these initiatives are more focused on “teaching mathematics for problem-solving” rathern than “teaching mathematics through problem solving”. Thus, they do not reflect directly in actions devoted to the insertion of problem solving in school curricula, thus confirming the mismatch between the mathematics education provided by school and university and the required problem-solving skills. This work is aimed at presenting a project providing a contribution in filling this gap. It is devoted to the presentation “OPS4Math – Optimization and Problem Solving for Teaching of Mathematics”, a training project for Secondary School teachers organized by the University “Federico II” of Naples, financed by Italian Ministry of University and Research (D.D. 1662 del 22.10.2020), and supported by Campania Regional Education Office. The project driving idea, resembling the “teaching mathematics through problem solving” approach, consists in operating a reversal of the didactic perspective in classical curricula: starting from phenomena/problems to introduce concepts of data, variables, relationships and functions in an appealing way, providing new materials for mathematic teachers of Secondary School. We present project organization, structure and aims, to give useful hints for its replication at national and international level.

## Teaching OR before University: the ROAR Experience (Part II)

#### Time: 12:15

#### Alessandro Gobbi (Department of Mechanical and industrial Engineering, University of Brescia, Via Branze 38, 25123 Brescia, Italy), Gabriella Colajanni, Marinella Picchi, Alice Raffaele, Eugenia Taranto

Ricerca Operativa Applicazioni Reali (ROAR, i.e., Real Applications of Operations Research) [1, 2] is a three-year learning path for secondary school students, also inspired by a few similar initiatives which disseminate Operations Research (OR) before university level [3]. ROAR relies on active learning and constructionism [4], by offering examples and problems closely connected with students’ everyday life or with the Italian reality. The implementation of ROAR started in Spring 2021 as a three-year project-work fitting into a Percorso per le Competenze Trasversali e l’Orientamento (Path for Transversal Skills and Orientation), activated at the scientific high school IIS Antonietti in Iseo (Brescia, Italy). We reported the design, the implementation, and the results of the first teaching unit addressed to Grade 10 in [2]. In this talk, we describe how we carried out a teaching experiment of the second unit to the same students (now Grade 11), from January to April 2022. In particular, we show how we introduced graph theory and network applications, by starting from real situations and problems, such as social and transportation networks. Similar to the previous unit, we relied on collaborative learning (by dividing the students into groups), and the use of digital technologies. Differently, in this second unit, we focused on solving problems by applying both mathematical modelling and algorithms. Thus, we introduced the students to well known procedures, such as Kruskal’s and Dijkstra’s algorithms, but we also discussed the mathematical models of the Shortest Path Problem and the Travelling Salesman Problem. Moreover, we assigned a challenge to the groups as a final project, by applying competitive learning [5, 6] to increase students’ motivation and engagement. In particular, we asked them to find a solution for three instances of a Vehicle Routing Problem concerning the home delivery of groceries from a hypothetical supermarket chain. The groups had one month to submit their best solutions found, computed by developing their own heuristic algorithms and/or applying any tools or techniques we taught them during these two teaching units of ROAR. We analyse the results and feedback received from both students and teachers. Finally, we anticipate some topics of the third and last teaching unit of ROAR, addressed to Grade 12, that we will conduct in Autumn 2022 with the same students.

[1] Colajanni, G., Gobbi, A., Picchi, M., Raffaele, A., & Taranto, E. (2021). Teaching OR before University: the ROAR Experience (Part I). Book of Abstracts of the 50th Annual Meeting of AIRO – Italian Operations Research Society, pp. 186-187. Roma, Italy.

[2] Colajanni, G., Gobbi, A., Picchi, M., Raffaele, A., Taranto, E.: An Operations Research based Teaching Unit for Grade 10: The ROAR Experience, Part I. INFORMS Transactions on Education (2022). To appear.

[3] Raffaele, A., Gobbi, A.: Teaching Operations Research Before University: A Focus on Grades 9–12. SN Oper. Res. Forum 2, 13 (2021).

[4] Papert, S: Constructionism: A New Opportunity for Elementary Science Education. MIT, Media Laboratory, Epistemology and Learning Group (1986).

[5] Johnson, D.W., Johnson, R.T., Holubec E.J. (1986). Circle of Learning: Cooperation in the classroom. Edina MN: Interaction Book Company.

[6] Cohen, E.G. (1994). Restructuring the classroom: Condition for productive small groups. Review of Educational Research, 64(1): 1- 35.

## Projects for getting a taste of problem solving and mathematics in high school

#### Time: 12:30

#### Daniela Ambrosino (University of Genova), Sciomachen Anna

The University of Genova, in particular, the Department of economics and business studies (DIEC) is going on the realization of paths related to the POT (Piani di Orientamento e Tutorato) thanks to a project ScopriTalento. This project is coordinated by the University of Torino, and other four Italian Universities are involved in it.The aim of the project ScopriTalento is to direct students in the search for their skills and abilities. The idea is to use new and active teaching methods. Project works are used in the projects that involve a group of students either of the same class as in the project Explora or of different classes as in the Summer school. The Explora project is for students in the third class of the high school. Tutors, university students, prepared to work in the classroom permit to operate with a peer to peer education. Tutors meet students and teach them the basic information for understanding the organization of companies operating in the market. Then a second meeting is organised in the company, that usually presents a problem to solve. Coming back to school, the students- helped by tutors- analyse the problem and try to solve it by using the more adequate tool. In our case, we stress the importance of well understanding the problem, the decisions to take and the main aim of guiding the decision-maker. We propose decision theory and simple operation research approaches, we learn them to represent the problem in spreadsheet excel and to find a solution, a good solution. In the last meeting, students and tutors prepare a video for the company, students propose a solution.The summer school project concerns the realization of a summer school with the aim of presenting to the students some concepts related to the companies’ organizations and some instruments useful to solve problems for being competitive in the market. Some labs are proposed, and a team game is organized. Each team can choose its preferred field. At the end of summer school, each team presents its work and a winner is identified by the teachers. Some examples of the activities realized by students will be presented.