Surviving a zombie apocalypse

Students in Ivan G. Guardiola’s Operations Research course learned to survive a zombie apocalypse while learning the fundamentals of managing global supply chains and large-scale industrial operations.

To help students better learn the basics of the course, Guardiola, an associate professor of engineering management and systems engineering, designed a zombie doomsday case study. His results were published in the journal Quality Approaches in Higher Education.

Guardiola’s course manual, titled “Zombie Apocalypse: Optimizing Survival,” outlines an evolving story that begins with a zombie invasion of the Missouri S&T campus. The 21 students enrolled in the course are the only known survivors. They take refuge in the campus’s student center, while some 450 living dead approach their enclave. The manual guides students through a series of situations and options that require them to determine the best choices for their own and their classmates’ survival.

“I wanted students to understand that their decisions have consequences,” he says. “Operations research is all about optimization. The whole class is about understanding the techniques of optimization. This was the perfect project for helping to teach those principles.”

Around the Puck

Q&A: Miners got game

What was the most memorable sports team during your time on campus? As part of his research for the S&T 150th history book, Larry Gragg, Curators’ Distinguished Teaching Professor emeritus of history and political science, asked you to share your memories. Here are a few of your answers.

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Honoring new academy members

In October, 12 alumni and friends were inducted into Missouri S&T academies. Academy membership recognizes careers of distinction and invites members to share their wisdom, influence and resources with faculty and students. Some academies hold induction ceremonies in the fall, others in the spring.

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Boosting cyber-physical security

A wide array of complex systems that rely on computers — from public water supply systems and electric grids to chemical plants and self-driving vehicles — increasingly come under not just digital but physical attacks. Bruce McMillin, professor and interim chair of computer science at Missouri S&T, is looking to change that by developing stronger safeguards […]

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MXene discovery could improve energy storage

In spite of their diminutive size, 2-D titanium carbide materials known as MXenes are “quite reactive” to water, a discovery S&T researchers say could have implications for energy storage and harvesting applications such as batteries, supercapacitors and beyond. Their findings were published in 2018 in the American Chemical Society journal Inorganic Chemistry.

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A faster charge for electric vehicles

One drawback of electric vehicles (EVs) is the time it takes to charge them. But what if you could plug in your EV and fully charge it as quickly as it takes to fill up a conventional car with gasoline? Missouri S&T researchers, in collaboration with three private companies, are working to make speedy charging […]

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