One module in the second year of the mathematics program is called: Operational Research and Monte Carlo methods. This is a very applied module, because the methods of operational research involve using mathematics to help companies to make more profitable decisions. Half the course is taught via case studies. We like to try to make the case studies as realistic as possible.
At the end of the module the students could:
- Structure and analyse quantitative problems using MS Excel;
- Demonstrate an understanding of the notion of statistical risk;
- Simulate the behaviour of stochastic systems using the spreadsheet;
- Summarise the results numerically and graphically and communicate them through an oral presentation.
Suppose that the students are analysts in the Defence Systems Technology department in a large company that provides equipment support and vehicle fleet management to its clients, among other things. They have been asked to analyse the data on the usage of a number of vehicle parts and to make some predictions for the future.