My primary goal as an educator is to promote critical thinking and data-driven decision making. These are central themes in all four courses I have taught: Design and Management of Supply Chains (PSU – SCM 450W), Supply Chain Analytics (PSU – SCM 421), Managerial Statistics (GU – OPIM 550), and Data Mining (GU – OPIM 652). My classes have a collegial atmosphere in which students are encouraged to ask questions and talk about their own personal experiences in internships or previous jobs. This promotes critical thinking and a willingness to have constructive discourse when disagreements occur. Only through vibrant discussion and the exchange of ideas will students understand the applications of modern business school lectures. In addition, in every class I teach I try to de-mystify programming and new programs (e.g., Tableau) as well as show how a small investment in time can lead to significant productivity improvements.
Penn State course descriptions and semesters of teaching are below:
Undergraduate Core Courses
SCM421 – Supply Chain Analytics
Course Description: This course is focused on quantitative supply chain modeling and analysis. We discuss methods that are used extensively in business organizations to solve large, structured or unstructured problems. Such methods generate results that support decision-making at all levels of the organization over various time horizons. Secondarily, these methodologies should improve problem solving skills. We stress an approach to problem solving that helps the decision-maker to (a) break down and attack a vague unstructured problem, (b) simplify complex situations, (c) understand and question assumptions, (d) use technical skills and tools to find insight and support decision making. You will hear over and over again in the course that no model is perfect. In fact, it is an old adage that all models are wrong, but some are useful. Since the process of modeling (creating a partial representation of reality for some purpose) is inherently flawed and incorrect, we can never hope to be perfect. But one realistic goal is to find insight. This is the main goal of the course: to be able to easily and quickly find insight into complex problems and provide reasonable suggestions to support decision making. It is important not to confuse this main goal with mastering Excel. This is not an Excel course. However, we spend a considerable amount of time using Excel, Tableau, and R. The reason it is important to master these software packages is to more easily attain the main goal of finding insight and supporting decision making. To repeat: software is a way to attain insight and support decision making, it is not the goal itself.
Years: Fall 2017, Fall 2018
SCM450W – Design and Management of Supply Chains
Course Description: This is the capstone course in Supply Chain Management. As such, it takes a higher level view than most of your other SCM courses, seeking to integrate those courses and your other business courses from a general business perspective. The course specifically deals with the strategic design and effective operation of supply chains. It will help prepare you for supply chain and logistics management positions in manufacturing, distributing, and service firms; or for other positions with various supply chain service providers.
For many companies, supply chain management has become an important element of strategic advantage. However, to achieve a strategic advantage requires effective design and integration of multiple elements within the supply chain. In this course, we will use the LINKS Supply Chain Management Simulation to gain hands-on experience with the cross-functional impact of supply chain decision-making. This simulation will provide a rich learning experience and give you experience (1) analyzing complex data, (2) evaluating the costs and benefits of cross-functional trade-offs, (3) making critical supply chain decisions, (4) evaluating the consequences of those decisions, and (5) working to continuously improve decision making based on experience. This course will also include article and case discussions on the various integrated elements of the supply chain.
Years: Fall 2012, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Fall 2014, Fall 2015