MA423      Half Unit
Fundamentals of Operations Research

This information is for the 2021/22 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) and MBA Exchange. 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 seminars and lectures totalling a minimum of 35 hours across Michaelmas Term. This year, all lectures will be recorded and delivered live online. Seminars will be delivered live, and depending on circumstances, they might be held online.

Formative coursework

Students will be expected to produce 10 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.

Course selection videos

Some departments have produced short videos to introduce their courses. Please refer to the course selection videos index page for further information.

Important information in response to COVID-19

Please note that during 2021/22 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 differing needs of students in attendance on campus and those who might be studying online. For example, this may involve changes to the mode of teaching 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 2020/21: 35

Average class size 2020/21: 18

Controlled access 2020/21: Yes

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

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