Costis Maglaras -- Teaching
B6014: Managerial Statistics (MBA core course; Fall semester)
B8899: Pricing and Revenue Optimization (MBA elective course; offered annually in the Fall semester)
Pricing and revenue optimization --or revenue management as it is also called-- focuses on how a firm should set and update pricing and product availability decisions across its various selling channels in order to maximize its profitability. A familiar example comes from the airline industry. The adoption of such systems has transformed the transportation and hospitality industries, and is increasingly important in retail, telecommunications, entertainment, financial services, health care and manufacturing. In parallel, pricing and revenue optimization has become a rapidly expanding practice in consulting services, and a growing area of software and IT development. In this course students learn to identify and exploit opportunities for revenue optimization in different business contexts. This includes a review of the main methodologies that are used in each of these areas, and a survey of current practices in different industries. The course is about evenly split between lectures, cases and guest speakers.
Stochastic Processing Networks. I taught this course in 1999 and covered topics on product form networks, fluid models and their role in stability analysis and control, heavy traffic approximations of single server queues, and Brownian network models.
Seminar in Operations Management. I taught this course in 2001 and mostly covered topics in revenue management and the economics of queues, circa 2000.
Seminar on Revenue Management. I have taught this course several times, often jointly with Garrett van Ryzin. It reviews basic topics in the area as covered in the book by Talluri and van Ryzin, plus a collection of "current" papers on various topics in that field. The attached syllabus is from 2004, and is a bit dated. A version of this course will be offered by Garrett van Ryzin in the Fall 2009.
The cases below are used in my two MBA courses; the revenue management cases can also be used in MS and PhD classes . Please follow the appropriate link through Columbia CaseWorks if you are interested on a particular case.
All of the cases involve a fair amount of data that students use to build models, optimize decisions, test hypotheses, etc. For some of these cases I have supporting files that can be useful in teaching the respective material; please email me directly for the latter.
Analyzing the analysts, with P. Glasserman, 2001. (Managerial Statistics)
This case is used in the context of a discussion on confidence intervals and hypothesis testing.
NY Health Club A & B, 2006. (Revenue Management)
This case reviews topics related to fitting demand functions (linear, exponential, pareto) to willingness-to-pay (WtP) data, fitting a multinomial logit model to WtP data, and finally fitting an MNL model to choice data using maximum likelihood.
Markdown Pricing Optimization at Bloomingdale's A&B, with W. Ke and G. van Ryzin, 2006 (Revenue Management)
This case reviews topics related to the implementation and performance validation of a revenue management pilot program in a retailing setting.
Every Day Medical, 2009 (Revenue Management)
This case reviews the application of demand modeling and revenue optimization to the problem of choosing a bidding strategy for different keywords in the context of Google AdWords.
Hannah Montana, 2009 (Revenue Management)
This case is on demand modeling, price optimization and product differentiation.