Skip to main content
Search IntMath

The math of 100,000 Dell computers - per day

By Murray Bourne, 06 Mar 2007

The Futures Channel has an interesting video on some mathematics involved in the manufacture of Dell computers.

Dell's Texas plant produces over 100,000 computers per day. Clark Ponthier, Dell's Supply and Demand Director explains:

"We have some employees that can assemble as many as 15 computers in one hour. Our builders can build all day and never build the exact same system twice. Just by removing 2 to 3 seconds multiplied by thousands of employees building computers every day, that could result in millions of dollars of overall savings, so every second counts," he explains.

Making a dell computer

The video features Lawrence Yu, who is in charge of purchasing over $1 billion worth of computer parts for Dell. Lawrence says:

I love going to work every day, because I feel I am making a difference to the world.

The Futures Channel has [did have?] several interesting Algebra in the Real World videos, including ones on:

  • Coordinate Systems
  • Exponential Equations and Functions
  • Expressions and Equations
  • Fractional Exponents
  • Linear Equations and Functions
  • Matrices
  • Patterns, Relations and Functions
  • Polynomials
  • Powers, Roots and Scientific Notation
  • Quadratic Equations and Functions
  • Rational Equations and Functions
  • Variables

[Update, Jun 2013: The above videos have disappeared, unfortunately.]

It's worth a look.

Footnote: I can't help wondering about the environmental impact of all those Dell computers and all that packaging. Hopefully, they are using recyclable materials.

See the 1 Comment below.

One Comment on “The math of 100,000 Dell computers - per day”

  1. Peter says:

    Useful resource. Thanks, Zac!

    yeh, I also worry about the environmental impact of computer manufacture, packaging and disposal.

    it's criminal that the West exports all the waste to China - they can do without it, I'm sure.

Leave a comment

Comment Preview

HTML: You can use simple tags like <b>, <a href="...">, etc.

To enter math, you can can either:

  1. Use simple calculator-like input in the following format (surround your math in backticks, or qq on tablet or phone):
    `a^2 = sqrt(b^2 + c^2)`
    (See more on ASCIIMath syntax); or
  2. Use simple LaTeX in the following format. Surround your math with \( and \).
    \( \int g dx = \sqrt{\frac{a}{b}} \)
    (This is standard simple LaTeX.)

NOTE: You can mix both types of math entry in your comment.


Tips, tricks, lessons, and tutoring to help reduce test anxiety and move to the top of the class.