Department of Mathematics

Proposed Project for the MSU Industrial Math Students

Steelcase, Inc.

Exploring Relationships between Space Traits, Occupancy, and Desirability


The goal of this project is to better understand how space traits impact space occupancy as measured by sensors and space desirability as measured by the “Favorite Spaces” survey instrument. Various statistical models could be developed to explore relationships between space traits (or combinations thereof) and multiple response variables: space occupancy and space desirability for different work modes. Insights from the analyses of occupancy and desirability could be integrated with a framework like the Kano framework. Additional explorations could investigate relationships between the response variables of space occupancy and desirability. This project would not involve the time series of space occupancy or efficiency but rather long-term average occupancy values. This project would leverage Workplace Advisor Study or Subscription sensor data, “Favorite Places” survey responses, and space trait data.

About “Choice and Control” metric definition:
Steelcase has found that offering people choice and control in their work environments can improve wellbeing and engagement. The goal of this project is to develop a “Choice and Control” metric. This metric should quantify the extent to which people can choose from a variety of work environments depending on their task, work mode, or current preferences. One version of the metric should be based only on space trait and space floor plan data. Space floor plan data can indicate how spaces with various traits are distributed over the floor plan, which could be incorporated into the metric. Another version of this metric should also consider space sensor data indicating how often various spaces are not occupied and thus available to be chosen.


For any additional questions regarding the program curriculum and/or the extension deadline for the application to the MSIM program, contact us at


Department of Mathematics
Michigan State University
619 Red Cedar Road
C212 Wells Hall
East Lansing, MI 48824

Phone: (517) 353-0844
Fax: (517) 432-1562

College of Natural Science