The final project for this course involves writing a paper and giving a talk on a topic related to Operations Research. You can work in groups
of 2 or 3 people, or you can work by yourself. Here is some basic information:
The presentations will occur on Nov. 28, Nov. 30, Dec. 5, and Dec. 7. The paper will be due on
Wednesday, December 14.
- The talk should be about 5 minutes + 5 minutes/person (for example, one person should give a 10 minute talk, and two people should give a 15 minute talk).
- The paper should be about 2–4 pages + 2 pages/person (for example, one person should write a 4–6 page paper, and two people should write a 6–8 page paper).
- The presentation must use computer slides, and the paper must be typed.
Your talk should focus on explaining the main ideas of your topic clearly, so that the audience (the other members of the class) can understand it. The more technical and complicated parts should go in the paper rather than the talk.
When writing the paper, try to write what you wish the author had written. To get other perspectives on the topic, I recommend looking up further information on the topic in another book or online.
- November 14: Tell me which topic you are doing, and who is in your group. (Each group needs to choose a different topic, so that all of the presentations are different.)
- Nov. 28, Nov. 30, Dec. 5, Dec. 7: Presentations occur.
- December 14: Paper due.
Here are some possible topics. If you have ideas for other topics, come talk to me.
- Applications of Operations Research: Find a paper that uses Operations Research. There are many examples in the textbook in the Application Vignettes (which are all listed in Table 1.1). Each Application Vignette includes a reference to a paper.
- A Topic from the Textbook: There are many topics in our textbook that we won't have time to cover. Here are some that I think would make good projects. If you see something else in the book that you are interested in that isn't listed below, come talk to me.
Markov Chains (Chapter 16)
Queuing Theory (Chapter 17)
- Inventory Theory (Chapter 18)
Simulation (Chapter 19)
- The Network Simplex Algorithm (Section 9.7)
- An Interior Point Algorithm (Section 7.4)
- Parametric Linear Programming (Section 7.2)
- Simulated Annealing (Section 13.3)
- Genetic Algorithms (Section 13.4)
- Game Theory Topics: We covered a very small part of game theory in class. There is much more than can be said on game theory. Here are some possible topics:
Finding Nash Equilibria (stable solutions) in non-zero sum games — I recommend looking in the book Game Theory and Strategy by Philip D. Straffin, which is available in the library.
The Prisoner's Dilemma (and the Repeated or Iterated Prisoner's Dilemma)
— I recommend looking in the book Games of Strategy by Dixit and Skeath, which is available in the library.
Voting Theory — I recommend looking at the book Chaotic Elections! by Donald G. Saari, which is available in the library.
- Combinatorial Optimization: We covered a few algorithms for solving optimization problems on graphs, but there are many more. Here are a few possible topics:
- Max Flow/Min Cut — I recommend looking at Section 9.5 of the textbook and also looking at the book Introduction to Graph Theory by Douglas B. West (which is available in the library).
Stable Matchings See the book Introductory Combinatorics by Brualdi, which is available in the library.
- Eulerian Cycles and the Chinese Postman Problem — I recommend looking in the book Introduction to Graph Theory by Douglas B. West (which is available in the library).