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Diverse Teams Build Better Forecasts

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2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

IED Technical Session: Preparing Students for the Future

Tagged Division

Industrial Engineering

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Paper Authors


Joseph Wilck College of William and Mary

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Dr. Joe Wilck is a Clinical Associate Professor in Business Analytics and Operations Management at the College of William & Mary. He is a registered Professional Engineer. He is a volunteer leader with the Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers (IISE) and the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE). He is also an active member of INFORMS, MORS, INCOSE, ASEM, and TRB. His research is in the areas of applied optimization and STEM education, and he has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy, DARPA, and the North Carolina Department of Transportation; among others. He primarily teaches courses in analytics, operations research, supply chain, operations management, and logistics.

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Paul C. Lynch Penn State Erie

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Paul C. Lynch received his Ph.D., M.S., and B.S. degrees in Industrial Engineering from the Pennsylvania State University. Dr. Lynch is a member of AFS, SME, IIE, and ASEE. Dr. Lynch’s primary research interests are in metal casting, manufacturing systems, and engineering education. Dr. Lynch has been recognized by Alpha Pi Mu, IIE, and the Pennsylvania State University for his scholarship, teaching, and advising. He received the Outstanding Industrial Engineering Faculty Award in 2011, 2013, and 2015, the Penn State Industrial & Manufacturing Engineering Alumni Faculty Appreciation Award in 2013, and the Outstanding Advising Award in the College of Engineering in 2014 for his work in undergraduate education at Penn State. Dr. Lynch worked as a regional production engineer for Universal Forest Products prior to pursuing his graduate degrees. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Industrial Engineering in the School of Engineering at Penn State Erie, The Behrend College.

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Is having a diverse team most useful for hard problems? This paper presents prior literature and results from a classroom activity that explores individuals versus homogeneous groups versus heterogeneous groups for solving complex problems. The forecasts from a classroom activity with 246 undergraduate and graduate students showed that the Random Groups (Heterogeneous Groups) forecasts were statistically better than Homogeneous Groups forecasts and Individual forecasts using the Mann-Whitney test. Combining this classroom exercise with a lecture focused on building diverse teams for forecasting (and other difficult problems), showed a statistically significant difference in pre-lesson perceptions versus post-lesson perceptions of the students using a test of marginal homogeneity.

Wilck, J., & Lynch, P. C. (2018, June), Diverse Teams Build Better Forecasts Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--30339

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