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Using Social Networking Game to Teach Operations Research and Management Science Fundamental Concepts

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2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

IE Technical Session I

Tagged Division

Industrial Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

22.1636.1 - 22.1636.12



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Paper Authors

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Ivan G. Guardiola Missouri University of Science & Technology


Susan L. Murray Missouri University of Science & Technology

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Susan L. Murray is an Associate Professor in the Engineering Management and Systems Engineering Department at Missouri University of Science and Technology. Dr. Murray received her B.S. and Ph.D. in industrial engineering from Texas A&M University. Her M.S. is also in industrial engineering from the University of Texas-Arlington. She is a professional engineer in Texas. Her research and teaching interests include human systems integration, productivity improvement, human performance, safety, project management, and engineering education. Prior to her academic position, she spent seven years working in industry including two years at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center.

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Elizabeth A. Cudney Missouri University of Science & Technology

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Dr. Elizabeth Cudney is an Assistant Professor at Missouri University of Science and Technology. She received her B.S. in Industrial Engineering from North Carolina State University, Master of Engineering in Mechanical Engineering and Master of Business Administration from the University of Hartford, and her doctorate in Engineering Management from the University of Missouri, Rolla. In 2010, Dr. Cudney was inducted into the ASQ International Academy for Quality. She received the 2008 ASQ A.V. Feigenbaum Medal and the 2006 SME Outstanding Young Manufacturing Engineering Award. She is an ASQ Certified Quality Engineer, Manager of Quality/Operational Excellence, and Certified Six Sigma Black Belt. She is a member of the ASEM, ASME, ASQ, IIE, SAE, and the Japan Quality Engineering Society (JQES).

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Using Social Networking Game to Teach Operations Research and Management Science Fundamental Concepts  This paper presents our experience using the popular online game “Farmville” by Zynga to teach the fundamentals of linear programming concepts to undergraduate students in an operations research class.  “Farmville” is a popular game within the social networking website Facebook. A contest using the game was incorporated into an introduction to operations research class. The goal of the contest was to reach highest revenue and experience level while meeting a secondary objective of increasing the farm’s aesthetic appeal.  The contest is to demonstrate the concepts of problem formulation, solution methods, multiple objective decision‐making, implementation of policy, and reformulation. The students were surveyed before and after “The Facebook Farmville Challenge,” to gage the effectiveness of the teaching pedagogy and the students’ opinions of the hand‐on approach.  The paper will include a detailed description of the contest and weekly reporting assignments, results of the student surveys, and instructor recommendations.   

Guardiola, I. G., & Murray, S. L., & Cudney, E. A. (2011, June), Using Social Networking Game to Teach Operations Research and Management Science Fundamental Concepts Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--18736

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