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Scheduling a Conference
Baucells, Manel; Zorc, Saša Case QA-0925 / Published June 16, 2021 / 4 pages.
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Product Overview

This case uses a mathematician’s experience as a first-time organizer for a prestigious conference in Barcelona, Spain, to set the stage for applying optimization methods to scheduling problems. In particular, the case addresses linear optimization with binary variables to map out a speaker schedule. The protagonist, Juana Torres, is given a list of submitted talks, a matrix of restrictions about which talk fits which topics, as well as a number of constraints on individual presenters’ schedules. Her goal is to find a speaker schedule which maximizes the attractiveness to the audience without violating any of the constraints. The material includes a spreadsheet template with a basic schedule layout for students to work through.


Learning Objectives

•Use a solver engine to build feasible and optimal schedules •Examine the power and wide applicability of linear optimization with binary variables •Practice using the model to manage a project

  • Videos List

  • Overview

    This case uses a mathematician’s experience as a first-time organizer for a prestigious conference in Barcelona, Spain, to set the stage for applying optimization methods to scheduling problems. In particular, the case addresses linear optimization with binary variables to map out a speaker schedule. The protagonist, Juana Torres, is given a list of submitted talks, a matrix of restrictions about which talk fits which topics, as well as a number of constraints on individual presenters’ schedules. Her goal is to find a speaker schedule which maximizes the attractiveness to the audience without violating any of the constraints. The material includes a spreadsheet template with a basic schedule layout for students to work through.

  • Learning Objectives

    Learning Objectives

    •Use a solver engine to build feasible and optimal schedules •Examine the power and wide applicability of linear optimization with binary variables •Practice using the model to manage a project