Syllabus - Fall 2014

BA 302 Applied Quantitative Management Techniques

Stout Home

BA 302 Home



Lecture notes

InstructorDonald E. Stout

Phone: (360) 438-4587


Web site

Office hours: Old Main 370, MWF 10 - 11:30 a.m., T/R 8:30 - 9 a.m.

Required text: 

Anderson, Sweeney, Williams. Quantitative Methods for Business, 12e. Southwestern, c. 2013.QM12e

Prerequisites: MTH 161 or MTH 171; MTH 201.

Optional materialsYou will need MS Excel 2010 and MS Project 2010. Both programs have been installed on university lab computers for your use.  Simulation and decision software including Premium Solver is available for download through the textbook website for your personal use, but will not be required in class.

Course description:  As stated in the Saint Martin's University catalog, this course provides "exposure to and practice in the use of mathematical  tools for aiding managerial decision-making in the corporate and public sectors.  Topics covered include mathematical modeling, linear and non-linear programming, network analysis, simulation and other topics at the instructor's discretion".

In this course I will introduce you to a number of quantitative modeling tools proven effective in solving certain classes of managerial problems. You will use these tools to model various representative sample problems in class and in homework. Tools to be surveyed include linear programming, network programming and analysis, forecasting, inventory control models, stochastic processes, decision theory, queuing theory, simulation, decision support systems, and project management scheduling and time/cost trade-off techniques.

Modeling and solving managerial problems using spreadsheets will be a focus of the course. You will be asked to model and solve problems using Microsoft Excel and by using Microsoft Project. Other popularly available computer applications may be used at my discretion. 

Objectives: At course completion, you should have:

Gained an appreciation for the role quantitative methods play in business decision-making.

Achieved a degree of facility modeling and solving management problems using Microsoft Excel.

Learned how to employ quantitative decision techniques to analyze managerial problems.

Increased critical thinking and quantitative reasoning skills.

Teaching strategy: The class sessions will be a combination of lectures, internet exercises, homework problems, computer tutorials and case analysis and discussion. Course content will  come primarily from the assigned textbook. Internet content will be incorporated where appropriate. Instructor developed problems, handouts and tutorials will also be used.

Students are responsible for reviewing the class schedule and completing assigned readings, homework problems, tasks, and case analyses.

A primary focus of the class will be completing homework problems. I will choose problems that illustrate various quantitative techniques. I will ask you to solve these problems using a variety of tools. You will solve problems by hand, with a calculator, or by using Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Project or other appropriate application software. By the time we conclude the course, you should have an awareness of a variety of quantitative solution methods managers employ to improve decision-making.

Brief course outline:   See schedule page for complete information

Week 1:
Weeks 2 & 3:
Becoming a more effective and efficient problem solver
Spreadsheet modeling and Microsoft Excel
Weeks 4 & 5
Probability and statistics

Week 6:
Decision analysis
Week 7
Linear regression modeling

Weeks 8, 9:

Weeks 10, 11, and 12
Linear programming
Optimization models

Week 13
Project scheduling: PERT/CPM
Time-cost tradeoffs

Weeks 14 and 15:
Waiting lines
Simulation project
Week 16
Review and final exam


Grade elements      

Grade scale

Category Points   Total points Grade
Attendance/participation 5 points   92 - 100 A
Exams (3) 65 points   83 - 91 B
Homework/pop quizzes 20 points   74 - 82 C
Simulation project 10 points   65 - 73 D
Total course points 100 points   0 - 64 F


Exams:  (65 points) Two intermediate exams at 20 points each and a final exam worth 25 points will be given. These exams will test your ability to formulate and solve problems based on material presented in class and in your text.

Exams are time limited (generally 50 minutes) to test your full knowledge and grasp of the concepts being tested. By design, if you do not know the material, you will not be able to complete the exam within the time allotted. Be prepared. Bring a calculator ... no laptops, no electronic devices including foreign language dictionaries.

Quizzes/homework: (20 points) Quizzes may be given at my discretion. Homework may be collected. Homework assignments will be graded not only on their content, but also their appearance (just as your boss will do on the job). If collected, homework will be graded and counted as if it were a quiz.

Late homework will NOT be accepted.

If I do not offer a sufficient number of quizzes or collect sufficient homework to justify a grade in this category, I may add points to the final examination point total or apply all or a portion of the points to your homework notebook.

Please adhere to the following guidelines:


1)  Do your homework on engineering graph paper (the green ruled engineering paper is available in the bookstore) - the ruled paper makes graphs easier to construct, problem calculations easier to follow, and handwritten content easier for me to read.

2)  Precede homework solutions with a brief summary of the homework question.

3)  Show all work. Indicate intermediate steps taken to arrive at each answer. Box your answers.

Computer output:

1) For computer spreadsheets, please print both a "values" sheet and a "formulas" sheet. 

2) Be sure to print row and column headings so I can properly evaluate your work.

3) Include your name on the printout.

I encourage you to form and work in study groups to do homework problems. I have found discussion within study groups contributes to overall understanding. A cautionary note, I expect you to do your own work. You may use your group as a means to help you hurdle specific problem areas, not to replace your own problem-solving thought process.

Each class period we will review homework problems. You may be assigned to present and explain your solution to the class.

Simulation project: (10 points) You will complete a simulation project. You will model a set of logistics rules that describe the routing and processing of customer orders through a concrete batch plant. From the results you will create an order form, simulated schedules for two days of operation, and you will calculate the idle times for various production components. From the modeled results, you will propose the most economic equipment mix. You will present your findings orally to the class.

Attendance/participation:  (5 points) I highly recommend you come to each class session. Attendance is not mandatory in the same manner as passing the exams, reading the course material, and doing the homework is not mandatory. I value class participation. I like seeing you. Your presence and participation during each and every class period contributes to everyone's overall learning. Persistent absence, tardiness, chatting in class or other disruptive behavior will harm your grade.

Keeping in touch with me: First, ask questions in class (it helps you and may help others). Alternatively, visit me during my posted office hours. Slide a note under my office door ("Old Main" room 370). Call me (360 438-4587). Or, send me an email (

Special assistance: The Learning Center offers individual learning consultations, study group assistance, handouts and books on study skills, and free peer tutoring in the following subject areas: math, chemistry, physics, economics, accounting, Spanish, French, and Japanese. The tutoring schedules are posted online. To learn more about resources available through the Learning Center you are encouraged to drop by the O'Grady Library lower level or visit their website:

Special needs:  If you need course adaptations or accommodations because of a disability, if you have medical and/or safety concerns to share with me, or if you need special arrangements in case the building must be evacuated, please make an appointment with me as soon as possible.

Contact Information:

Room 370 "Old Main"



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