These applications can be found eve rywhere from

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decisions encountered in an endless number of real life applications. These applications can be found eve- rywhere, from natural and social sciences to engineering, which explains why OR is taught at universities and colleges worldwide. Their importance became very relevant in the past decades and even business schools found the need for offering OR courses. Borsting et al. (1988) emphasize the value of teaching OR in business programs as it prepares students to be OR consumers or motivates them to learn further to become OR producers. In the end, managers need to solve problems and make decisions, so they should understand the entire decision-support process. Horner (2003) gives ten top reasons for which OR should be incorporated in business schools. According to him, studying OR builds analytical and problem- solving skills that also help in other courses, and provides competitive advantage. This author also men- tions that OR is a dominant technology that exploits the computer/communications revolution. Moreover, he declares Simulation within the top ten topics or techniques that should be included in an OR course for business students. 3609 978-1-4799-2076-1/13/$31.00 ©2013 IEEE
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Grasas, Juan, and Ramalhinho Simulation is a crucial tool in OR, and according to practitioners and academics one of the three most important quantitative techniques together with statistics and mathematical programming (Lane, Mansour, and Harpell 1993). Originally, it was mainly used to explore different management scenarios and system designs. Thus, traditional applications of simulation cover topics such as project planning, in- ventory control, production, logistics, queuing, or scheduling (Pritsker et al. 1994). Today, due to the im- proved computer processing power, simulation also yields pseudo-optimal solutions to ill-structured prob- lems, thus helping in real-world decision-making processes. Simulation is usually employed when systems cannot be analytically modeled, or when data cannot be directly collected. It allows studying the impact of changes in the system, as well as performing what-if analysis on alternative model designs, which may not be possible to do using the real system itself. In this paper we present several teaching experiences that involve OR and Simulation in master courses at three Spanish universities: the Barcelona School of Management that belongs to the Universitat Pompeu Fabra (from now on, BSM UPF), the Open University of Catalonia (UOC), and the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB). In the first experience at BSM-UPF, we use a simulation game to teach a resolution method for a well-known OR problem in the area of logistics, the vehicle routing problem. In the second experience at UOC a purely online university , we explain how Java-based simulation and simulation with Opnet are employed as driving tools in final degree projects associated with a master in computer science. Finally, the third experience at UAB discusses the use of spreadsheet-based simulation and the Simio simulation software to understand complex processes in an aeronautical management mas- ter. The remainder of this paper is structured as follows: Section 2 provides a short overview of related
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