BUS1110 Computer models for business decisions - Semester 2 , 2006 unit guide

Semester 2, 2006

Chief Examiner

Daisy Seng


Clayton : Daisy Seng
South Africa : Vidya Nair


Computer modelling techniques and their application to business-related problems. Principles and practice of modelling business systems as a support for the decision-making activities of executives. Topics include decision making under uncertainty, Monte Carlo simulation, forecasting, resource allocation, sequential decision making and project scheduling.


At the completion of this unit, students should:

  1. Understand the general purposes and concepts of business decision making
  2. Obtain the foundation in use of spreadsheets for computer business modelling
  3. Have a foundation in both theory and practice of computer modelling for business decisions


Students must have basic knowledge of MS Excel software

Unit relationships

BUS1110 is a core unit in the Bachelor of Business Systems. There are no prerequisites for this unit. You may not study this unit and CPE1005, ETC2480, ETF2480, ETF2911, ETF2841, ETW2480, GCO2802, MAT1097 in your degree.

Texts and software

Required text(s)

Ragsdale, CT, Spreadsheet Modeling & Decision Analysis (5th edition), Thomson Learning, 2005, 0-324-31256-3

Textbook availability

Library or bookshop

Software requirements

Microsoft Excel 2003

Software may be:

  • purchased at academic price at good software retailers

Hardware requirements

On-campus students may use the facilities available in the computing labs. Information about computer use for students is available from the ITS Student Resource Guide in the Monash University Handbook.

Recommended reading

Ragsdale, CT, Spreadsheet Modeling & Decision Analysis (5th edition), Thomson Learning, 2005, 0-324-31256-3

Library access

You may need to access the Monash library either personally to be able to satisfactorily complete the subject.  Be sure to obtain a copy of the Library Guide, and if necessary, the instructions for remote access from the library website.

Study resources

Study resources for BUS1110 are:

available at the BUS1110 web site on MUSO, where lecture slides, tutorials and assignment specifications and practical test will be posted.

Structure and organisation

Week Topics
1 Introduction
2 Optimization and Linear Programming
3 Linear Programming - Modeling and Solving in Spreadsheet
4 Linear Programming - Sensitivity Analysis
5 Integer Programming
6 Regression Analysis
7 Time Series Forecasting
8 Simulation
9 Decision Analysis - Influence Diagram and Decision Criteria
10 Decision Analysis - Decision Criteria
Non teaching week
11 Decision Analysis - Decision Under Certainty
12 Decision Analysis - Decision Under Uncertainty
13 Revision


The timetable for on-campus classes for this unit can be viewed in Allocate+


Assessment weighting

Final Examination 60%
Assignments 25%
Practical Test 15%

Assessment Policy

To pass this unit you must:

pass the final examination, otherwise your final mark will be that of the final examination. If you have passed your final examination, your overall marks for this unit will that of this examination plus all other assessed components.

Your score for the unit will be calculated by:

If you did not pass the final examination, your final mark will be that of this examination (100% weightage of exam)
Otherwise, final mark will be: Final examination (60%) + Assignments (25%) + Practical Test (15%)

Assessment Requirements

Assessment Due Date Weighting
Assignment 1 Week 5 5%
Assignment 2 Week 6 5 %
Assignment 3 Week 8 5 %
Assignment 4 Week 9 5 %
Assignment 5 Week 10 5 %
Practical Test Week 11 15 %
The exam is 2 hours long and is closed book Exam period (S2/06) starts on 23/10/06 60 %

Assignment specifications will be made available BUS1110 MUSO site.

Assignment Submission

Assignments will be submitted by electronic submission to MUSO.

Extensions and late submissions

Late submission of assignments

Late assignment will be accepted using the following sliding scale:

No of                  Percentage
Days Late          of Grade

1                      80%
2                      60%
3                      40%
4                      20%
5                        0%

This policy is strict because comments or guidance will be given on assignments as they are returned, and sample solutions may also be published and distributed, after assignment marking or with the returned assignment. 


It is your responsibility to structure your study program around assignment deadlines, family, work and other commitments. Factors such as normal work pressures, vacations, etc. are seldom regarded as appropriate reasons for granting extensions. 

Requests for extensions must be made by email to the unit lecturer at least two days before the due date. You will be asked to forward original medical certificates in cases of illness, and may be asked to provide other forms of documentation where necessary. A copy of the email or other written communication of an extension must be attached to the assignment submission.

Grading of assessment

Assignments, and the unit, will be marked and allocated a grade according to the following scale:

Grade Percentage/description
HD High Distinction - very high levels of achievement, demonstrated knowledge and understanding, skills in application and high standards of work encompassing all aspects of the tasks.
In the 80+% range of marks for the assignment.
D Distinction - high levels of achievement, but not of the same standards. May have a weakness in one particular aspect, or overall standards may not be quite as high.
In the 70-79% range.
C Credit - sound pass displaying good knowledge or application skills, but some weaknesses in the quality, range or demonstration of understanding.
In the 60-69% range.
P Pass acceptable standard, showing an adequate basic knowledge, understanding or skills, but with definite limitations on the extent of such understanding or application. Some parts may be incomplete.
In the 50-59% range.
N Not satisfactory failure to meet the basic requirements of the assessment.
Below 50%.

Assignment return

We will aim to have assignment results made available to you within two weeks after assignment receipt.


Feedback to you

You will receive feedback on your work and progress in this unit. This feedback may be provided through your participation in tutorials and class discussions, as well as through your assignment submissions. It may come in the form of individual advice, marks and comments, or it may be provided as comment or reflection targeted at the group. It may be provided through personal interactions, such as interviews and on-line forums, or through other mechanisms such as on-line self-tests and publication of grade distributions.

Feedback from you

You will be asked to provide feedback to the Faculty through a Unit Evaluation survey at the end of the semester. You may also be asked to complete surveys to help teaching staff improve the unit and unit delivery. Your input to such surveys is very important to the faculty and the teaching staff in maintaining relevant and high quality learning experiences for our students.

And if you are having problems

It is essential that you take action immediately if you realise that you have a problem with your study. The semester is short, so we can help you best if you let us know as soon as problems arise. Regardless of whether the problem is related directly to your progress in the unit, if it is likely to interfere with your progress you should discuss it with your lecturer or a Community Service counsellor as soon as possible.

Plagiarism and cheating

Plagiarism and cheating are regarded as very serious offences. In cases where cheating  has been confirmed, students have been severely penalised, from losing all marks for an assignment, to facing disciplinary action at the Faculty level. While we would wish that all our students adhere to sound ethical conduct and honesty, I will ask you to acquaint yourself with Student Rights and Responsibilities and the Faculty regulations that apply to students detected cheating as these will be applied in all detected cases.

In this University, cheating means seeking to obtain an unfair advantage in any examination or any other written or practical work to be submitted or completed by a student for assessment. It includes the use, or attempted use, of any means to gain an unfair advantage for any assessable work in the unit, where the means is contrary to the instructions for such work. 

When you submit an individual assessment item, such as a program, a report, an essay, assignment or other piece of work, under your name you are understood to be stating that this is your own work. If a submission is identical with, or similar to, someone else's work, an assumption of cheating may arise. If you are planning on working with another student, it is acceptable to undertake research together, and discuss problems, but it is not acceptable to jointly develop or share solutions unless this is specified by your lecturer. 

Intentionally providing students with your solutions to assignments is classified as "assisting to cheat" and students who do this may be subject to disciplinary action. You should take reasonable care that your solution is not accidentally or deliberately obtained by other students. For example, do not leave copies of your work in progress on the hard drives of shared computers, and do not show your work to other students. If you believe this may have happened, please be sure to contact your lecturer as soon as possible.

Cheating also includes taking into an examination any material contrary to the regulations, including any bilingual dictionary, whether or not with the intention of using it to obtain an advantage.

Plagiarism involves the false representation of another person's ideas, or findings, as your own by either copying material or paraphrasing without citing sources. It is both professional and ethical to reference clearly the ideas and information that you have used from another writer. If the source is not identified, then you have plagiarised work of the other author. Plagiarism is a form of dishonesty that is insulting to the reader and grossly unfair to your student colleagues.


Communication methods

  1. Visit lecturer or tutor during their consultation times
  2. Email lecturer or tutor
  3. Noticeboard on MUSO website


Notices related to the unit during the semester will be communicated through MUSO. Check this regularly. Failure to read the notices is not regarded as grounds for special consideration.

Consultation Times

Please refer to MUSO (under Syllabus) for consultation times.

If direct communication with your unit adviser/lecturer or tutor outside of consultation periods is needed you may contact the lecturer and/or tutors at:

Ms Daisy Seng
Assistant Lecturer
Phone +61 3 990 59082

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All email communication to you from your lecturer will occur through your Monash student email address. Please ensure that you read it regularly, or forward your email to your main address. Also check that your contact information registered with the University is up to date in My.Monash.

Last updated: Jul 28, 2006