Operations Research

Overview: An introduction to operations research (management science), a
quantitative approach to problem solving and decision making. Emphasis is on
linear programming and its application to solving cost, profit and volume
problems; distribution and network problems; and inventory problems.

General Goals:
• To teach the art of management decision making
• To provide students with mathematical tools for quantitative decision making

Specific Outcomes: To be able to:

• properly pose a problem by articulating a clear problem statement, identifying
decision criteria, and identifying constraints.
• solve two-variable linear programming models by graphing the feasibility
region, identifying extreme points, and identifying a variable pair
corresponding to the optimal value of a decision objective.
• demonstrate mastery of the simplex method by manually solving two-variable
linear programming models.
• apply linear programming solvers to the solution of multi -variable financial,
distribution and network , and inventory problems
• produce and interpret sensitivity analyses for the above kinds of problems.
• demonstrate understanding of project scheduling fundamentals by developing
project models and crashing activity times .

Laptop Computers:

My policy is no open laptop computers in class unless otherwise directed.


• Based on tests and final exam, homework, attendance and class
• Components: homework (30%), two tests (20% each), final exam (30%).
• Evaluation per the catalog: A(>94), A-(>89), B+(>86), B(>82), B-(>79),
C+(>76), C(>72), C-(>69), D+(>66), D(>62), D-(>59)
• You will never receive a grade lower than what you earn strictly by the
numbers. I won’t take off for poor overall attendance or lack of participation.
• However, outstanding attendance and class participation are necessary in
order for me to consider extending grace when I determine your final course
grade. ( Unlike our Lord ’s grace, mine isn’t free!) But it is my privilege to
award a higher grade than what you earn strictly by the numbers . (See Matt
20: 1-15.)

Week Class


Aug 25      
  1 Introduction and Objectives + Problem Solving/Decision Making Chap 1
  2 Review: systems of linear equations + Linear programming (Graph Sol’ns) Chap 2
Sep 1      
  3 Linear programming ( Graph Sol ’ns)  
  4 Linear programming (Graph Sol’ns)  
Sep 8      
  5 Simplex method Chap 17
  6 Simplex method  
Sep 15      
  7 Simplex method  
  8 Sensitivity analysis Chap 3
Sep 22      
  9 Sensitivity analysis  
  10 Financial applications Chap 4
Sep 29      
  11 Financial applications  
  12 Financial applications + Review  
Oct 6      
  13 Test 1  
  14 Distribution and network applications Chap 6
Oct 13      
  15 Distribution and network applications  
  16 Distribution and network applications  
Oct 20      
  17 Distribution and network applications  
  18 Field trip: Walmart Distribution Center, Gas City  
Oct 27      
  19 Project scheduling: PERT/CPM Chap 9
  20 Project scheduling: PERT/CPM  
Nov 3      
  21 Project scheduling: PERT/CPM  
  22 Project scheduling: PERT/CPM + Review  
Nov 10      
  23 Test 2  
  24 Inventory models Chap 10
Nov 17      
  25 Inventory models  
  26 Inventory models  
Nov 24      
  27 Inventory models  
    No class: Thanksgiving  
Dec 1      
  28 Dynamic programming Chap 21
  29 Dynamic programming  
Dec 8   Final Exam (Tues 12/9 1:00 – 3:00)  
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