Workshop Pre-Work

Your assignment, should you chose to accept, is two parts.

First, craft an email to your boss asking for additional funds for to purchase a higher capacity pump for $4,703.38 exclusive of shipping.

Second, to critically review and improve just one of the paragraph options below. 

Place your answers in a word file.  Send the result by email with the subject HOMEWORK 2 to Mark Jones (middle initial E in the Dow directory) by noon on the workday before our next session.  I will incorporate some suggestions received into the workshop and slides distributed after its completion. 

By sending, you are granting me permission to incorporate your work into the workshop materials, attribute it to you and to call on you to discuss the deficiencies of the original and your improvements.  

Paragraph Option 1

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the chemical industry in the United States has maintained operating status and continues to be at the forefront of worker safety. Despite these achievements, the pandemic exposed some of the vulnerabilities in the chemical industry’s supply chain. With an increased demand for chemical products, such as isopropyl alcohol for the production of hand sanitizer, the United States has seen firsthand the inflexibility of the supply chain to increase or alter production. The “just-in-time” manufacturing approach that many companies previously adopted to maximize efficiency and lower costs has now presented the industry with production challenges and raises the question of how demand can be met if a disruption to the supply chain occurs. Also of note are the specialty chemical and pharmaceutical industries, which are increasingly vulnerable as they have outsourced many of their operations overseas. In the event of a global disruption or a localized disruption unique to the point of origin, the United States risks not being able to obtain the products it critically needs—such as personal protective equipment, medications, and medical equipment—as has occurred in the case of COVID-19.

Paragraph Option 2

With news pushed to smart phones in real time and social media reactions spreading across the globe in seconds, the public discussion can appear accelerated and temporally fragmented. In longitudinal datasets across various domains, covering multiple decades, we find increasing gradients and shortened periods in the trajectories of how cultural items receive collective attention. Is this the inevitable conclusion of the way information is disseminated and consumed? Our findings support this hypothesis. Using a simple mathematical model of topics competing for finite collective attention, we are able to explain the empirical data remarkably well. Our modeling suggests that the accelerating ups and downs of popular content are driven by increasing production and consumption of content, resulting in a more rapid exhaustion of limited attention resources. In the interplay with competition for novelty, this causes growing turnover rates and individual topics receiving shorter intervals of collective attention.

Lorenz-Spreen, P., Mønsted, B.M., Hövel, P. and Lehmann, S., 2019. Accelerating dynamics of collective attention. Nature communications, 10(1), pp.1-9.

Paragraph Option 3

The most significant contributions of the chemist to human knowledge have been his successes in establishing correlations between the experimentally observed properties of matter and his knowledge of its composition and structure. The chemist treats the composition of matter in terms of atoms of chemical elements and the ways in which they combine to form molecules of chemical compounds. He seeks to understand the changes that occur when chemical substances undergo reactions with one another.

Brill, Robert H.  “A Note on the Scientist’s Definition of Glass.”  The Journal of Glass Studies vol. 4 (1962): 127-138.