Profile of the course
Decision Science 1 is an introductory course in the field of Operations Research (also called Decision- or Management Science). The course is included in different study programmes at Wageningen University.
Students of our university traditionally have a heterogeneous background coming from different countries all over the world with various study disciplines and varying competence in mathematical abstraction. This diversity offers a continuous challenge to exploit the added value of OR models and techniques in various study disciplines without compromising to the original purpose: i.e. to deliver an introduction to Operations Research; to explain how, why and when OR models and the related (basic) solution techniques can be expected to work and to provide a solid basis for future study in OR topics.
Decision Science deals with quantitative methods and techniques to support complex decision processes. The starting point is to optimise, i.e. to perform as well as possible, by making use of mathematical models. Applications of Operations Research models and techniques can be found in many different fields, e.g. economics, technology, logistics, environmental management, forestry, ecology, agriculture, health care, sports, water management and almost in every commercial company.
Global aims of the course are: getting familiar with and acquiring basic insight and understanding of mathematical programming (i.e. MP-based) models and techniques. Recognize where typical decision problems occur, develop models and apply MP-based solution techniques to solve these models. The background of the methods is discussed in the course and it is indicated how they can be applied to practical decision problems. The modelling is illustrated from many decision problems of firms, consumers, governments and other non-profit organisations.