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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 twovariable
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.
Evaluation:
• Based on tests and final exam, homework, attendance and
class
participation.
• 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: 115.)
Week  Class 
Topics 
Reading 
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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