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Title: Teaching data envelopment analysis in production operations management through an undergraduate research project based on real-world data

Authors: Xiangrong Liu

Addresses: Department of Management, Ricciardi College of Business, Bridgewater State University, Harrington Hall, 95 Grove Street, Bridgewater, MA 02324, USA

Abstract: This teaching note reflects the recent experience in teaching an undergraduate production operations management course through the implementation of a real-world-problem-based research project. In this project, students investigated a multi-million dollar effort Access database compiled by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and applied a data envelopment analysis (DEA) model to benchmark production efficiency among the coal-fired power plants within the states that they selected in the USA. This research project did much to developing students' quantitative problem-solving skills by weaving the research project throughout the whole semester, engaging students in illustrating DEA models with a real industrial production problem, and enhancing students' awareness of sustainability in production operations management.

Keywords: data envelopment analysis; DEA; linear programming; production management; power generation; pollution emissions; undergraduate research projects; real-world data; sustainability; operations management education; higher education; sustainable development; production efficiency; coal-fired power plants; USA; United States; quantitative problem solving.

DOI: 10.1504/IJIOME.2015.073151

International Journal of Information and Operations Management Education, 2015 Vol.6 No.1, pp.14 - 23

Received: 05 Jan 2015
Accepted: 18 May 2015

Published online: 25 Nov 2015 *

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