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Mathematical Ethics

This week, we have a pretty detailed topic, so expect to spend a little extra time working on the discussion this week. As always, feel free to explore this topic more deeply through the conversation.

Again, like we have been doing, at the end of the discussion, you will be asked to craft a 150 word reflection on what you have learned through this conversation and post it to the Reflection Journal. Dive in, be active, help out your classmates when they need it, and, because we could never say this enough, enjoy the conversation.

XYZ Corporation produces a commercial product that is in great demand by consumers on a national basis. Unfortunately, near the plant where it is produced there is a large population of dove-tail turtles who are adversely affected by contaminants from the plant. XYZ has a filtering process that is expensive and any increase in filtering effectiveness reduces their profit. Dove tailed turtles are not a protected species hence there are no environmental rules regulating XYZ’s level of contaminants.

Clearly, no filtering at all would maximize XYZ’s profitability. However, a local environmental group monitors XYZ’s contaminant level and maintains a website showing the percentage mortality rate of the dove tailed turtles due to XYZ’s contaminants. XYZ has noticed that the higher the mortality percentage, the less items are bought and the lower their profitability.

Their Marketing Department and Research Group has established the following Revenue Function, R(x), as a function of Dove Tail Turtle Mortality expressed as decimal between 0 to 1, representing mortality rate:

R(x) = 1 + x – x2; 0 < x ≤ 1

R(x) is expressed in billions of dollars and represents the revenue generated. Since XYZ has fixed operating costs of one billion dollars, the profit function, P(x) is given by P(x) = R(x) – 1.

You have been hired as the mathematical consultant for XYZ Corporation. They have asked you to help them optimize their profit and request that you:

1. Find the optimal dove-tail turtle mortality rate percentage that will maximize revenue.

2. State what the maximum profit will be.

Discussion:

As a successful mathematics student, you easily do the math and come up with the solution. Please include the answers to questions 1 and 2 in your discussion post.

But don’t collect your money yet. You also understand that mathematics is a human activity and carries with it a certain social responsibility. Are there any ethical considerations that you would bring to your client’s attention?

References

Henrich, D. (2011, November 2). Mathematical ethics: A problem based approach.

Assignment 2

Peer Review

Peer evaluations have proven to be one of the most beneficial and impactful methods of improvement. It is also one of the hardest things to do, as a peer evaluator walks a thin line between constructive criticism and harsh opinion. Nevertheless, you might be surprised at how helpful the advice of your classmates can be.

For this assignment, you are to evaluate the rough drafts of two different classmates based on the provided rubric below.

To retrieve these rough drafts, you will need to return to “The Rough Draft” forum in week five of this course.

Peer Review Rubric

A few parameters:

•Your individual rough drafts should have already been submitted in the “Rough Draft” forum in week five.

•Choose two different rough drafts to evaluate (when possible, please choose the drafts you will review that have not been reviewed by your classmates or that only have one review. By doing this, we can better ensure that each of your fellow students has at least one peer review on his or her work—simply put, choose carefully; don’t just pick the first two drafts you see).

•Each of these reviews should have your feedback provided in a Word or Open Office Document. Utilize the provided rubric (linked above) and include this with your constructive feedback, incorporating specific, positive remarks as well as helpful suggestions so your peer is able to see you genuinely evaluated their rough draft.

•You will provide this feedback as a reply to each of your two peers within this Peer Review Drop Box which will then be graded upon the close of this week.

Assignment 3

Reflection Journal

This week, through our readings and discussion, we explored how we can make the most of failure, how we can expand our horizons, and the notion of ethical awareness. Additionally, we have begun to explore the following course outcomes:

•read and extract information and ideas from a variety of texts – Critical Thinking

•ask valid and logical questions that promote a deeper understanding of the issues being examined; – Critical Thinking

•identify the internal and external factors that affect the process of decision-making; – Critical Thinking & Respect for Diversity

•express a well-informed, personal viewpoint and show an understanding of his or her own biases; and -Critical Thinking& Respect for Diversity & Communication

•articulate how learning extends beyond the classroom. – Communication, Lifelong Learning & Social, Ethical& Professional Responsibility

In your journal, reflect back on what you have learned so far through the course readings, assignments, and discussions (you are encouraged to reflect back on previous weeks as well). Answer each of the following questions to guide your reflection:

1.What, if anything, did you find surprising, particularly challenging, interesting, or just beautiful? (10pts)

2.From what you know about this course so far, what connections can you make to previous learning experiences, and how do you think this course will help you as you move forward in your college and professional life? (10pts)

3.How do the course outcomes (listed above) for this week apply to your experience so far? (10pts)

4.What specific ideas did you learn from the Starbucks book this week that you could use in your every life or future career? (10 pts)

5.What questions do you still need answered? (10pts)

Assignment 4

Paying it Forward

The following topic(s) will demonstrate what the discussion is about, but feel free to branch off or expand on the topics. In addition to this discussion, you will be asked to craft a 150 word reflection on what you have learned through this conversation and post it to the Reflection Journal. The more active you are in this part of the discussion, the more you will have to draw from in your reflection, so get involved, be active, help out your classmates when they need it, and, most of all, enjoy the conversation.

Topic:

William Penn is credited with saying, “I expect to pass through life but once. If therefore, there be any kindness I can show, or any good thing I can do to any fellow being, let me do it now, and not defer or neglect it, as I shall not pass this way again.”

This statement is similar to the idea behind “paying it forward,” or, performing a random act of kindness for a stranger, who in turn would do another random act of kindness for another stranger, and so on. This is a philosophy popularized recently by Starbucks and the media.

If money were no issue, what is something that you would do for another person or group of persons to “pay it forward” (besides buying them a cup of coffee in the drive thru line)? Why would you like to do it? What do you hope would be the outcome of this act? After considering this, do you feel that it would “make a difference”?

Assignment 5

Final Draft

Throughout the course, you have been working toward your final project. This week, you will be submitting a rough draft of that project. Using the information you’re your outline, your bibliography, and your literature review, combine the information to create a rough draft (you will have the opportunity for this to be reviewed by your instructor and your peers). Pay close attention to the following criteria to ensure you covered everything. While this is a rough draft of your project, keep in mind that the more complete your draft, the more chance you have to receive relevant and constructive feedback.

For All Assignment Types

Your assignment should be well-organized and demonstrate an orderly flow of information that clearly addresses the subject chosen. In addition to the above criteria, your final project should include the following elements:

•The Community Organization: Clearly indicate the focus of the organization and the community needs that the organization. A brief historical background of the organization should also be included.

•Discuss any community partnerships that they have. Suggest additional partnerships that you feel they should have.

•Explore how the cross-cultural challenges and humanitarian considerations are involved.

•Demonstrate how the organization uses volunteers and the economic benefits associated with this (not just “free labor”).

•Illustrate any roadblocks that the organization has faced or potential could face and how they did or might find solutions.

•Describe the organization’s vision for the future.

•Indicate what areas in which you feel the organization could improve. What challenges (technological, political, economic, laws and regulations, community-based initiatives, educational, etc.) will they need to overcome?

•Discuss potential ways you might be able to contribute to the organization. How could your own interests, talents, and skills benefit this organization?

Note: You will need to include a minimum of ten (10) sources to support your project claims. Additionally, make sure the sources you choose are no more than five (5) years old.

Other Criteria:

Introduction: Begin with the attention-getter, tie in the background information, and end the introduction with your thesis.

Body:

•Clearly identify the topic of each section. The topic must be a statement, not a question, and should begin with your own ideas and your own words.

•After identifying your topic, use quotations or paraphrase from your sources to help illustrate the point you are making (be sure to identify the author(s) and source(s)).

•After you have given support, spend a sentence or two explaining how the example(s) support the section topic.

•A compilation of your research, your literature review, your methods, (how the data was collected or generated and analyzed), and your results should be included in the body of your project.

Conclusion:

•Restate your thesis. This means that you say about the same thing as you did in your thesis, but you say it differently.

•After stating your thesis, restate the topics from each of your body sections and emphasize what is important for your audience/readers to remember.

•End your conclusion with a call to action that illustrates what your audience/readers should do with the information you presented.

Assignment 6

Reflection Journal

This week, through our readings and discussion, we discussed how we shouldn’t confine the value of our work to grades or other forms of recognition we may or may not receive from others. Additionally, we have begun to explore the following course outcomes:

•express a well-informed, personal viewpoint and show an understanding of his or her own biases; and – Communication, Respect for Diversity & Critical Thinking

•articulate how learning extends beyond the classroom. – Communication, Lifelong Learning & Social, Ethical& Professional Responsibility

In your journal, reflect back on what you have learned so far through the course readings, assignments, and discussions (you are encouraged to reflect back on previous weeks as well). Answer each of the following questions to guide your reflection:

1.What, if anything, did you find surprising, particularly challenging, or interesting? (10 pts)

2.From what you know about this course so far, what connections can you make to previous learning experiences, and how do you think this course will help you as you move forward in your college and professional life? (10 pts)

3.How do the course outcomes (listed above) for this week apply to your experience so far? (10 pts)

4.What specific ideas did you learn from the Starbucks book this week that you could use in your every life or future career? (10 pts)

5.What questions do you still need answered? (10 pts)

Assignment 7

Be the Change

The following topic(s) will demonstrate what the discussion is about, but feel free to branch off or expand on the topics. This week, we will not be writing in our Reflection Journals, so make this discussion count. As always, get involved, be active, help out your classmates when they need it, and, most of all, enjoy the conversation.

Mahatma Gandhi famously said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” Reflect back over your experiences throughout the past eight weeks. In light of what have you learned, what new ideas did you discover about the idea of community? What change do you want to see in the world, and what assets and interest do you have to make change happen in your community?

Assignment 8

Reflecting on Learning

For your final assignment in this course, go back through your experiences in this course and in your Grantham experience so far. Think about the ways your course work has helped to make you a stronger, better informed individual, and what rights and responsibilities come along with that growth.

Write a two  page reflection paper addressing the following questions.

•What have you learned about the world around you?

•What have you learned about creating and maintaining relationships with others?

•What have you learned about yourself and the way you learn?

•What have you learned about your responsibility to others?

•What more do you need to know?

At the conclusion of your paper, create a brief, personal mission statement about what you value, what you want to accomplish, and your plans to achieve those goals.

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