Call for Projects

July 7th, 2021

Senior Design Project Flyers for Clients (PDF):

Each spring at SMU’s Lyle School of Engineering, teams of Management Science seniors perform pro bono analytics consulting projects for local industry, government, and non-profit organizations. The objective of their EMIS 4395 Senior Design course is to put into practice the quantitative decision-modeling, analytics, and data science methods that they have been studying, as a preview of life after graduation.

Under the direction of their supervising professor, these groups typically:

  • meet with client organizations to define and scope a project,
  • design solution approaches,
  • collect empirical data,
  • develop and implement models,
  • test and validate the models,
  • apply the models to the empirical data,
  • draw conclusions, and
  • prepare recommendations for their clients.

Typical deliverables to the client are:

  • a final report
  • formal presentation
  • any software created and data gathered

Client responsibilities:

  • have suitable semester-long project involving mathematical or statistical modeling
  • have time to meet with team
  • provide helpful feedback

Appropriate Topics

A senior design project involves the application of quantitative analytical methods (that is, has a mathematical or statistical dimension) for optimization, prediction, or decision-making. The topic can be accomplished in three months and is typically not mission-critical to the client. See the Frequently Asked Questions document for additional details.

Example Topic Areas

  • Forecasting models
  • Decision analysis applications
  • Optimization models
  • Supply-chain management
  • Distribution & logistics systems
  • Network optimization
  • Integrated production and distribution models
  • Facilities location and layout
  • Non-repetitive operations methods: job-lot manufacturing, aggregate scheduling, job sequencing and scheduling
  • Repetitive operations management: line-balancing techniques, queuing/waiting lines
  • Computer-based simulation models
  • Project Management
  • Inventory/materials management
  • MRP systems
  • Just-in-time systems
  • Quality management/control
  • Statistical quality control
  • Process improvement and cycle time reduction
  • Benchmarking
  • System engineering and design
  • Financial engineering
  • Decision-support systems
  • Economic analyses
  • Business process modeling

Example Projects

Many previous projects are profiled on other pages of this site, some of which include copies of final reports and client presentations. Other example projects are described at:

Client Protection

Protection of client data and processes is a priority for the instructors and student teams. If the data is sensitive, a solution can be developed and tested on masked/redacted/scaled, hypothetical, old non-sensitive, or publicly available data sets. The client can later apply the solution system to operating data. If the project involves a proprietary or sensitive process, we can mask the organization’s name, not publish the results, and, if necessary, sign a non- disclosure agreement in which clients must approve any releases of information. Students will need to be able to present their results to the rest of the class but must receive the client’s advance approval of the presentation.

Contacts and Further Information

If you are interested in a management science team this spring for your organization, contact one of the current or upcoming instructors, listed here.

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