OR 680 / SYST 798:  Project Course in

Operations Research and Systems Engineering

Spring 2002


Course Overview


John Shortle

Systems Engineering and Operations Research

George Mason University


Course Description.  OR 680 / SYST 798 is the capstone course of the Master’s degree program both in Operations Research and in Systems Engineering.  Students should take this course at the end of their degree program.  The primary activity is completion of a major applied project, utilizing material learned from a large number of previous courses.


Class Hours: Th 7:20 – 10:00 pm, Enterprise 274


Pre-requisites:  OR 541, 542


Instructor:             John Shortle



                        Science & Tech II, room 313

                        Office hours:   Tu / Th 1:30 pm – 3pm


Textbook:         None


Course Requirements.

The main activity in this course is a group project.  In the first or second week of class, each student will give a 10-15 minute presentation on a project idea.  Students will then select the most promising ideas as projects and will organize themselves into groups.  Each group will have 3-4 students.  Different groups will work on different projects.  Students from different degree programs may work jointly on a project, but students’ contribution to their project must reflect their individual areas of studies. 


Students are encouraged to use ideas from work as a basis for a project.  However, the project must be separate from work.  In other words, students cannot be paid for working on their project.  The project must be in addition to employment.


As part of their work, each group will establish and maintain a web page describing their project.  Each group will submit a final report at the end of the semester.  In addition, each group will give final presentantions to the department faculty.  Part of each student’s grade will be based on the evaluation by the faculty.  Finally, there will be interim reports and presentation due throughout the semester.

Student Evaluation Criteria


Final report


Final presentation


Web page


Class participation


Intermediate reports / presentations




OR 680

Schedule for Spring 2002 (Tentative)


Thu. Jan. 24

Course introduction

Student proposal presentations

Thu. Jan. 31

Student proposal presentations

Formation of groups

Thu. Feb. 7

Finalization of groups

Thu. Feb. 14

Preliminary update presentations

Thu. Feb. 21

Preliminary update presentations

Preliminary reports due

Thu. Feb. 28


Thu. Mar. 7

Project web page due

Thu. Mar. 14

Spring Break

Thu. Mar. 21

Interim presentations

Thu. Mar. 28

Interim presentations

Mid-reports due

Thu. Apr. 4


Thu. Apr. 11


Thu. Apr. 18

Near-final presentations

Thu. Apr. 25

Near-final presentations

Final reports due

Final web pages due

Fri. May 3

Final presentations

Mon. May 13

Revised final reports due

Revised final web pages due