The objective of this unit is to introduce students to the quantitative modelling techniques commonly used by executives in decision making and the application of IT tools to real-world decision making situations. Techniques covered typically include decision making under uncertainty, linear and nonlinear programming, sequential decision making, forecasting, and simulation. Upon the completion of this unit, the students are expected to recognise a complex decision making situation and to build a corresponding quantitative model. They are also expected to solve the model by applying techniques covered in this unit, to interpret results and finally, to provide analyst-type recommendations. The unit includes extensive use of advanced modelling tools available in Microsoft Excel as well as some VBA programming.
2 hrs lectures/wk, 2 hrs laboratories/wk
Students will be expected to spend a total of 12 hours per week during semester on this unit.
Examination (2 hours): 60%; In-semester assessment: 40%
|Assessment Task||Value||Due Date|
|Assignment 1||15%||20th April 2012|
|Assignment 2||5%||11th May 2012|
|Tests during class||10% in total||During Lecture, Weeks 4, 8, 11 and 12.|
|Tutorial Participation||10%||All tutorials|
|Examination 1||60%||To be advised|
Monash is committed to excellence in education and regularly seeks feedback from students, employers and staff. One of the key formal ways students have to provide feedback is through SETU, Student Evaluation of Teacher and Unit. The University's student evaluation policy requires that every unit is evaluated each year. Students are strongly encouraged to complete the surveys. The feedback is anonymous and provides the Faculty with evidence of aspects that students are satisfied and areas for improvement.
For more information on Monash's educational strategy, and on student evaluations, see:
Last year we trialled short, 15 minute, tests on a single topic during lectures. Students preferred this to a single, one hour test. We will retain the short tests this year. Students last year also indicated that they enjoyed more case-oriented problems. More of these will be incorporated into the course this year. We will also continue to develop the process of modelling as a pursuit in its own right.
If you wish to view how previous students rated this unit, please go to
Please check with your lecturer before purchasing any Required Resources. Prescribed texts are available for you to borrow in the library, and prescribed software is available in student labs.
Microsoft Office 2007.
Prescribed texts are available for you to borrow in the library.
Ragsdale. (2011). Spreadsheet Modeling and Decision Analysis. (6th) Thomson Learning.
Calculators (including graphics calculators) may be used in tests and in the exam.
|0||No formal assessment or activities are undertaken in week 0|
|1||Introduction to the course, The role of Management Science in business decision making, Introduction to modelling.||Weekly - Assessment Task 4: Tutorial Participation|
|2||Linear Programming - Modelling and solving problems by hand.|
|3||Linear Programming - Solving problems using Excel.|
|4||Linear programming - Sensitivity analysis and the interpretation of solutions.||Test during lecture 1.|
|5||Integer Linear Programming.|
|7||Decision making under uncertainty.||Assignment 1 due 20th April 2012|
|8||Decision Trees. Decision making using sample information.||Test during lecture 2.|
|10||Simulation.||Assignment 2 due 11th May 2012.|
|11||Time Series Analysis and Forecasting.||Test during lecture 3.|
|12||Review and revision.||Test during lecture 4.|
|SWOT VAC||No formal assessment is undertaken SWOT VAC|
|Examination period||LINK to Assessment Policy: http://policy.monash.edu.au/policy-bank/
*Unit Schedule details will be maintained and communicated to you via your MUSO (Blackboard or Moodle) learning system.
Faculty Policy - Unit Assessment Hurdles (http://www.infotech.monash.edu.au/resources/staff/edgov/policies/assessment-examinations/unit-assessment-hurdles.html)
Modelling and formulation
Interpretation of question. Formulation of solution. Correctness of answer.
It is a University requirement (http://www.policy.monash.edu/policy-bank/academic/education/conduct/plagiarism-procedures.html) for students to submit an assignment coversheet for each assessment item. Faculty Assignment coversheets can be found at http://www.infotech.monash.edu.au/resources/student/forms/. Please check with your Lecturer on the submission method for your assignment coversheet (e.g. attach a file to the online assignment submission, hand-in a hard copy, or use an online quiz).
You must negotiate any extensions formally with your campus unit leader via the in-semester special consideration process: http://www.infotech.monash.edu.au/resources/student/equity/special-consideration.html.
Monash has educational policies, procedures and guidelines, which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University's academic standards, and to provide advice on how they might uphold them.
You can find Monash's Education Policies at:
Key educational policies include:
The University provides many different kinds of support services for you. Contact your tutor if you need advice and see the range of services available at www.monash.edu.au/students. For Sunway see http://www.monash.edu.my/Student-services, and for South Africa see http://www.monash.ac.za/current/
The Monash University Library provides a range of services and resources that enable you to save time and be more effective in your learning and research. Go to http://www.lib.monash.edu.au or the library tab in my.monash portal for more information. At Sunway, visit the Library and Learning Commons at http://www.lib.monash.edu.my/. At South Africa visit http://www.lib.monash.ac.za/.
Academic support services may be available for students who have a disability or medical condition. Registration with the Disability Liaison Unit is required. Further information is available as follows:
Ragsdale C.T. Spreadsheet Modeling & Decision Analysis, 6th edition, Thomson 2011, (Prescribed Textbook).
Anderson, D., Sweeney, D., Williams, T. Quantitative Methods for Business, 8th Edition (or latest edition), 2001, Thomson Learning.
Lapin LL and Whisler WD, "Quantitative Decision Making with Spreadsheet Applications", Seventh Editions, Duxbury Press, 2002
Winston WL, "Operations Research: Applications & Algorithms", 3rd edition, Duxbury Press, 2004
Winston WL and Albright SC, "Practical Management Science: Spreadsheet Modelling and Applications" Third Edition, Duxbury Press, 1997