Instructor Information

Christine Nickel

Cell Phone: 703-732-6824

Course Information

Course Description

Queues are a ubiquitous part of everyday life; common examples are supermarket checkout stations, help desk call centers, manufacturing assembly lines, wireless communication networks, and multi-tasking computers. Queuing theory provides a rich and useful set of mathematical models for the analysis and design of service process for which there is contention for shared resources. This course explores both theory and application of fundamental and advanced models in this field. Fundamental models include single and multiple server Markov queues, bulk arrival and bulk service processes, and priority queues. Applications emphasize communication networks and computer operations but may include examples from transportation, manufacturing, and the service industry. Advanced topics may vary. Course Note(s): This course is the same as EN.605.725 Queuing Theory with Applications to Computer Science.


Multivariate calculus and a graduate course in probability and statistics such as EN.625.603 Statistical Methods and Data Analysis.

Course Goal

Provide the student with a rigorous framework with which to model and analyze queueing systems.

Course Objectives

  • Rigorous understanding of the theoretical background of queueing systems.
  • Understand and compute quantitative metrics of performance for queueing systems.

  • Apply and extend queueing models to analyze real world systems.

When This Course is Typically Offered

The course is typically offered annually in the Spring term at the Applied Physics Laboratory.


  • Introduction to Queing Systems and Notation
  • Review of Related Stochastic Processes
  • Single Server Markov Queues
  • Advanced Markovian Queueing Models
  • Networks Queues
  • Priority Queues
  • General Arrival or Service Patterns
  • Numerical Techniques and Simulation

Student Assessment Criteria

Exam I 30%
Exam II 30%
Homework 30%
Presentation 10%

Computer and Technical Requirements

Some homework assignments will require the use of a computer; the student is free to use any programming language with which he/she is comfortable.

Participation Expectations

All Exams will be in-class.  Homework will be assigned weekly, collected and corrected.  No late homework will be accepeted, however, the lowest homework grade will be dropped.  Also, each student will complete a research or simulation project to be presented to the class or handed in as a formal report.


Textbook information for this course is available online through the MBS Direct Virtual Bookstore.

Course Notes

There are no notes for this course.

Term Specific Course Website

(Last Modified: 01/24/2021 09:59:11 AM)