APMA 120 - Operational Research: Probabilistic Methods-Spring 2011

Instructor: Konstantinos Spiliopoulos

Office: 37 Manning, Room 101
Office Hours: Thursdays 10:30-11:30 unless otherwise specified in class
Email: kspiliop_at_dam.brown.edu
to send me an email replace _at_ by @.


TuTh... 9:00-10:20AM at B+H 153

T.A.: Laura Slivinski

Office hours: Tuesdays 10:30-12:30 in 182 George rm 00 (basement)
Recitation Session: Mondays 3-4:50 in B&H 165

Required Text: An Introduction to Stochastic Modeling, Howard M. Taylor and Samuel Karlin, 3rd Edition, Academic Press
Recommended Texts:

The class will be based mostly on the required text. However, we will use both of the recommended texts for certain parts of the course and for homework problems.

Course Description: Basic probabilistic problems and methods in operations research and management science. Methods of problem formulation and solution. The course will cover basic stochastic processes such as simple random walk, Markov chains, Martingales, Poisson processes, and Brownian motion. It will also offer introductory level treatment to stochastic optimization problems, such as optimal stopping and optimal control, based on dynamic programming principle.

Prerequisites: APMA 1650 or MATH 1610 or equivalent. The students are required to have a solid understanding of basic probability and calculus.

Syllabus (tentative)

I will try to follow the syllabus as closely as possible. However it may change depending on our progress. Any changes will be announced in class and posted here.

Homework assingments:
AssingmentDue DateAssignmentMaterial Covered
Homework 1 Tuesday Feb 8th
Homework 2 Thursday Feb 10th
Homework 3 Thursday Feb 17th
Homework 4
Homework 5
Homework 6
Homework 7
Homework 8
Homework 9
Homework 10
Homework 11
Homework 12

Currently the Exam schedule is as follows:
DateAssignmentMaterial Covered
Midterm preliminaries, Chapters from the book
May, 18th at 02:00 PM Final

Tentative grading policy: Your grade will be based on :(a) Homework (35%), (b) midterm exam (35%) and final exam (30%). The grading policy may change depending on the progress of the class.

Exam & Homeworks:
Exams: There will be one midterm exam and one final exam. The exam material for each one of the two exams will be announced in class and posted on the webpage of the course. The final exam will concentrate on the material that was taught from the previous test and then. However, I reserve the right to include a couple of questions from the material of the previous exam. Hence, make sure that you have learned from your mistakes.
Homeworks: There will be several homeworks, both theoretical and more of applied flavor. The due date of each homework will be announced in class and it will usually be 7-10 days after. Needless to say, you should work on the homework on your own, unless otherwise instructed by me. Late homeworks will be heavily penalized.

Make-up policy: Make up exams will be given only in extreme circumstances, and only when accompanied by appropriate documentation. Any student with a valid reason to be given a make up exam must contact me prior to the exam, either by email or in person, and present documentation at the next class session attended.