MA423      Half Unit
Fundamentals of Operations Research

This information is for the 2020/21 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Ahmad Abdi


This course is compulsory on the MSc in Operations Research & Analytics. This course is available on the CEMS Exchange, Global MSc in Management, Global MSc in Management (CEMS MiM), Global MSc in Management (MBA Exchange), MBA Exchange and MSc in Management of Information Systems and Digital Innovation. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.


Students must know basics of Linear Algebra (matrix multiplication, geometric interpretation of vectors), Probability Theory (expected value, conditional probability, independence of random events) and Calculus (derivatives, limits).

Course content

An introduction to a range of Operations Research techniques, covering: foundations of linear programming, including the simplex method and duality; integer programming; markov chains; queueing theory; dynamic programming; inventory models; game theory.


This course is delivered through a combination of classes and lectures totalling a minimum of 30 hours across Michaelmas Term.  This year all of the teaching will be delivered through a combination of virtual seminars and lectures delivered as online videos.

Formative coursework

Students will be expected to produce 3 problem sets in the MT.

Indicative reading

The course will be taught from lecture notes and slides.

Students may also wish to consult:

  • F S Hillier & G J Lieberman, Introduction to Operations Research, 9th edition (2009) (7th edition of Hillier & Lieberman (2000) is also acceptable). 
  • Wayne Winston, Operational Research; Applications and Algorithms, Fourth/International Student Edition.


Exam (100%, duration: 3 hours) in the summer exam period.

Important information in response to COVID-19

Please note that during 2020/21 academic year some variation to teaching and learning activities may be required to respond to changes in public health advice and/or to account for the situation of students in attendance on campus and those studying online during the early part of the academic year. For assessment, this may involve changes to mode of delivery and/or the format or weighting of assessments. Changes will only be made if required and students will be notified about any changes to teaching or assessment plans at the earliest opportunity.

Key facts

Department: Mathematics

Total students 2019/20: 28

Average class size 2019/20: 16

Controlled access 2019/20: Yes

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Problem solving
  • Communication
  • Application of numeracy skills
  • Specialist skills