After responding to this post I started wondering about some sort of project that would connect educators to the workplace and solicit applied math problems.
Most education texts have “simulated” work problems, but what I am meaning here is finding people who are willing to write up a genuine situation they were facing, with all the real numbers intact, and how they solved it with mathematics.
Let me be clear: this would mean absolutely no imaginary situations. There would be no “faking it” with such a project. The only difference here with actuality is that the problem might not be solving every part of a dilemma; perhaps the whole of a problem requires multivariate calculus, but one particular part uses only simple algebra, so that’s the part that gets written about.
One obstacle to this is clauses regarding nondisclosure of company secrets. The networking likely would have to connect to both bosses and employees to get the proper permissions to write up the problems.