Project

You are strongly encouraged to work in teams of four or fewer on the project.  An individual working alone or a team of two or three is expected to do just as well as a quartet; a group of five is expected to perform significantly better than a quartet.

The project must be submitted on standard letter-size 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 easily readable.  It will probably take more than one attempt.

Pick one of the cases from the course pack, the Virulence case at the end of the textbook, or else negotiate a special project with me well ahead of time.

Preliminary Report

Early in the course, you must make a preliminary written and oral presentation of your project WITHOUT NUMBERS.  Specify who needs to decide what and why, and give a NON QUANTITATIVE presentation of what they want to maximize or minimize subject to what kinds of constraints.

Final Report

For each model you create for your case, include a page that specifies the objective function and a list of definitions of all decision variables, supplementary variables, parameters, and constraints.  In addition to this, you must also include clear labeling on the spreadsheet itself.  Include and interpret the answer report and, if appropriate, the sensitivity report.

The most important component of the project report is the executive summary.  This should be in the form of a one page single-spaced 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 non-technical summary of the justification for this recommendation.

If your executive summary fails to achieve these goals, your project will receive a failing grade even if all of the spreadsheets are technically correct!

Each team must present a BRIEF oral presentation of the project results on the last day of class.  The most important thing is to demonstrate that you understand what's important enough about the project to include in a ten minute summary.

Hand in your project with the executive summary first, followed by a table of contents and reports of each optimization model, all held together with a single staple in the upper left hand corner.  Please do not use report covers.  Also email me the spreadsheet(s).  In cases of extreme hardship I will accept projects by fax or by entail PDF format only.  I will not accept any project writeup emailed in Word and/or Excel formats under any circumstances. It will be graded zero.