MA213      Half Unit
Operations Research Techniques

This information is for the 2022/23 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Gregory Sorkin


This course is available on the BSc in Accounting and Finance, BSc in Data Science, BSc in Econometrics and Mathematical Economics, BSc in Economics, BSc in Management, BSc in Mathematics and Economics, BSc in Mathematics with Economics and BSc in Mathematics, Statistics and Business. This course is available as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit. This course is available with permission to General Course students.


Mathematics, Statistics and Probability Theory to the level of the courses Quantitative Methods (Mathematics) (MA107) and Quantitative Methods (Statistics) (ST107) is required. In particular, students should have covered elementary distribution theory and the Poisson Process, and have an elementary knowledge of linear algebra and calculus.

Course content

An introduction to the main methodologies in Operations Research and their theoretical foundation.

Linear Optimisation: from the most basic introduction to sufficient conditions for optimality; duality; sensitivity of the solution; discovery of the solution to small problems by graphical methods, and proof of optimality by testing the sufficient conditions. Various other operational research techniques such as: Shortest Paths, Critical Path Analysis, Markov Chains, Queueing Theory, Inventory Management, Dynamic Programming.


20 hours of lectures and 10 hours of classes in the MT.

This course is delivered through a combination of lectures and classes, totalling a minimum of 30 hours in Michaelmas Term.

Formative coursework

Students will be expected to produce 10 problem sets in the MT.

Students will be asked to submit weekly homework consisting of problem sets.

Indicative reading

A comprehensive pack of lecture notes will be provided.

The following books may prove useful for some aspects of the course:

- F S Hillier, G J Liebermann, Introduction to Operations Research, McGraw-Hill Series in Industrial Engineering and Management Science. 7th edition or later.

- W L Winston, Operations Research, Duxbury Press (2004).

- W L Winston, S C Albright: Practical Management Science, Cengage Learning. 4th edition or later.


Exam (90%, duration: 2 hours) in the January exam period.
Continuous assessment (10%) in the MT.

Key facts

Department: Mathematics

Total students 2021/22: Unavailable

Average class size 2021/22: Unavailable

Capped 2021/22: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Course selection videos

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Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Problem solving
  • Application of numeracy skills
  • Commercial awareness
  • Specialist skills