# Operations Research

## About

The discipline of Operations Research (OR) provides a scientific approach to decision making. Also known by titles such as Management Science, or Logistics, Operations Research involves formulating mathematical models of decision making problems, and developing or applying mathematical tools to obtain solutions. Many businesses and all large complex organisations face difficult decisions on a daily basis. For example, a manufacturing company must decide how much of each product it should be making at each point in time, how many products of each type it should keep in inventory, by what modes of transport and what routes it should distribute its product, which combination of new product development projects it should fund in the next year, which workers should be rostered on which shifts, how much overtime will be required of each worker, when it should replace or repair its equipment, and so on. The decisions made interact with each other and may have complex repercussions that are difficult to evaluate. Each decision involves making a trade-off between competing activities, often vying for limited resources. For example, a decision to maintain steady production levels may reduce production costs but increase inventory costs, while a decision to produce a large quantity of one product may deplete stock of a component needed for the timely production of another product. The mathematical techniques used in Operations Research are drawn from areas of mathematics such as Optimisation, Optimal Control and Probability and Statistics. The area of Optimisation, which is concerned with the mathematical problem of minimising or maximising a function or functions subject to constraints, plays a particularly important role since the objective of many decision making problems is to determine the minimum or maximum out of a set of alternatives; for example a production company might wish to make decisions so as to minimise its transportation costs or to maximise its workers' job satisfaction. Major subfields of Optimisation which are critical in solving Operations Research problems are Mathematical Programming, Dynamic Programming, Network Optimisation and Stochastic Modelling, all of which are the subject of active research by members and graduate students of the Operations Research Group in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics.

## Academic Staff

**Dr Alysson COSTA** (Senior Lecturer)

Research interests: *Operations Research*

**Dr Mark FACKRELL** (Lecturer)

Research interests: *Stochastic Modelling, Operations Research, Healthcare modelling, Game theory, Matrix-analytic methods*

**Dr Sophie HAUTPHENNE** (Senior Lecturer)

**Dr Charl RAS** (Senior Lecturer)

Research interests: *Survivable networks, Shortest network design, Discrete and computational geometry, Combinatorial optimisation*

**Prof Kate SMITH-MILES** (Professor)

Research interests: *Combinatorial optimisation, Continuous optimisation , Multi-objective optimisation, Performance evaluation, Generation of hard test instances, Mathematical modelling, Parameter estimation, Dimensional reduction, Numerical linear algebra, Machine Learning*

**Prof Peter TAYLOR** (Professor)

Research interests: *Stochastic Processes, Markov processes, Queueing Networks, Telecommunications systems, Modelling of biological systems, Parameter estimation, Stochastic Petri nets*

**Dr Lele (Joyce) ZHANG** (Lecturer)

Research interests: *Transport network modelling and optimisation, Operations Research*

**Prof Sanming ZHOU** (Professor)

Research interests: *Algebraic Graph Theory, Graph Structure and Dynamics, Random Graph Processes, Network Optimisation, Algebraic Combinatorics, Operations Research, Theoretical Computer Science*

## Research Fellows

**Dr Jing FU** (Research Fellow)

**Dr Asghar MOEINI** (Research Fellow)

Research interests: *Operations Research*

**Dr Mario Andres MUNOZ ACOSTA** (Research Fellow)

Research interests: *Operations Research*

**Dr Matthieu SIMON** (ARC Centre Fellow)

**Dr Ali TIRDAD** (Research Fellow)

## Honorary Staff

**Professor Andrew BARBOUR**

Professorial Fellow (Associate)
**Dr Christina BURT**

Fellow (Associate)
**Dr Andre COSTA**

Fellow (Associate)
**Professor Daryl DALEY**

Professorial Fellow (Associate)
**Dr Heng-Soon GAN**

Fellow (Associate)
**Dr Olivia SMITH**

Fellow (Associate)
**Dr Moshe SNIEDOVICH**

Principal Fellow (Associate)
**Dr Renata SOTIROV**

Fellow (Associate)

## Visitors

Dr Yangming LI (Department of Mathematics, Guangdong University of Education)

Professor Zhiyuan (Terry) LIU (Southeast University)

Dr Benjian LYU (Beijing Normal University)

## Postgraduate Students

ANDERSEN Patrick – ‘Coverage and connectivity in wireless sensor networks’

BELIN CASTELLUCCI Pedro

BOWLY Simon – ‘' Generating new test instances for mixed-integer programming'’

CANDIDA CORTEZ Pamela

CHENG Cheng – ‘Optimization of Waste Management for Disasters’

HYNDMAN Timothy

JAYATHILAKE Chathranee

KUMAR Ashwani

POZNANOVIC Nemanja

SAUNDERS Kate – ‘Spatial and Temporal Statistical Modelling of Extreme Rainfall in Australia.’

SHAH Shrupa – ‘Understanding the contribution of space on the spread of Influenza using an Individual-based model approach’

SURANI Muhammad Adib – ‘The Isoperimetric Problem in Block Designs’

YAP Estefania – ‘' Instance Spaces for Multiobjective black box optimisation'’

ZHENG Shasha

## Masters (RT) Students

LOVELACE-TOZER Meirian

PARAU Danielle

SIMPSON Alexandra

SONG Jialu

SZEREDI Ria

THUKRAL Aashima

TURNER Mark

YAP Roro