In the era of Big Data, IT systems contain a lot of data that provide management with good managerial insights about buiness operations and customers. How can such data and insights turn into actionable decisions? More precisely, how may existing policies, plans and schedules be constantly updated to accommodate new requests and events under severe time constraints? Such requirements are becoming increasingly common in the service industry (transport and logistics, health-care, hospitality, to name a few).
In this course, we discuss the inner working of such analytics engines embedded in enterprise systems that provide optimized managerial decision making and decision support. Students will acquire skills for thinking about, understanding, modeling and solving such decision problems. This course complements data analytics courses which are concerned with understanding data. Data + Decisions form a holistic picture for coping with planning and operational problems in business.
This is not a programming course, but a problem-solving course. And unlike a traditional course on Optimization and Algorithm Design, this course will offer a real-world problem-centric rather than algorithm-centric approach.
COURSE GOALS & LEARNING OBJECTIVES
Upon completing the course, students will:
- Master the process to think about resource management problems arising in enterprises (both government and industry), and frame these problems as optimization problems
- Formulate mathematical models for these optimization problems, building on what has been briefly covered in CAT (IS102)
- Apply computationally efficient methods to design and implement solutions for such problems, buiding on what has been covered in Computational Thinking (IS103)
- As an SMU-X course, use the learnt skills to solve a problem sponsored by a real company
Computer as an Analysis Tool AND Computational Thinking
WHAT STUDENTS SAY ABOUT IS 421
"This module has challenge me to apply the skills and concepts I have learnt in class into real world projects. This is probably one of the most challenging module in SMU. Being a SMU-X course, the real life application of concepts is a bonus and definitely relevant for me in the future."
"This is an interesting course as it has given me a better perspective of real world issues and how we can use the different approaches to solve problems. I have also learnt how to draft an optimization model and better appreciate of the concepts taught in computational thinking course and putting it into use."