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AUBURN AGEC 7100 - Syllabus

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Class Syllabus AGEC-7100, Operations Research Methods in Agricultural Economics Dr. Patricia A. Duffy Comer Hall, room 310, 844-5629 [email protected] Time: Mondays and Wednesdays, 3:30 to 4:45 pm* Office Hours: Mondays and Wednesdays 2 to 3:15 p.m. or by appointment Place: Comer Hall, room 307 Dates: August 17 (first class) through December 12 (final exam date) * If class size remains small, class hours may be flexible Class website: Primary Texts: Applied Mathematical Programming Using Algebraic Systems. Bruce McCarl and Thomas Spreen. Available free as a pdf file from (link is on the class website) Introduction to Operations Research, Frederick Hillier and Gerald Lieberman. McGraw-Hill. This book is very expensive. I will make a copy available for your use. If you plan to use Operations Research extensively in your research career, you may want to buy your own copy at some point. It can be ordered from the company or from a web-based bookstore. Prerequisites: Graduate standing. Students who do not have familiarity with matrix algebra will probably need to work more closely with the instructor during the early stages of the class to complete the assignments. Class Objective: To introduce students to mathematical programming, emphasizing modeling, interpretation and problem analysis. The primary focus of the course will be on linear programming methods, including integer programming and MOTAD modeling. As time allows, we will look at dynamic programming and simulation techniques. Goals for Student Learning: After completing the course, students should: 1. Understand the basic mathematical logic underlying programming techniques. 2. Understand the operations research approach to research problems involving decision making. 3. Be familiar with some quantitative decision-making tools and models and know how to choose from among them in selecting the best tool or model for solving a specific problem. 4. Be able to formulate a problem, solve it, and interpret the solution.Software: This is not a computer programming class, but solving most operations research problems will require considerable use of computer software. Students may use any software system they are comfortable with to solve the homework problems. Solver (a tool in Excel available in the 3rd floor Comer Hall computer lab) is easy to use for basic linear programming models. SAS OR, LINDO’s “What’s Best,” MPSX or GAMS may also be used for assignments. I can assist with SAS, “What’s Best,” and MPSX modeling but have no familiarity with GAMS. Information on GAMS is available on the web site of Dr. Bruce McCarl, for students who wish to use this package. Grading Policy Your grade will be based on the following work. Mid-term exam 25% Homework assignments 25% Paper proposal 25% Final Exam 25% Grading Scale 85.0 -100 A 70.0 - 84.9 B 50.0 - 69.9 C 30.0 - 49.9 D 0.0-29.9 F General Policies Grading Disputes: If you think there is a mistake in the grading of a test or assignment, please inform me as soon as possible, and certainly before the next week has passed. Disputes about grading are handled the following way: The student will write a note to me, explaining the problem he or she perceives with the grading. I will take the assignment up again, and re-evaluate the question. If I have, in fact, made a mistake, I will correct the grade. If I hold to my original grading, I will provide a written explanation. If the student is still not satisfied, he or she should see me in my office so I can provide further explanation. If the student is still not satisfied, he or she should consult the Tiger Cub and follow the procedures therein. A missed exam or homework will be assigned a grade of zero, unless a student has a university-approved excuse, as listed in the Tiger Cub. Excused Absences: If you know you will have a conflict with an exam or assignment date, please see me well beforehand to arrange a make-up test or extension of the assignments. (Make-ups and extensions will be granted in accordance with Tiger Cub policies.) At a minimum, Irequest one-week notice for an excused absence for any scheduled event, such as a field trip or court appearance. Excuses require documentation. Sudden Illness: Students missing the final exam because of sudden illness will need to see their dean’s office to get permission to reschedule. For a late homework assignment or missed mid-term, you may directly provide me with the medical note. Family Emergencies: The death or serious illness of a member of the student's immediate family is also grounds for an excused absence. In such cases, the student should provide me with a letter (on office stationery) from the dean's office as verification of the emergency. If you need leave or extensions for a family emergency, please do not hesitate to see our dean about the situation. Make-Up Exams: A make-up exam will be provided for a student with a validated, university-approved excuse for missing the original exam. It is the student's responsibility to get in touch with me as soon as possible after the missed exam (or beforehand if the excused absence is for a scheduled event). (See the information on "sudden illness" above.) Labs: The homework assignments will require use of the computer. Some computer labs may be held during normal class hours, if needed, or outside class hours for special help. Homework: Operations research is a "hands on" subject. Numerous homework assignments will be given to aid students in understanding the material. It is your responsibility to ensure that your graded homework is returned to you. If you believe I have made a mistake grading your homework, follow the procedures described above for exams. As I am not infallible, students should retain all graded work in case there is a question about my recording of grades at the end of the semester. Paper Proposal: As part of the grade for this class, students will develop a paper proposal for a professional meeting, such as the Southeast Decision Sciences Institute, with the goal of submission and presentation, if accepted. Students do not need to submit

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