Document Type

Closed Project

Publication Date

Fall 2016


Timothy Anderson

Course Title

Operations Research

Course Number

ETM 540/640


Mathematical optimization -- Applications to shift scheduling, System analysis -- Mathematical models, Portland State University. Office of Information Technology -- Management, Operations research


Portland State University (PSU)’s Office of Information Technology (OIT) is responsible for the development and application of information technology within the university. OIT empowers the technical infrastructure that helps the PSU community work smarter, faster, and safer. One of OIT’s primary services is to offer technical support and supervision of computer labs across the PSU campus. Providing this service relies heavily on a team of talented, part-time student employees, who work in shifts to offer an excellent and continuous level of service.

Every term, the lab coordinator must assign shifts to student employees working as lab attendants. However, the process is difficult and time consuming, as each student has her/his unique preferences and time availability, and the total hours available is less than the total number of hours requested by students. The coordinators do their best to make sure that each student employee gets an equitable number of hours and shifts using a manual and cumbersome process.

In this project, we will address this challenging issue by looking into historical data and the current approach for selecting student employees for shifts, then we will build an optimization model to automate/optimize this process. Our goal is to develop a model that will make it faster and easier for the lab coordinators to develop a staff schedule while ensuring that shift assignments are as equitable as possible.


This project is only available to students, staff, and faculty of Portland State University

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