Operations research is a mathematical science concerned with optimal decision making and the modeling of deterministic and probabilistic systems. Its focus and field of application are interdisciplinary, embracing a broad range of quantitative techniques. Industrial engineering is concerned with the design, improvement, and installation of integrated systems of personnel, material, and equipment. Together, operations research and industrial engineering provide a rational approach to engineering and managerial problem solving through deliberate application of scientific methods.
In practice, operations research and industrial engineering address both the performance objectives and the resource constraints of an organization, working toward the establishment of policies that are most beneficial to the organization as a whole. The function of the operations research analyst or the industrial engineer is to guide decision making by identifying underlying cause-and-effect relationships, developing and proposing courses of action, establishing criteria by which to judge their effectiveness, and evaluating their probable effects.
The program in operations research and industrial engineering is designed to allow students to develop the technical, analytic, and managerial skills necessary to perform these tasks successfully. The graduate program in Operations Research & Industrial Engineering offers M.S. and Ph.D. degrees.