OR541: Deterministic Operations Research Models

Systems Engineering and Operations Research Department


Wednesdays, 4:30-7:10p.m.
Robinson Hall A111

Professor Karla L. Hoffman
Office: SciTech Building II, Room 123
Phone: (703)993-1679(direct) or 993-1670 (office)

Office hours: Wednesdays: 1:00-3:00p.m. and by appointment
I am usually on Mondays and Wednesdays from 9:30 to 3:30pm. I can also be available after class on Wednesdays.

Text: W.L. Winston, Operations Research: Applications and Algorithms.  Duxbury Press. Fourth Edition, 2003  (NOTE: Please use 4th Edition -- 3rd edition problem numbers and chapters are different!)

Course Description: This course is designed to introduce deterministic operations research modeling and methodology. It is designed to strengthen the students' knowledge and application of operations research techniques, provide the student with hands-on experience using micro-computer software in the field and to evaluate the applicability of such techniques to industry, government and science. A working knowledge of matrix algebra is essential.  

Software: You will be expected to use a modeling language to complete your project. You need to download:

MPL (Maximal Software Corporation), available by downloading from the internet (http://www.maximal-usa.com). 

Main Goals:   

            To improve decision-making with operations principles and methods, specifically:

To learn about a broad range of contemporary operations research methods and their applications to the real world.

To learn about the role of uncertainty and use of data in decision-making

To learn to communicate effectively

Basic Skills: 

Formulating basic optimization problems and solving them using a modeling language

Understanding the effects of uncertainty in decision-making.

Homework and Grading:

Homework problems will be assigned at each session.  Some or all of the assignments will be collected and graded.

There will be one in-class midterm exam and the final will also be in class.  All exams will be open book and open notes.

There will also be one project that will require the formulation and solution to an optimization problem.

Grades will be computed as follows:

The midterm will count as 30%,

            The project will count for 20%,

Homework will count 15%, and

The final will be worth the remaining 35%. 

Course Outline:

The course will include all or part of the following chapters from the Winston text, covered in the indicated sequence. The exact scheduling will depend upon the interests of the class, which will determine the amount of time that will be devoted to each topic.

             WEEK                       CHAPTER(S)                                                TOPIC            

            Week One                   Chap.1, 2, 3-1 to 3-4               Introduction to operations research & linear programming.

            Week Two                   Chap. 3                                    Formulation techniques and graphing

            Week Three                 Chap. 4-1 to 4-7                      The Simplex Method

            Week Four                   Chap 4-8 to 4-12                     More Simplex Method             

            Week Five                   Chap. 6-1 to 6-2                      Sensitivity Analysis & Duality

            Week Six                     Chap. 6-3 to 6-10                    More Sensitivity Analysis

            Week Seven                 Chap. 7-1 to 7-5                      The Transportation Problem

Week Eight                 Handout on Networks                        Networks

Week Nine                   Chap. 9-1 to 9-2                     Begin Integer Programming

            Week Ten                    Chap. 9-3 to 9-8                      Integer Programming Methods

            Week Eleven               MIDTERM EXAM                EXAM (Does not cover Integer Programming)

            Week Twelve               Chap. 12-1 to 12-3                  Introduction to Nonlinear Programming

            Week Thirteen              Chap. 12-4 to 12-8                  Nonlinear Programming

            Week Fourteen            Review

            Week Fifteen                Final Exam 

Fundamental Rules: 

(1) Make-up exams will only be given for extreme situations, and only if I am contacted before the exam is given and full arrangements are established.  Full adherence to this policy is the responsibility of the student.

(2) The exam dates above are tentative, and it is the student's responsibility to keep abreast of changes.

(3) Homework will be assigned each class, and usually collected.  All work must be clearly written.  Illegible work will not be accepted.

(4) There is a penalty of 10% of the total grade for each day that the homework is late.