Natcor 5th Day: Closing and Competition Prize Winner Annauncement


It was Friday (12/04/2013). Finally, the Natcor shourt course ended. The final lecture was delivered by an emeritus professor Steve Gallivan, from Clinical operational Research Unit, University College London. He was quite old. Rang me the bell of my grand father when he was alive. He presented an interesting application of stochastic modeling in the operation of Paediatric cardiac transplantation. It was all about how to optimize the heart transplantation process involving the donors and patients who are waiting the right heart from the donors. It was very terribly mathematics stuff that made me surrender again.

To be honest, I did not pay attention on his material. He made me imagine what will I be, when I am at his age. Will I still be giving any contribution to my world like him at that age. I did hope so.

After the last lecture, the session was ended with evaluation test. It was only 21  multiple choices questions. It was straight forward and general concept question actually. However, since I did not read all the material, I had no idea exactly to answer all the questions. I just depended on my own instinct and just chose the answer randomly if the the instinct did not come up with the time. The exam took an hour time approximately.

After the test, the last of  session of the last day is the closing ceremony and announcement  of the Competition Prize Winner. At the second day of the course We were given a challenge to solve optimization problem in allocating staffs at hospital call center service. Maintaining  the waiting time of customer not to  exceed particular amount of times, and being given the customer call arrival rate which is vary at different time of the day, We are expected to provide a solution of the minimal staff allocation (minimize staff working hours). The solution should be provided with a Deterministic Time Model software helper only and be submitted within two days.

There are one honorable mention winner, and four prizes winner chosen in this competition. The honorable mention (5th place) went to someone from Lancaster University. The 4th prize went to (unbelievable) me and Lemon from University of Nottingham. The 3rd prize went to someone from Oxford University. The 2nd price went to someone, again from Lancaster University. And finally, the first winner went to someone from Pisa University, Italy.


It was surprising for me, because I thought I will be at the bottom two of this competition/challenge. I felt that I was the most stupid participant at this short course. Because, there were approximately a  hundred and half PhD students from prominent universities in the UK and other European countries attended at this short course. Perhaps, it was a fluke did matter.

Finally, a week of short course in Stochastic Modeling ended. After making  Jum’at prayer at Islamic Prayer at Lancaster University we went home to Nottingham. I went along with Fawaz and Nonth by Train from Lancaster to Manchester, Manchester to Nottingham, and finally from Nottingham to Beeston.

What I reflected from this short course is the mathematics and statistics are the foundation of stochastic modelling. Stochastic is all about dealing with uncertainty matter phenomenon describing what are happening in today business world. Demand and price are short of example of uncertain thing in business. Stochastic modelling is all about finding the distribution pattern of  those uncertain phenomenon, it could be poison, exponential, Weibull distribution matter. The concept of integral plays the important role in finding those pattern attributed to continuous uncertain random matters.

I am terribly bad in continuous mathematics i.e. Calculus. To grasp firmly  the concept of stochastic modelling, background in Calculus and Statistics are highly required. But, I have no time to learn all this thing. It is not exactly what my currently research area. At least, I know about this stuff. Oh god, it really makes me realize how stupid I am. How narrow and shallow my knowledge was.

By the way, what was the Prize I got as 4th winner? I thought I got a bunch of money. But the real prize is an Amazone voucher. Did yo know How much It was?


Yes, it was only 5  not 500 Pound Sterling voucher. It was only enough for chicken and fries meal. However, the value for me really did not matter but the meaning of the prize for me really did matter. Thanks God.

Traveling to Lancaster University for NATCOR Shortcourse


It was Monday (08/04/13). I woke up very early in the morning, because I had to travel to Lancaster for NATCOR Short course in Stochastic Modeling. NATCOR is National Taught Course Center in Operation Research. It was 5-day course held in Lancaster University Management School.  I felt very lucky, because my University paid me every thing (including registration, transportation, and accommodation fee)  for this course and other two courses in forthcoming months. For me, it meant free Traveling.

at 6.15 am I caught the bus from my house to Beeston train station. I arrived at Beeston train station 10 minutes later. At the station, I went to ticket machine to print out my ticket that I have booked online. It was 104 pound return ticket to Lancaster including the Plus Bus ticket.


The train departed at 07.15 from Beeston and arrived at Nottingham 07.25. I had to get off at Nottingham train station to change to another train leaving for Manchester Piccadely from Nottingham train station.


I had to wait for several minutes because the train would depart at 07.45.  I went to coffee shop for nothing, because I was fasting. I just took a seat and killed the time. Finally, the train came at platform number 6 and I got on the train at 07.40. It was East Midland train. It was a very fast and cozy train. The typical public transport services in the UK. There are much more  number of seats than the number of passengers.


The most enjoyable thing traveling by train was the country side scenery a long the journey. I also enjoyed reading in the train as well. However, since it was my first traveling to Lancaster the country side view from the train window was much more interesting and amazing.


Finally, I arrived Manchester punctually at 09.36 am. Manchester is very famous city in Indonesia. There are so many Manchester United football club fans in Indonesia. Thus, there are many many Indonesians really want to visit this city. At glance, Manchester is very vibrant city, it is the second largest city in the UK after London.


Here, I had to change to another train again, it was Tranpennine Express. It departed 09.46 from Manchester to Preston and arrived at Preston at 10:33 PM.


Again, from Preston I had to change to another train. It was Virgin Trains that departed from Preston at 10.41 am and arrived at 10:54 am. Finally, we arrived at Lancaster, a small city at West Northern of UK.


From the Lancaster train station I caught bus to the University of Lancaster. We traveled through city center before finally I arrived at  nearby country side where The University is located. It is located in the middle of forest and farming area where I could easily find a swarm of sheep and horses . It is so quite place to study.

I will be studying stochastic modelling with some prominent Professors at this school for 5 days. I met around a hundred other students from different nationalities attending this course. It is always great pleasure for me to know many new people from different culture and backgrounds. I got many new friends from Germany, Russia, Spain, Italy, Brazil, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Malaysia, Thailand, China, Egypt, Zambia, Nigeria and many more. Unfortunately, I did not met student from my beloved country, Indonesia.

At the first day, we had a half day lecture series that ended at 05.00 PM. After the course, we stayed at the student hall around the campus. I felt like living in the middle of farming field in the very rural village in a random country. It is so quite place, indeed.


Hope I would have incredible stimulating and fantastic week in this University, then. Ammiin.