For Students

December 15th, 2017

Course Objectives

  • To apply the principles of management science to problems in industry and government
  • Learn to acquire, design, execute, and manage an actual consulting project

Each student will complete a senior design project, which involves a “real world” application of the techniques of operations research and engineering management. The student is to:

  1. Identify an appropriate project,
  2. Design and solve a model or system for a client organization,
  3. Prepare a management report,
  4. Make a project presentation, and
  5. Deliver the presentation and report to the client

The project report and presentation will constitute the entire grade. Below is a description of the report and presentation, and the evaluation criteria. Group projects are allowed and encouraged, but the standards are higher than for individual projects.

The class will meet during the first portion of the semester to: review application areas, identify topics, survey software systems and go over the project management process. In addition, there may be visiting speakers from industry (attendance required).

After the introductory part of the course, class will be held for group presentations and guest speakers. Weekly progress reports are required, and students will meet primarily with the instructor on an individual basis for project assistance. Each team or person will make a mid-term presentation on the status of their project.

At the end of the semester, presentations will be scheduled as described below, and the final report turned in for evaluation.

The Design Project

The purpose of this project is to demonstrate on an actual problem or problem type your expertise in model design and analysis using the management science skills developed during your program of undergraduate study. The grade for the project will constitute your entire course grade.

The project will consist of a presentation and a written report. The presentation will be approximately 20 minutes in length (longer with group projects) and will be given the last week(s) of class and during the the time allotted for the final exam. A typical presentation is described below. The faculty of the EMIS department have expressed a strong interest in your projects and often attend the presentations.

The written report is due at the time set for our final. It should be typed and spiral bound, using departmental cover sheets. A suggested outline and topics to be included are described below.

Choosing a Topic

The best topic is one that is of personal interest to you. Students have worked on ideas from companies where they or a friend have worked, from family businesses, and from companies that they were simply interested in. Your instructor also will have ideas for projects. You are assured of having a good topic.

When talking to potential clients about a project, send them to the

  • Call for Projects page:  smu.edu/srdesign

It has information to help clients understand how the course works and what is and is not a suitable project.

See the links below for sources of project ideas.

 

Next: Written Report

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