Dr Layna Groen

Biography

Layna undertook undergraduate studies at the University of Sydney, majoring in Pure Mathematics, with submajors in Physics, Geology and Applied Mathematics. She then undertook a Diploma of Education at the then Sydney Teachers College.

After teaching high school maths and science for three years, she commenced the Graduate Diploma in Operations Research, followed by a Masters of Applied Science in the same area at the University of Technology, Sydney.

Her interest in financial modeling then lead her to the University of New South Wales, where she completed a Masters of Commerce (Honours) in Finance.

She returned to the University of Technology, Sydney to complete her Doctor of Philosophy (2002), again in the area of financial modeling. For some years Layna was the Course Director/Program Leader for the Bachelor of Mathematics and Finance program, and at various times held the positions of Exemptions Coordinator and Elective Coordinator for the School of Mathematical Sciences.  She is current the Academic Liaison Officer for her School.

She has held the position of Assistant Student Ombud, and later the Student Ombud, positions she held from 2004 to 2010. She was a Science Faculty Representative on Academic Board 2008-2012, and was a member of the Academic Administration Committee from 2008 to 2012.  During this time she chaired working groups on Assessment Policy and Procedures and Admissions Policy and Procedures, and continues to work in the area of Rules review.

Professional

For many years, Layna has been involved with the Sydney Chapter of the Australian Society for Operations Research, and has held positions as Treasurer and Chair at various times.

Image of Layna Groen
Senior Lecturer, School of Mathematical Sciences
DipEd (Syd), BSc (Syd), GradDip OR (NSWIT), M Comm(Hons) (UNSW), M App Sc (UTS), PhD (UTS)
Member, Australian Society for Operations Research
 
Phone
+61 2 9514 2266
Room
CB01.15.51

Research Interests

Dr Groen has undertaken a small number of consulting projects in queueing theory and simulation, while her research interests focus on static and dynamic optimisation, including optimal control, and mathematical modeling.

She has worked on the optimal location of tsunami warning buoys in the Indian Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea.  With her final year Operations Research class, she has constructed a multiple-objective goal programming model for water allocation in the Murrumbidgee catchment.

Layna is a Senior Lecturer with 25 years experience in the teaching of Operations Research at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels, and in the supervision of honours and postgraduate students. 

She has taught the undergraduate subjects 35140 Introduction to Quantitative Management, 35241 Optimisation in Quantitative Management, and 35340 Quantitative Management Practice in the Faculty of Science as well as a number of postgraduate and honours level Operations Research subjects. This includes subjects in optimal control, stochastic programming and large scale mathematical programming.  She has also lectured and tutored first year mathematics subjects for Engineering and Science students.  One of her current research interests is first year preparedness for mathematics for STEM students.  She has a long time interest in learning design and innovation in mathematics assessment.

She has also taught the postgraduate subject 21742 Quantitative Management for the Faculty of Business and continues to teach the current equivalent subject.

Conference Papers

Groen, L. 2011, 'Improving Tsunami Warning Times for Coastal Populations of the Mediterranean Sea', 19th Triennial Conference of the International Federation of Operational Research Societies, Melbourne, July 2011 in World OR: Global Economy and Sustainable Environment Program and Abstracts, ed Janny Leung et al, International Federation of Operational Research Socities, Melbourne, pp. 101-101.
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Program and abstracts for the conference.
Groen, L. 2011, 'Engaging mathematics students through undergraduate research', Australian Conference on Science and Mathematics Education, Melbourne, September 2011 in Proceedings of the Australian Conference on Science and Mathematics Education, ed Manjula Sharma, Alexandra Yeung, Trisha Jenkins, Elizabeth Johnson, Gerry Rayner and Jan West, Uniserve Science, Sydney, pp. 44-48.
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Conference abstracts and papers.
Groen, L. & Selvadurai, N. 2009, 'Strategic Positioning of Tsunami Detection Buoys in the Caribbean', The 20th National Conference of the Australian Society for Operations Research, Surfers Paradise, Gold Coast, Queensland Australia, September 2009 in National Conference of the Australian Society for Operations Research - Proceedings of Abstracts and Papers, ed Kozan, E, Australian Society for Operations Research, Brisbane, pp. 45-46.
Groen, L. 2007, 'Meeting expectations - a focus of professional practice in an final year undergraduate mathematics course', cience Teaching and Learning Research Using Threshold Concepts, Sydney, Australia, September 2007 in Symposium Proceedings: Science Teaching and Learning Research Using Threshold Concepts, ed Hugman, A, Uniserve, Sydney, Australia, pp. 34-39.
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This paper argues that achievement of many of the attributes of graduates in professional practice in operations research, or quantitative management science, can be developed best trhoguh a learning design that reflects current professional knowledge, skills and values. this necessarily places gthe focus of the learning design squarely on the student, with technology and communication at the nexus of the subject learning activities, and assessment tasks tailored to reflect this. The first steps in examination of the effectiveness of this form of learning design are undrtaken for a final year capstone subject in the Quatitative Management Science major in a Bachelor of scienc program. This examination is undertaken from the perspectve of students and teaching staff through the nalaysis of discussions with students conducted at milestones throughout the semester. positive student outcomes can be identified.
Groen, L. & Blazek, K. 2007, 'Optimising the Location of Tsumani detection Buoys in the Indian Ocean', Operations Research for Today and Tomorrow, Melbourne, December 2007 in 19th National Conference of the Australian Society for Operations Research - Conference Proceedings, ed A/Prof Ruhul Sarker, Australian Society for Operations Research (Melbourne Chapter), Melbourne.
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Groen, L. 2006, 'Enhancing learning and measuring learning outcomes in mathematics using online assessment', Assessment in science Teaching & Learning, Sydney, Australia, September 2006 in Symposium Proceedings: Assessment in Science Teaching and Learning, ed Johnston I; Peat M, Uniserve Science, Sydney, Australia, pp. 56-61.
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Groen, L. & Carmody Jones, G. 2005, 'Blended learning in a first year mathematics subject', Blended Learning in Science Teaching and Learning`, Sydney, Australia, September 2005 in Proceedings of the Blended Learning in Science Teaching and learning, ed Johnson, I; Peat, M., Uniserve Science, Sydney, Australia, pp. 50-55.
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This paper argues that the achievement of learning objectives for a first year mathematics subject, Operations Research Modelling can be best fostered through a blended learning design.'Blended learning' can be used in a variety of contextx. In this paper, the definition used is that of the integration of 'traditional' learning activities - lectures, tutorials, Mathematica and optimisation laboratories and paper-based assessment tasks - with leanring activities and environments more usually associated with other disciplines - collaborative learning, online assessment, peer review, case studies, spreadsheet technology, and the information and communication technology, Blackboard. It is argued that a blended learning design includes learning activities that more closely mirror professional practice and is ore likely to encourage a deep approach to learning. Effectiveness of the blended learning design is examined from the perspective of students and teaching staff, trhough the analysis of responses to questionnaires and comments collected.
Groen, L. 2005, 'Changes in product quality and consumer responses', National Conference of the Australian Society for Operations Research, Perth, Australia, September 2005 in Proceedings of the 18th National ASOR Conference & 11th Australian Optimisation Day, ed Caccetta, L; Rehbock, V., Western Australian Centre of Excellence in Industrial Optimisation, Perth, Australia, pp. 67-74.
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This article examines the dynamic relationship between a firm's decision to vary the quality of a product, consumer responses to this variation, and the ffect this could have on the firm's profit and value. This is achieved through the construction and anlysis of a discrete-time optimal control model which incorporates consumer response. The consumer response model is based on sampling the product's market prior to the reduction in quality. The model is then solved numerically. The optimal time to reduce quality is shown to be affected by the ratio of price and cost differentials associated with differences in quality and the shareholder's required rate of return.
Groen, L. 2003, 'Australian Society for Operations Research', Sydney, July 2003.

Journal Articles

Thornton, B.S., Thornton-Benko, E. & Groen, L. 2011, 'Interacting psycho-economics expectations ratios with equity/debt realities suggests a crisis warning method', Bioautomation, vol. 15, no. 4, pp. 215-222.
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The recent April 2011 meeting of the G20 countries considered possible development of a global early warning system to avoid any future financial crisis. Psycho-economic factors are strong drivers of greed, fear and non-rational behavior and experience shows that they should not be excluded from such a project. Rational, logical behavior for attitude and actions has been an assumption in most financial models prior to the advent of the 2008 crisis. In recent years there has been an increasing interest in relating financial activity to phenomena in physics, turbulence, neurology and recent fMRI experiments show that cortical interactions for decisions are affected by previous experience.
Groen, L., Botten, L.C. & Blazek, K. 2010, 'Optimising the location of tsunami detector buoys and sea-level monitors in the Indian Ocean', International Journal of Operational Research, vol. 8, no. 2, pp. 174-188.
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In the wake of the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami disaster, a global response to implement a tsunami warning system in the Indian Ocean became imperative. Steps in this direction were initiated in 2005 with plans for the deployment of up to 24 tsunami detection buoys. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the optimal placement of tsunami detection buoys and sea-level monitors, in order to provide warning to the greatest population potentially affected. We adopt a mathematical programming approach to examine this problem. It is determined that 10 sites are essential in ensuring that the maximum population can be warned. This has implications for construction and maintenance of the tsunami warning system in the Indian Ocean.
Groen, L., Joseph, A., Black, E., Lund, M.E., Tam, W. & Gabor, M. 2010, 'Optimal location of Tsunami warning buoys and sea level monitoring stations in the Mediterranean Sea', Science of Tsunami Hazards, vol. 29, no. 2, pp. 78-95.
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The present study determines the optimal location of detection components of a tsunami warning system in the Mediterranean region given the existing and planned infrastructure. Specifically, we examine the locations of existing tsunameters DART buoys and coastal sea-level monitoring stations to see if additional buoys and stations will improve the proportion of the coastal population that may receive a warning ensuring a timely response. A spreadsheet model is used to examine this issue. Based on the historical record of tsunamis and assuming international cooperation in tsunami detection, it is demonstrated that the existing network of sea level stations and tsunameters enable around ninety percent of the coastal population of the Mediterranean Sea to receive a 15 minute warning. Improvement in this result can be achieved through investment in additional real-time, coastal, sea level monitoring stations. This work was undertaken as a final year undergraduate research project.
Groen, L. & Selvadurai, J.N. 2010, 'Strategic positioning of Tsunami detection buoys in the Caribbean Sea', Australian Society for Operations Research (ASOR) Bulletin, vol. 29, no. 2, pp. 15-26.
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The December 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami increased global awareness to the destructive nature of tsunamis. International effort in constructing a tsunami warning system (TWS) in the Indian Ocean followed. The issue of constructing a cost- and performance-effective TWS is still on the agenda in a number of areas world-wide. This includes the countries bordering the Caribbean Sea. The purpose of this paper is to examine the effectiveness of the current Caribbean tsunami warning system and, where required, to suggest how its performance can be improved. It is found that relatively few additional detectors are required to improve performance.
Groen, L. 2006, 'Essentials of Mathematics', The Australian Mathematics Teacher, vol. 62, no. 1.
Groen, L. 2006, 'Mathematics as a Constructive Activity', Australian Mathematics Teacher, vol. 62, no. 1.
Groen, L. 2006, 'Mathematics for Business Decisions', Australian Mathematics Teacher, vol. 1.