University of California, Sant Cruz, Winter, 2020–2021
CSE 174: Decision Analysis in Management
Term Project Guideline
Professor Yihsu Chen
You are encouraged to pursue topics of your interests. I would like to see a
group of 2 students working collaboratively on a topic but only one written
report together with a in-class presentation need to be given at the end of
the semester (3/9 & 3/11). There are a variety of options available for a
project, and I listed herein the three example projects.
Example 1: Should the Lakers (Celtics or others) pursue and sign power
forward Anthony Davis or maintain the core group? If the team does, at
what cost? For the next few years given his age, performance, probability
of injury (scenario), which is a function of personal caution, age, etc. How
the contract should be constructed? What options are out there with less
ability but demanding a smaller contract? The similar types of analyses can
be conducted for other sports of your interest. (Sport decision analysis is a
great field given the rich dataset out there. This is why there are various
fantasy sports online.)
Example 2: Should I i) pursue a graduate degree right away, ii) spend a few
years in job market or iii) not at all?
Example 3: Increases in study body at UCSC have created unpleasant experi-
ence in commuting, and traffic congestion has been a common norm during
rush hours. One way to improve the situation is to increase the number and
routes of the Loop buses. (Those are actually two alternatives.) This might
inevitably increase the number of drivers and buses, which could be costly.
Another way is to have classes in late evening or Sat in order to divert some
of passengers. Of course, this has its downside as well.... Imagine that you’re
working at the TAPS & your boss heard that you’re taking CSE 174 Decision
Analysis & want you to help him figure this out.
– [Real decision problem, and you might need to contact and work with TAPS
or even survey your own data (digital tools) to know students’ preference:
be creative of the ways to get data.]
Be creative with your project, but cautious with data availability! Please
follow closely with the flowchart in chapter 1 for your analysis.
For presentation, each group will have 15-17 mins followed 2-3 questions.
The presentation should include following sections:
1. Background/Introduction: (1–2 slides) Explain why problem is in-
teresting and difficult so that a decision analysis approach is needed.
Go through all the elements in decisions, e.g., objectives, alternatives,
uncertainty (how do you estimate uncertainty), payoff (how to calcu-
late them), trade-off (between competing objectives). This is where
you can look over the workflow chat that I went over in the class.
2. Method: (3–4 slides) Explain how you come up with fundamental
objectives, mean objectives, discuss decision tree & influence diagram,
3. Results: (3–4 slides) Conduct sensitivity analyses (which uncertainty
that you should be concerned most), draw risk & cumulative risk pro-
files & identify any presence of deterministic or stochastic dominance,
calculate EVPI (Expected Value of Perfect Information) and/or EPII
(Expected Value of Imperfect Information).
4. Discussion: (2 slides) Provide a general conclusion and discuss what
you would do differently if 1) you have more time and 2) there is no
strike that allows a more effective learning experience.
Make sure that you put together a nice presentation supported by nicely-
made figures. Also, make sure that you have an opportunity to practice a
The final project report shall be at least 14–15 pages (double spaced, exclud-
ing the title page), with tables, figures, and references altogether fewer than
3 pages. The title page shall include information of each student, e.g., names,
student ID, and email. Please submit only one report from each group to the
Canvas site. (A report that is fewer than 14 pages or more than 15 pages will
lead to a reduction of the score.) Each page, except the title page, shall be
numbered. To the right of each section’s title shall include the name of the
leading author (only one student) and the name of the second author (only
one student) who is responsible for proof-read-ing the section. The project
report shall contain following sections:
6. Conclusions and Discussions
Make sure that your submitted report is a coherent document with con-
sistent format, including font type, size, table and figure layouts. Tables and
figures need to be prepared with scientific softwares, e.g., Excel. The report
is expected to be proof-read a few times to make sure that there is no glitch.
Grammatical correctness is expected. The tables or figures, when referred
to, should be properly cited, e.g., “Figure 1 shows that ... ” Citation in the
main text shall follow author-year style, e.g., “(Kahn 2007).” when placed
at the end of a sentence or “Kahn (2007) shows that ... ” when placed at
the beginning of a sentence. When a reference is more than three authors, it
shall be cited as “Kahn et al. (2007) show that ...” or “(Kahn et al. 2007).”
The reference is expected to be consist with the following examples when
citing journal, report, book, and online resources.
Kahn, Matthew E. 2007. “Gentrification Trends in New Transit-Oriented
Communities: Evidence from Cities That Expanded and Built Rail Transit
Systems.” Real Estate Economics, 35(2): 155–82.
Lee, David S., and Thomas Lemieux. 2009. “Regression Discontinuity De-
signs in Economics.” National Bureau of Economic Research Working Paper
Seinfeld, John H., and Spyros N. Pandis. 1998. “Atmospheric Chemistry
and Physics: From Air Pollution to Climate Change.” New York: Wiley-
Taipei Rapid Transit Corporation. 2009. Taipei Metro Ridership. http://
cessed April 25, 2011).
Failure to 1) follow the principle or rule laid out in this guideline will lead to
a reduction of your score and 2) late report (by 3/15/2020: 11:59 pm) will
200% NOT be accepted. Good Luck & Happy Writing!
3 Key Dates
• 1/21/2020: form a group .
• 2/4/2020: decide on topic with one page of proposal submit to Canvas.
• 3/9/2020 or 3/11/2020: final project presentation.
• 3/14/2020: final report due through Canvas.