# 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.

## Seminar series

## 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*

**Dr Yuji SAIKAI** (Teaching Specialist)

**Prof Kate SMITH-MILES** (Professor / Associate Dean (Industry & Enterprise))

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, Operations Research*

**Dr Matthew TAM** (Lecturer)

Research interests: *Nonsmooth optimisation, Monotone operator theory, Symbolic computation*

**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

**A/Prof Hamideh ANJOMSHOA** (Melbourne Enterprise Fellow)

Research interests: *Operations Research, Mathematical modelling, Healthcare modelling, Machine Learning*

## Honorary Staff

**Dr Christina BURT**

Fellow (Associate)
**Dr Andre COSTA**

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)

## Postgraduate Students

ALIPOUR Hossein

ANDRES THIO Nicolau

ATHTHANAPOLA Chathranee Anumitha Jayathilake

BARKER Edward

BUSTOS Daniel

CANDIDA CORTEZ Pamela

ERANDI Achini

KARUNARATHNE Weerasekara

KATIAL Vivek – ‘To be confirmed’

MADDUMA WELLALAGE Achini Erandi

NIKNAMI Behrooz

POZNANOVIC Nemanja

SATO MICHELS Adalberto

XING Chenchen

ZHENG Shasha

ZHENG Shasha

## Honours & Masters (RT) Students

ANDRES THIO Nicolau

GUO Yajing

LEE Jae Myeong

LI Xiangjun

LIU Kelvin

MCANDREW Fenella

MEHRA Somya

PAN Shichang

PARAU Danielle

SCHOLZ Adam

SHI Wenfei

SZEREDI Ria

TIAN Shiyu

UTEDA Daniel

WEINSTOCK Edward

XING Yi

XU Qin

YANG Yunhe

YOUNG Cameron

ZHANG Lijun