Review Comment

[IEOR E4611] Decision Model and Applications

January 24, 2014

Webster, Anthony Silver_nugget
[IEOR E4611] Decision Model and Applications

Please keep in mind that this review is more than 5 years old.

This class is a lot like IEORE4004: Deterministic Models, but more focused in scale on optimization. The material is presented very well and the class as a whole is well structured. There is a methodical flow to the material that is presented and a smooth transition between the lecture to the homework assignments. Some lectures are dry while others are very interesting. Prof. Webster does a good job of breaking down the thought process behind why certain companies make certain choices hence the name of the course. He is also approachable and entertaining.

The projects and skills learned in this course are very useful down the road. I was able to use the mean-variance portfolio project and crystal ball simulation skills to do the final project of another course. I highly recommend taking this course if only to learn how to use high-powered software to make optimization and simulation models easier.

The coursework is not easy. There is an entire lecture dedicated to presentation preparation and it factors a lot into your midterm grade. Don't expect to give MBA levels of buzzword spouting, but be sure to be concise and thorough in your presentations. This is the most challenging and important part of the entire class. It will make your presentation creation and delivery all that much better in the future. The grading is lenient as well, but there's no room for hand-waviness as every assignment has an attached grade used to calculate the final letter. Participation is important but will factor in only 5% of your grade so make sure that you check your work.

The projects are done in a group format and they will take a lot of time. You get to select your topic and the groups are chosen in class so don't worry about being left out to dry. In the semester I took, we weren't able to do the final presentation, so your slide content and additional spreadsheets are that much more important.

The final exam was supposed to be in class for 3 hours, but Prof couldn't attend so he let us do it take-home style and submit it online. This isn't necessarily a good thing. He gives you 24 hours to complete it; I took 18 out of those 24 hours to complete it. Make sure you are very organized and save every thing you are given (notes, handouts, etc.) and everything you do (homeworks, projects, etc.) in a folder for quick reference.

The textbook itself is not so great as it's missing a lot of content that you need to fill-in during lecture. It's too expensive.

Workload:

~10 Homeworks (25%)
2 Projects (50% at 25% each)
1 Final Exam (20%)
Participation (5%)

Directory Data

Dept/Subj Directory Course Professor Year Semester Time Section
IEOR / IEOR IEOR IEOR E4611: Decision Models and Applic Anthony Webster 2012 Spring MW / 2:40- 3:55 PM 1
IEOR / IEOR IEOR IEOR E4611: Decision Models and Applic Anthony Webster 2011 Spring TR / 2:40- 3:55 PM 1
IEOR / IEOR IEOR IEOR E4611: Decision Models and Applic Anthony Webster 2010 Spring TR / 1:10- 2:25 PM 1