operations research radio

Yesterday, Matt Saltzman, Mary Beth Kurz, and Doug Shier were on Clemson University’s radio program “Your Day.” It is an excellent and fun discussion about operations research. The program was archived and is available here:

Here is the program abstract:

Peter Kent is joined by Mary Beth Kurz, Associate Professor in Industrial Engineering, Matthew Saltzman, Associate Professor in Mathematical Sciences, and Doug Shier, Professor of Mathematical Sciences and Associate Dean in the School of Engineering and Science, all from Clemson University.  The discussion will focus on the practical application of quantitative methods in rational decision making to solve a wide range of problems arising in business and government, such as locating industrial plants, allocating emergency facilities, planning capital investments, designing communication systems, and scheduling production in factories

The show’s host discovered operations research through the Car Talk Puzzle TSP challenge (Mike Trick blogged about this challenge). Other OR applications discussed included circuit board manufacturing, finding the optimal number of check out lines to open, and whether single-queue/multiple-server models (e.g., bank tellers. Oh wait, no one does that any more. Let’s go with the DMV or going through customs) are better than multiple queue/multiple servers (e.g., the grocery store).

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