Discrete Maths and Operations Research

Subject 620-290 (2009)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2009. Search for this in the current handbook

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 2 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2009:

Semester 2, - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

Lectures and practice classes.

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 36 one-hour lectures (three per week), 11 one-hour practice classes (one per week)
Total Time Commitment: 120 hours total time commitment.

One of

  • 620-120 (UMEP Maths for High Achieving Students)(prior to 2008)
  • 620-121 (prior to 2008)
  • 620-140 (prior to 2008)
  • 620-141 (prior to 2008)
  • Calculus 2
  • Accelerated Mathematics 2 (620-158 Mathematics 2 prior to 2009)

Plus one of

  • 620-122 (prior to 2008)
  • 620-142 (prior to 2009)
  • Linear Algebra
  • Accelerated Mathematics 1 (620-157 Mathematics 1 prior to 2009)
  • 620-190 (UMEP Maths for High Achieving Students)
  • 620-192 (prior to 2006)
  • 620-194 (prior to 2006)
  • 620-211 (prior to 2008)
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects:

Students may only gain credit for one of Discrete Maths and Operations Research and 620-261 (prior to 2009)

Core Participation Requirements: It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study and reasonable steps will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact upon their active and safe participation in a subject are encouraged to discuss this with the relevant subject coordinator and the Disability Liaison Unit.


Prof Peter John Forrester, Prof Peter Taylor
Subject Overview:

This subject introduces the essential features of operations research methods, and also introduces the area of discrete mathematics as applied to social sciences. In the operations research part of the subject topics covered include mathematical modelling, linear programming, simplex and revised simplex methods, and duality theory. In discrete mathematics topics covered include scheduling, voting, fair division and bargaining. The subject material has a common theme of applications of mathematics in realistic settings encountered in the business world, industry and day-to-day life.


Students who successfully complete this subject should have

  • comprehended the essential features of problems encountered in Operations Research investigations, as well as those encountered in Discrete Mathematics applied to social sciences;
  • developed basic skills required to construct formal mathematical models for practical optimization problems, and those required to analyze settings from the social sciences;
  • appreciated the extent and limitations of a number of Operations Research techniques with respect to solving real-world optimization problems, and to similarly appreciate the difficulties which arise in formulating solutions to problems in the social sciences.

Up to 50 pages of written assignments 20% (due during semester), a 3-hour written examination 80% (in the examination period).

Prescribed Texts: None
Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

In addition to learning specific skills that will assist students in their future careers in science, they will have the opportunity to develop generic skills that will assist them in any future career path. These include

  • problem-solving skills: the ability to engage with unfamiliar problems and identify relevant solution strategies;
  • analytical skills: the ability to construct and express logical arguments and to work in abstract or general terms to increase the clarity and efficiency of analysis;
  • collaborative skills: the ability to work in a team;
  • time management skills: the ability to meet regular deadlines while balancing competing commitments.

This subject is available for science credit to students enrolled in the BSc (both pre-2008 and new degrees), BASc or a combined BSc course.

A basic knowledge of Matlab such as would be gained by completing 620-142 (prior to 2009), Linear Algebra or Accelerated Mathematics 1 (620-157 Mathematics 1 prior to 2009) will be assumed.

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