Resuming operations

For someone who refused to accept the “no time” excuse in the past for not writing a blog, I have to admit I’ll have to use it now :-( Lots of things happened since last time I wrote about classes.

For instance we submitted our Statistics paper and got the results. These results are still composed of a grade from A to F (and as I wrote I will not post the grade distribution of the class) and an appreciation from the professor. If this appreciation was considered subjective in the previous years (independently of Statistics – this was valid for all courses), Vlerick tried to establish a grid where several criteria can be met or not in order to put some objectivity in the grade. It seems this grid disappeared – or at least it was not used for Statistics (as usual: it is not a complain, it’s just an observation).

Operation management classes ended with a bang materialised by 5 Pecha-Kucha group presentations. Some topics were more controversial than others. I also take as a key message that one absolutely has to test the presentation in a real setting before presenting. I personally also appreciated very much the very dynamic presentation of Roger Bloemen about the global supply chain strategy for Saflex at Solutia. IMHO this is the kind of presentation after which you tell yourself: “Damn! Maybe I should have done supply chain instead of ****** *********”.

remember to thank all the books you haven't read over the past three yearsSome other classes ended like EU business law (also with group presentation) or Communication Skills (maybe the most artistic “paper” we had to hand in – maybe the most confusing directions on what to do too, especially for people with scientific and engineering backgrounds).

And some other courses started. Like Innovation Management, EU integration, … An feeling that I have is that Vlerick has very young and dynamic professors. When they grow a bit older, they are less dynamic but very knowledgable and try to transmit their passion with more maturity. A third category of professors are older and teach us courses with less direct application (or do I have this feeling because I put Economics and EU professors in this category?).

We are now in December and there are still some nice milestones for the near future: an open-book exam for Operations, a video for Communication Skills. And then Christmas Party (for those who will attend) and holidays!

Photo credits: remember to thank all the books you haven’t read over the past three years by Natalia Osiatynska, under CC-by-nc-nd.

Palissade (stats) software only works with Windows

Actual is not normal (a tribute to Edward Tufte)On Friday, we’ll have our first course of Statistics. Everything is fine: we received an extensive course outline, some exercises, a book will be provided (it already appeared in Sarah’s blog, last year), … all that is fine.

The course outline also mentions that one needs to install Palissade DecisionTools Suite (for free, fortunately – it costs nearly 2,500.00 € for a license!). For those fortunate souls who are not working with MS-Windows, you have no luck: Palissade software is not working neither with Mac (not natively) nor with Linux (not at all). Althoug they answer very fast, the technical support from Palissade could only direct me to their knowledgebase where an article explains the compatibility (and some workarounds) of their products. Forewarned is forearmed.

(I also wonder if one needs Admin rights on the computer in order to install the Suite – it may cause trouble to some of us with corporate laptops)

Photo credits: Actual is not normal by Kevin Dooley on Flickr (license CC-by)

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