Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Summer Semester 2005 Mod A - Operations

I took one operations class at BYU. My professor was Tony LaTurner. He was a very layed-back teacher. His view was that he wanted the student to learn something, but at the same time, not be a nazi about tests and finals. I really enjoyed his lectures. He's not a professor type. He is more of a lecturer where he gets up and spouts off for two hours and then you leave feeling like you've learned something, but you really haven't.

I don't think he's a professor at the Marriott School anymore. It looks like he's more of a continuing education professor who does conferences and workshops ... judging by the link above. Anyway ... it was a good class, but I don't remember much of it. The one thing that stands out in my head was when he talked about how companies will lay-off people to save on costs as opposed to actually driving down costs. I remember jotting down some notes on that subject in light of the fact that I was going to begin interviewing for jobs soon.

Operations Management

The class at Cox was a little more in depth than the one LaTurner taught at BYU. I had Chester Chambers for operations at Cox. Boy ... I had a hard time with this nut for the first couple of classes. I knew he was pretentious before I even went to the first class ... all I had to do was look at the picture on his profile page. Maybe I'm wrong, but it seemed like he acted too high and mighty no matter who he was.

I also had a problem with is presentation skills. He would say, "ahhhhh" and "uhhhh" a LOT ... to the point that it was very annoying.

The content wasn't so bad. We had to read The Goal by Goldratt. I think every operations class ever taught has had the students read that book. It was an interesting read the first time. When I had to read it the 2nd time for Chamber's class, I had to do a write-up on it. I hate book reports.

For the last day of class, we played The Beer Game. It was somewhat fun. It was a lot better than having to listen to him ramble on for 3 hours. We played the game for an hour or so and then we had to endure his pointless lecture for another 90 minutes. The last thing we did in that class was write up a short report about how well we did in participating in the class. I really didn't participate that much (as far as providing comments and such) so I put down some BS and turned it in.

The final was a take-home. He gave us a case and we were supposed to do a report with recommendations and all. It wasn't too painful.

I ended up with a B for the class. I was a little worried that I was going to get a B- or C+. I was very content with a B.

Spring 2006 Update

We met as a group for our modeling class last night. One person in our group is the brain and he has done pretty much all the work. He is pretty sharp. Yesterday, he went and saw Snir. Snir gave him a lot of help. We met and discussed the results of the model. I'm supposed to find some information about durable goods and credit default rates. Then on Friday, we're going to try to meet with Snir and get some help with a couple of questions.

Negotiations is tonight. I've got to do some prep work for it before class.

Only one more week of classes! I'm SO looking forward to the Spring Break ... I plan to play lots of chess!

On a side note ... somewhat related to school ... another person has quit here at work. She and I started to work here at the same time. This was our first job out of college. She is the 2nd person to quit in the last 3 months. The other person who quit also started working here the same time I did. If this means anything for me, it means that my job is more "secure." I don't put much weight in that theory, but the trend of people quitting continues. It also offers me a little encouragement that I can find a decent job after school is done. It is quite possible that I'll be working for another company a year from now. Of course it is also quite possible I'll still be here next year. If they keep giving me a decent raise every year like they have been doing, then there really is no major reason for me to leave. I'd have to earn just as much or more AND live closer to family in order for me to leave this job.

Chess Update

The 2/15/06 puzzle ... white to play on move 160??? WOW! That's a long game! Obviously it's an endgame. Black is pretty much holed up, but I'm not entirely sure what white can do.

The anwer ... Re5 1-0. Wow ... that makes complete sense. White's rook is aiming for a5. The black rook cannot defend a5 or else the bishop captures him. Once white moves 161. ra5+ Kb1 162. Bd3+ Kc1 163. Ra1++. Very cool.

I didn't play chess at all last night. I watched the Olympics with the wife and kids and then I put the kids to bed. After that, I studied a bit and then worked on digitizing some more old 35mm slides. I was in bed by 10:00pm and asleep by 10:15pm. It was a great rest! Maybe tonight after class I might log on and play a couple of games. Since I got more than 6 hours of sleep last night, I might be up for a while.

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