Courses & Units

Operations Research 2 KMA255




This unit teaches student skills and techniques that are used to answer practical questions arising in Operations Research.  These questions typically also arise in Engineering, Management, Finance, Economics and Teaching.  For example, "How long do I expect to have to wait for the next bus?" "How should I balance the products my factory makes, to maximise my profit?" and "What is the best way to send electricity from this set of power stations to these homes, to minimise power loss?"

Operations Research includes the solution of  optimisation problems, modelling and simulation.  This unit introduces students to methods in modelling stochastic systems as Discrete Time Markov Chains and analysing their expected behaviour.  It also gives students the tools such as the Simplex Method, to solve Lin-ear Programming Optimisation and Transportation problems.  Further the students will be taught methods in simulation of these systems, to reveal how different behaviours can emerge.

The major practical tools and theoretical results in this unit rely on some theoretical concepts in probability, such as fundamental laws of probability, the Binomial and Geometric distributions and initial topics in Graph Theory: these will be covered as they are needed.  Students will learn how to competently use MATLAB and other appropriate software for the derivation of the numerical solutions.


Unit name Operations Research 2
Unit code KMA255
Credit points 12.5
Faculty/School College of Sciences and Engineering
School of Natural Sciences
Discipline Mathematics

Teaching staff

Assoc Prof M Charleston, Assoc Prof B Holland

Level Intermediate
Available as student elective? Yes
Breadth Unit? No


Location Study period Attendance options Available to
Hobart Semester 1 On-Campus International Domestic


International students
Domestic students

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Key Dates

Study Period Start date Census date WW date End date
Semester 1 22/2/2021 23/3/2021 12/4/2021 30/5/2021

* The Final WW Date is the final date from which you can withdraw from the unit without academic penalty, however you will still incur a financial liability (see withdrawal dates explained for more information).

About Census Dates

Learning Outcomes


Explain and apply fundamentals of probability and graph theory relevant to operations research.


Analyse short- and long- term behaviour of discrete time Markov chains.


Solve problems in linear programming using appropriate techniques.


Select and apply standard heuristic methods to computationally intractable problems in operations research.


Interpret and clearly communicate mathematical arguments as they relate to problems in operations research.


Field of Education Commencing Student Contribution 1 Grandfathered Student Contribution 1 Approved Pathway Course Student Contribution 2 Domestic Full Fee
010101 $493.00 $493.00 not applicable $2,402.00

1 Please refer here more information on student contribution amounts.
2 Information on eligibility and Approved Pathway courses can be found here
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Please note: international students should refer to this page to get an indicative course cost.



  • Any Introductory unit in Mathematics


Mutual Exclusions

You cannot enrol in this unit as well as the following:


Teaching Pattern

3x1-hr lectures, 1-hr tutorial, 1-hr lab session weekly


3-hr exam (60%), assignments (40%)

TimetableView the lecture timetable | View the full unit timetable



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