Courses & Units

Operations Research 2 KMA255


This unit teaches students 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 optimization problems, modelling, and simulation. This unit provides necessary background in probability and graph theory, and then using those tools introduces students to methods in modelling stochastic systems as Discrete Time Markov Chains, and analysing their expected behaviour. It also gives students tools, such as the Simplex Method, to solve Linear Programming optimization and Transportation problems, and heuristic methods to solve computationally intractable problems like the Travelling Salesman Problem. This unit is a required component of the Statistics and Decision Science major in the BSc.


Unit name Operations Research 2
Unit code KMA255
Credit points 12.5
College/School College of Sciences and Engineering
School of Natural Sciences
Discipline Mathematics
Coordinator Professor Michael Charleston
Available as an elective? Yes
Delivered By University of Tasmania
Level Intermediate


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 26/2/2024 22/3/2024 15/4/2024 2/6/2024

* 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 (refer to How do I withdraw from a unit? for more information).

Unit census dates currently displaying for 2024 are indicative and subject to change. Finalised census dates for 2024 will be available from the 1st October 2023. Note census date cutoff is 11.59pm AEST (AEDT during October to March).

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 standard techniques.
  • Select and apply standard heuristic methods to computationally intractable problems in operations research.
  • Interpret and communicate mathematical arguments using appropriate terminology and notation, as they relate to problems in operations research.

Fee Information

The 2024 Commonwealth Supported Place (CSP) rates are still being finalised by the Government and we will update the domestic fee information as soon as we have more details.



Any KMA unit


Teaching Pattern

3 x 1-hr lectures, 1 x 1-hr tutorial, 1x 1-hr workshop / computer lab

AssessmentQuiz 1: Probability and Basics of Graphs (5%)|Assignment 1 (10%)|Assignment 2 (10%)|Lab exercises (10%)|Tutorial Exercises (10%)|Quiz 2: Discrete Time Markov Chains (15%)|Examination (40%)
TimetableView the lecture timetable | View the full unit timetable



Required readings will be listed in the unit outline prior to the start of classes.

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