Operations, Information and Decisions 0001

Operations, Information and Decisions 0001 (Prescriptive Analytics) is one of the Wharton online for-credit courses offered within the Pre-baccalaureate Program.


Course Description

OIDD 0001: Prescriptive Analytics: Making Business Decisions using Optimization and Simulation

In this course, we will explore the subject of quantitative business decision-making. Specifically, we will study optimization and simulation tools and provide you with a set of key skills in the area of prescriptive analytics. We will illustrate the use of these tools in a variety of business applications, including manufacturing, logistics, inventory management, capital budgeting, insurance, and revenue management.

The course assumes no specific mathematical background beyond basic algebra and probability concepts. Familiarity with the basic functioning of Excel is helpful, but not required as we will introduce and review the Excel skills as needed. No prior experience with programming or statistics is expected.

Learning Objectives

By the end of this course, you will be able to:

  • Utilize simulations to quickly assess outcomes
  • Harness data for the purpose of making the best decisions
  • Exercise various modeling concepts

About the Wharton Pre-baccalaureate Program

The Wharton Pre-baccalaureate Program is an academically-intensive opportunity for exceptional high school juniors and seniors to enroll in Wharton online courses. Participants will learn from Wharton instructors, earn a Wharton transcript, and accrue college credit for each course completed. With six sessions to choose from and built-in academic support, students are encouraged to explore the depth and breadth of Wharton’s business education curriculum with maximum flexibility and the guidance and resources to succeed.



Course Details

This course is delivered via video lectures, synchronous class sessions, recitations, and exercises. To be successful, you must actively engage with ideas presented in the course, and with those posed by your classmates.  

Assessment is based upon active course participation, graded assignments, recitation exercises, and a final course exam.   

Course Content

Course Topics: 

  • Optimization 
  • Linear network models 
  • Linear Optimization 
  • Structured Decision Making 
  • Intro to Simulation 
  • Comparison via simulation 
  • Discrete-event simulation 

Video Content and Readings:  

Video content includes lectures recorded by Wharton Professor Sergei Savin. Weekly lectures will guide course participants through various modeling concepts and examples of their use. We encourage you to take careful notes and review transcripts. 

Synchronous Classes: 

Synchronous classes offer the opportunity to reinforce the concepts introduced in the week’s lecture and explore questions about the course and materials beyond the lectures. Synchronous classes will also incorporate additional modeling examples and graded recitation exercises. Live class sessions will meet once weekly.  

Course Materials Fee


See full tuition details here.



Course attendance and participation are expected on a regular basis.  

Technical Requirements:

In order to fully participate in this course, you will need a computer that meets minimum system requirements for both Canvas LMS and Zoom Videoconferencing. Refer to the following links:

All programming originates from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania (Eastern Daylight Time).

Instructional Team

Instructor: Christian Kaps 

Christian Kaps is a PhD candidate and instructor at the Wharton School with a research focus on sustainable operations and the renewable energy transition. His teaching philosophy is to enable students to solve real-life problems through a combination of math and software. He draws on work experiences from investment banking over automotive manufacturers to fintech startups as well as a background of over five years of teaching with students ranging from high schoolers to EMBAs. Having lived in five countries across three continents, he cherishes the global make-up of the Wharton classroom. When he is not on campus, you are most likely to find him swimming, biking, running, or searching for Philly's best coffee. 


Wharton Global Youth Meetup (GYM)

Wharton Global Youth Meetup (GYM) is a creative, extracurricular community open to summer students as a way to connect to one another — and Wharton — before, during, and after their programs. Featuring both live and independent programming, the GYM is designed to ensure virtual participants don’t miss out on valuable community building and networking.
*The GYM is included in all online summer programs, except Understanding Your Money.