Featured module: Operational research and Monte Carlo methods

Operational research is a branch of mathematics that uses advanced analytical methods to help make better decisions in areas such as transportation, management, scheduling, credit scoring, marketing, defence and peace keeping, to name just a few.

This module gives you experience in applying mathematics to real-life problems and develop practical skills that can be used directly in a workplace. It also allows you to refine your communication skills and to practice cooperation with others through teamwork as well as to develop professional awareness in relation to your career plans.

On this module you will work on an open-ended case study inspired by real-life problems and developed in cooperation with companies such as Babcock Intl.

In particular, you learn how to perform risk analysis using MS Excel and gain skills in advanced spreadsheet modelling which are highly sought after in the graduate job market.

Moreover, you gain experience in modelling queuing systems which is a branch of operational research concerned with problems involving queuing or waiting. Examples include call centres, airports, supermarket check-out systems and manufacturing lines. You will use professional software SIMUL8 to model the behaviour of such systems and predict their performance if a change in traffic occurs.

You'll also learn how to solve linear programming problems using the Python language. An example of a linear programming problem is finding the cheapest way to supply orders to many customers from the different warehouses that a company owns. This type of mathematics is important to increase the profits of companies, which export goods, if for example the custom arrangements between countries change. You also learn how to use SQL to extract data from database.

The topics include:

  • risk analysis using advanced spreadsheet modelling
  • applied queuing systems using the professional software SIMUL8
  • solving linear and integer programming problems using Python
  • an introduction to using SQL to extract data from a database.