MgS 4120. Optimal Resource Allocation
Syllabus
Spring, 2010

Dr. Whalen 840 RCB (35 Broad Street) 
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here for schedule 
Please email me at

4120 
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Prerequisite: Advanced Spreadsheet Skills (CSP
1, 3, 4, 7)
Required Text:
Linear Programming Fundamentals. Whalen & Churchill,
available online: see links from
schedule
The entire class web structure accessable from the schedule,
is also essential reading for the course.
Catalog Descriptions
MgS 4120  Optimal Resource Allocation.
Prerequisite: DSc 3120 or MgS 3100 CSP: 1, 3, 4, 7. Requires a 2.5 GSU GPA.
This course focuses on optimization modeling and sensitivity analysis
to
help managers craft wellformed, welljustified decisions. Students
design
optimization models for realistic cases, implement them using
spreadsheets, and write the results in the form of a nontechnical
recommendation to management backed up by clearly organized technical
appendices.
Detailed Course Description
The course begins by considering a very simple linear resource
allocation problem to introduce linear programming, dimensional
analysis, and sensitivity analysis in a simple setting.
Progressively more complex resource
allocation problems illustrate slack and surplus variables, allocating
financial
resources and formulation issues
The next section considers blending problems, especially problems in
which there is some flexibility in the ingredients of two or more
products.
Personnel shift coverage problems and assignment problems are important
in themselves and also provide an introduction to the use of matrices
in
linear programming. Next come multiperiod inventory, single
&
multiperiod Finance, and production, inventory, and finance all
together.
Linear transportation models lead into a section on capacitated
transshipment, shortest route & maximal flow problems. These are
presented in a context of supply chain management. The problem of
warehouse location in twostage supply chain optimization provides an
introduction to integer programming.
Quadratic programming is introduced in a context of financial
portfolios , and a synthesis of quadratic and integer programming is
presented in the context of price determination. General
nonlinear programming is introduces in the context of optimal order
quantity (which is mathematically the same as optimal production runs).
The course concludes with a unit on goal programming to balance
conflicting objectives. Fuzzy linear programming is briefly
introduced in the
context of goal programming.
Learning Outcomes/Course Objectives
At the conclusion of this course, the student should be able to:
Determine whether a particular business case or situation calls for
an
optimization model
Choose an appropriate linear, nonlinear, dynamic, or fuzzy
optimization technique
Implement an optimization model to inform the business decision
making process.
Write a clear complete cogent presentation of the results of a
mathematical programming analysis
Methods of Instruction
Instruction is by lecture and discussion, plus inclass
exercises. Homework projects are also integral to the
instruction, and students are strongly encouraged to use the
instructor as a resource throughout these projects via email and other
methods.
Grading Criteria
Grading will be based on four components, weighted as follows:
* 30% Homework Assignments
* 20% InClass Midterm Exam
* 20% Takehone Comprehensive Final Exam
* 30% Project
HoMework
Assignments:
Homework assignments are integral to the instruction, and
students are strongly encouraged to use the instructor as a resource
throughout these projects via email and other methods.
If homework is turned in on time, you get a "second chance" to redo it
after getting it back; the final grade for the homework will be the
average of the
two tries or A, whichever is lower. (Thus, if you get A
the
first time there's no incentive to redo.) Late homework is
assessed a onestep penalty per class period late (for example, A
becomes A,
A becomes B+, and so on), and there is no second chance on late
homework.
I welcome specific questions about the homework; email your questions
to
4120 [at] whalen3 [dot] org
"Tell me how to do this assignment so I don't have to think for myself"
or
"Here's my answer; grade it ahead of time so I can get an extra free
redo
if it's wrong" do not qualify as "specific questions."
You mist work individually on the
homework. Copying another's work, knowingly or negligently
allowing another to copy
yours, or collaborating on a rough draft you both copy from will all
result
in a grade of F for the entire course. This includes computer
work.
In Class Midterm:
The midterm is multiplechoice, based on
interpretation of Excel printouts (Including sensitivity analysis)
Comprehensive
Final Exam:
The takehome final will include some
problems you must set
up (including a formal dimensional analysis), some setup problems you
must enter
into Excel and solve, and some solved problems you must write a clear
and
cogent explanation of (including a formal dimensional analysis).
You
will not have to do all three parts of any one problem.
You mist work individually on the
exam. Copying another's work, knowingly or negligently
allowing another to copy
yours, or collaborating on a rough draft you both copy from will all
result
in a grade of F for the entire course. This includes computer
work.
Project
The project for MgS 4120 is a part of the University's "Critical
Thinking Through Writing" initiative. Your project, based
on parts a through e of the Virulence project at the end of the Whalen
& Churchill textbook available online, is in three parts. I
have provided a cover sheet for each part, which you should turn in as
the first page of each submission; it has a place for your name and the
details of how I will grade the work. (In education jargon, this
is called a "rubric.") I will use it to show you how your
particular grade was assessed.
In part 1 of the project you will answer question a of the exercise and
write a first draft of an executive summary. In part 2 you will
correct the errors, if any, in part a, do parts b through e, and write
a second draft of the executive summary. In Part 3, all you turn
in is the third cover sheet and the final version of the executive
summary. (You don't have to do parts f and g, and won't get any
extra credit if you do.)
By the University's definition, assignments that focus on critical
thinking as demonstrated through writing are assignments that use
writing to help students develop the "wide range of cognitive skills
and intellectual dispositions needed to effectively identify, analyze,
and evaluate arguments and truth claims; to discover and overcome
illfounded presuppositions ["personal prejudices" in the original]; to
formulate and present convincing reasons in support of conclusions; and
to make reasonable, intelligent decisions about what to believe and
what to do." (Bassham, Irwin, Nardone & Wallace, Critical Thinking:
A Student's Introduction (McGrawHill, 2005) page 1.)
I have changed "personal
prejudices" to "illfounded presuppositions"
since I doubt many of you have "personal prejudices" in the usual sense
of the phrase about the subject matter of this course, but there will
be times that your initial way of thinking about a situation may need to be discarded
as you delve deeper.
The project must be submitted on standard lettersize PAPER;
it is your responsibility to get it properly formatted and printed
out. When printing spreadsheets, use landscape or portrait
printing, fonts, page break control, and whatever else is needed to
produce something that is
very easy to read. It will probably take more than
one
attempt.
The most important component of the project report is
the executive
summary. This should be in the form of a
memo to the management of the enterprise in question presenting a
recommendation for action based on all the analysis you have done,
together with a clear, cogent, concise, and nontechnical summary of
the justification for this recommendatio
If you are not familiar with the word "cogent," look it
up in a couple
of different good dictionaries.
I will not
accept any project emailed in Word and/or Excel formats under any
circumstances. (Email in pdf format or fax to 16266052586 are
OK.)
Reading Assignments
The general rule of thumb for university courses is two
hours
of preparation outside class for every hour in class; in other words,
five
hours out of class for each 2.5 hour class. If you come to class
without
having read the assigned textbook pages and websites beforehand, you
will
get much less benefit from the lecture . It's perfectly OK if you do
not
completely UNDERSTAND the readings before class; at least you'll have a
moreorless
vague idea of what the questions are. If you come to class honestly
confused
about the material, you will probably leave class with some real
understanding,
but if you don't do the readings ahead of time you will come to class
in
blissful ignorance and leave confused.
The best way to study the material, both for preclass
preparation and postclass review, is to work the problems and
recreate the spreadsheets.
Course Outline: Click
here for schedule