Knowing When to Hold and When to Fold

ASEE Prism, October 1, 2003 | Go to article overview

Knowing When to Hold and When to Fold


You wouldn't think in a class called Introduction to Industrial and Systems Engineering that students would have to learn origami-the ancient Japanese art of folding paper. But that's exactly what's expected of them at the University of Florida. "The Origami Project: The Tortoise and the Hare" is designed to teach sophomores and early-junior engineering students about the teamwork and cooperation necessary to succeed in industrial and systems engineering.

Students are grouped into teams of three or four and required to make and "sell" as many paper tortoises and hares as possible in 25 minutes. Prices for "buying" materials and "renting" equipment are set as are the prices "consumers" will pay for tortoises and hares.To incorporate some consideration of real-life production tradeoffs, tortoises command a higher price but take longer to make than hares. …

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