Course Details

Course Number: 90-722

Management Science I: Optimization and Multicriteria Methods

Units: 6

This course, along with its companions (90-760 Management Science II: Decision and Risk Modeling, 94-833 Decision Analysis and Multi-Criteria Decision Making, and 95-760 Decision Making Under Uncertainty) are introductory courses in analytics and management science that survey a variety of hands-on quantitative and modeling methods useful to decision makers and analysts. 90-722 focuses on optimization models and methods.

Normally Heinz PPM, HCPM, MBTM, and MEIM students take 90-722 & 90-760, whereas MISM students take 95-760 which pulls examples from the information systems context. Both tracks feed into 94-833, although students with a strong quantitative background can take 94-833 in the first year; none of the other courses are actually a prerequisite for 94-833.

Learning Objectives:

These courses have four objectives.
First, you should become as comfortable working with spreadsheets, spreadsheet tools, and various add-ins as you already should be with word processors. By the end of the course, firing up Excel to model and solve a quantitative problem should be second nature. This skill will be a significant asset on the job market and in your career.

Second, you should learn about a variety of techniques, what they are capable of, and what their limitations are so that you can intelligently call upon management science specialists and consultants when the occasion arises.

Third, you should acquire sufficient proficiency with some of the techniques that you can use them as an “end user modeler”.

Fourth, you should learn how to approach, abstract, and analyze problems from a quantitative, analytical perspective. In short, you should be able to use the language and perspective of mathematical modeling. In most lectures we will work through a small “case” to help you connect the methods to a problem that is richer than the typical end of chapter problem.


Jonathan P. Caulkins