Don G Wardell
  • Francis A. Madsen Scholar & Professor, Ois Operations & Info Systems, David Eccles School of Business
  • Professor, Ois Operations & Info Systems

Current Courses

Fall 2024

  • OSC 3440-001
    App of Business Stats
    Location: SFEBB 1110 (SFEBB 1110)
  • OSC 3440-002
    App of Business Stats
    Location: SFEBB 1110 (SFEBB 1110)
  • OSC 3440-004
    App of Business Stats
    Location: SFEBB 110 (SFEBB 110)
  • OSC 6940-011
    Statistics I
  • OSC 6940-021
    Statistics I

Spring 2024

Professional Organizations

  • Council for Supply Chain Management Professionals. 07/01/2019 - present. Position : Treasurer.
  • Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals. 12/05/2018 - present. Position : Member.
  • American Society for Quality. 01/01/2017 - 12/31/2022. Position : Member.
  • Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences. 01/01/2017 - present. Position : Member.
  • Production and Operations Management Society. 01/01/2017 - present. Position : Member.
  • American Statistical Association. 01/01/2017 - 12/31/2017. Position : Member.

Teaching Philosophy

As a professor at the University of Utah, I am interested in teaching students to develop critical and creative thinking.  As a professor of management, I am involved in teaching students how to solve problems and make better decisions.  This is especially true in my case, since I teach classes in statistics, quality management and problem solving.  Decision making and problem solving in a business environment can be very complex.  Uninformed managers can make poor decisions that affect the lives of many individuals.  Therefore, my most important goal as a professor of management is to teach students to be informed and effective decision makers.

            In order to effectively teach these technical classes, I need to stay current on business literature and research.  Technology is bringing more challenges.  Computers make it possible to collect and analyze billions of pieces of information.  Telecommunication is revolutionizing the way we do business.  I must read of these advances, and I must participate in my own basic and applied research.  I strongly believe that scholarly research and teaching effectiveness are intertwined and inseparable.

            I feel very strongly that to be an effective teacher, I need to treat individual students with respect.  I must attempt to learn each student's name, and his or her strengths and weaknesses.  I must try to accommodate questions at any time, not just during class and office hours.  I also believe that I can sacrifice the syllabus and schedule if students are not understanding.  My job is not to show them what I know, but to teach them what they need to know, and more importantly to facilitate their learning.

            Finally, I hope to be able to instill in students a love of learning.  I remember a university math class which I attended as an undergraduate student.  The professor had just finished an elegant proof of a very useful concept.  I could tell that he was excited about the problem and its solution.  As he finished, he asked if there were any questions.  One student raised his hand and asked, "will this be on the exam?"  The light in the professor's eyes went out immediately.  I hope to teach my students that school is more than just exams and grades.  I hope that the real value in their education is not found in their grade point average or their resume, but in the knowledge that they take away.

Courses I Teach

  • OIS 4650 - Principles of Quality Management
    Introduction to the principles of quality management, with an emphasis on cross- functional problem solving. Topics include customer driven quality, leadership, employee participation and training, continuous process improvement, design quality and error prevention, management by fact, and strategic quality planning.
  • OIS 6041 - Data Analysis and Decision Making II
    This course is a continuation of Data Analysis and Decision Making I. Course topics will include advanced regression, simulation, Bayes theorem and the value of information in decision analysis.
  • OIS 6040 - Data Analysis and Decision Making I
    This course will develop decision making abilities with data-analysis and decision models. Applications will be in the business functional areas. Students will use computers to solve business problems. Course topics will include advanced statistical analysis, regression models, decision analysis basics, and portfolio management.
  • OIS 6140 - Statistics for Executive MBAs
    Statistics provides an overview of basic statistical concepts and methods for managers. The emphasis is on understanding the concepts and their application to the real world business data. The conceptual material focuses on the importance of statistical thinking to make sound business decisions. The statistical methods are implemented using a computer to analyze business and economic data sets, with emphasis on interpreting the output. Topics covered include descriptive statistics (how to organize data and display it graphically), probability theory, distributions (empirical, mathematical and sampling), statistical inference (hypothesis testing), and the study of relationships (regression and correlation).
  • OIS 6420 - Quality Management
    Introduction to the principles of quality management, with an emphasis on cross-functional problem solving. Topics include system design to control the quality of products and services, customer driven quality, leadership, employee participation and training, and strategic quality planning.
  • OIS 6610 - Practical Management Science
    This course takes a practical approach to management science by using popular business software (e.g., Microsoft Excel) to solve analytical models. Management-decision problems covered in the course may include linear and integer programming, goal programming, nonlinear programming, transportation models, specialized network models, inventory models, critical-path method/project management networks, queuing theory. Where applicable, the course will build on topics at a more advanced level than models covered in OIS 6040 and 6041, Data Analysis and Decision Making. Tools taught in this class are applicable in finance, marketing, operations management, information systems and more.

Teaching Interest

Data Analysis And Decision Making
Management Science
Quality Management And Six Sigma