Operations Research/Industrial Mathematics

Operations Research/Industrial Mathematics
This fact sheet gives recommended upper level courses that will be particularly useful to students interested in operations research.
The Mathematics Major - Operations Research Concentration
Lower Division Courses
MS 201 - Calculus 1 MS 245 - Linear Algebra
MS 202 - Calculus 2 MS 255 - Logic and Proofs
MS 203 - Calculus 3 Any CS course at the 100 level
Upper Division Courses Any six at the 300 or 400 level
Capstone MS 497-498 - Senior Research
Strongly Recommended Courses
MS 351 - Operations Research MS 392 - Numerical Analysis
MS 350 - Mathematical Modeling CS 101 - Computer Science I
CS 102 - Computer Science II
Other Recommended Courses
MS 316 - Differential Equations MS 416 - Partial Differential Equations
MS 371 - Probability MS 372 - Statistics
MS 360 - Graph Theory MS 345 - Advanced Linear Algebra
MS 401 - Real Analysis II Minor in Mathematics

What is Operations Research?

Practitioners in operations research and industrial mathematics play an important role in both government and the private sector. Such trained mathematicians analyze and solve problems ranging from planning optimal ways of land management to shift scheduling to cover needs and minimize overtime to disaster planning and recovery.

Operations research and industrial mathematics is a relatively new area of mathematics, with most of its concepts dating back only to the beginning of the twentieth century. Indeed, operations research really came into its own as a separate discipline during World War II, when governments had a need for solid planning to ensure the survival and success of the military in the war effort. So while much has been done in this area of mathematics, much remains to be discovered, and students can find fruitful careers either in government / industry or in academia doing teaching and research.

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Career Preparation

The student wanting to pursue operations research / industrial mathematics should major in mathematics, and take as many computer science courses as possible. Other helpful courses would be in finance, economics, and applied statistics. A minor in one of these areas should be considered.

Most jobs in this field require at least a masters degree. Graduate programs in this area may be titled Operations Research, Management Science, or Industrial Engineering. Please see our fact sheet on Graduate School.

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Links To More Information

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Recent Graduates

  • Matthew Galati, 1998, Lehigh University and IBM Corporation

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