One activity of the business faculty is to develop models that will help managers make better decisions. These models must be user friendly. Often a great deal of mathematics that the user never sees exists below the surface. Munirpallam Venkataramanan (left), Associate Professor of Decision and Information Sciences, and David Mackay, Professor of Marketing, both from Indiana University Bloomington, are working on a decision aid model that will tell a manager which of a number of decision alternatives is best and should be chosen. Beneath the surface of this model is a mathematical process that has the task of numerically determining the highest point on a response surface. To devise the best mathematical process, they use the visualization capacity of a graphic workstation to show them a picture of the response surface. Knowledge of what the surface looks like will result in a greater probability of finding the highest point on the response surface and of producing a good decision aid model.

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