This talk presents some real-life examples of mathematics and numerical simulation used in a manufacturing industry. Examples include one story with a mathematical moral.

The exponential improvement over time in computer speed and memory relative to cost and size makes ever-increasing demands on the many technologies that are part of computer chip manufacture. One strategy for shrinking the size of computer chip features is to do photolithography with light sources of smaller wavelength. At smaller (now ultraviolet) wavelengths, each photon carries more energy. These energies are now high enough to slowly cause damage in the glass lenses used in photolithography optics, destroying the optics over time. This talk presents some aspects of the mathematical analysis of laser-induced damage in glass and emphasizes how mathematical analysis and computer simulation play a role in modern materials research and manufacturing.