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Course Details

Course Number: 90-772

Operations Research

Units: 6

This course is an introduction to methods of mathematical modeling and solution of planning and operational decision problems. Operations Research (also called "management science" or decision science") is an interdisciplinary field that analysts and decision-makers use to create policies governing complex planning issues such as: police dispatching, facility location, manpower planning and scheduling and health care resource allocation.

This course is a sequel to 90-722 management Science. Students who take this course will have had an introduction to: elementary management science with a spreadsheet emphasis, microeconomics, management information systems, statistics and public policy. Also, some students will have taken 90-787 Decision Analysis, which covers courses in stochastic and decision modeling in detail.

The goals of this course are the following:

Develop expertise in modeling complex, ill-defined problems;
Extend technical knowledge with regard to practical solutions techniques, including heuristics;
Expose current research in application areas;
Emphasize design of public sector models that address equity as well as efficiency.
Mathematical proofs and algebraic details of algorithms will not be emphasized. Assignments and cases can be completed using spreadsheets, although other mathematical modeling platforms are acceptable. There will be periodic homework, midterm and final examinations and several case studies.

The primary emphasis in this course will be on deterministic mathematical programming and applications. OR as a discipline encompasses stochastic modeling, organizational design and productions, and operations management as well as math programming. However, we will spend the limited time available exploring a few broad areas rather than attempting to cover all possible topics.

90-722 Management Science I: Optimization and Multicriteria Methods 6 Credits
90-755 Intermediate Management Science I 6 Credits
90-760 Management Science II: Decision and Risk Modeling 6 Credits