Carnegie Mellon, MISM

MISM – DMUU (Decision Management Under Uncertainty)

As a part of my monologue on what happened at my master’s program, today I am writing about a core subject that I took in 2011 Spring. It’s a 6 unit, 1/2 semester long course taught my a well-known professor, Roehrig. As we began this course, it took more than 2 weeks for us to understand what’s going on. At the outset, this course is very similar to Linear Programming concepts that we studied in our undergrad back in India. However, this one is a whole new ball game with MS Excel put in the mix.

I personally liked this course, the challenges it put forth in every assignment and the way concepts were explained in the textbook. Having just finished this course with my grades out today, I can tell you with vivid details that the textbook for this course is one of the best, which is why the professor announces everyone to buy one. Sadly though, it costs just about half your rent if you are sharing with someone here in Pittsburgh. I managed to study with the book I borrowed from Hunt.

The Good:

  • Makes students think like managers; studying requirements, understanding how to take decisions
  • Mastery in Excel to solve business problems is assured
  • Opens up a completely new face of Excel that we have never been exposed to, with Crystal Ball and Solver

The Bad:

  • As Professor Roehrig is well known to put in his favorite topics in Java such as genetic algorithms, he puts in some concepts on heuristics. These aren’t just for information. They come in finals!
  • Assignments are time consuming and sometimes puzzled. Be sure to read the questions in time so that you can at least run behind a TA to get some assistance

The Advice:

  • Watch out for blackboard discussion especially before the exams. These nerds put some pretty intriguing questions, I tell you! 🙂
  • Do the homework and be aware of all the concepts even if your partner does the other half. Technically, my partner did most of the work, so I shouldn’t even be advising this!
  • In finals, there will be a question from every topic (there are about 6-7 topics). Don’t spend much time on a question if you cannot solve it. Move on. We had a weird one on crystal ball that I left

Finally some ratings like those movie critics on rotten tomatoes! Here they are:

  • Time consuming: 4/5
  • Hard Assignments: 2.5/5
  • Course usefulness: 4.5/5
  • Teaching: 3.8/5

Here is an useful link that I found just 1 hour before the exam. Sadly, I couldn’t make much use of it. For those of us who do not own the textbook, we did not have the data CD that comes with it. This CD consisted of all the example Excelsheet documents that were very useful, especially for finals. These links have got most of those excelsheets: