Operations Research (OR) is the professional discipline that deals
with the application of information technology for informed
decision-making. OR professionals aim to provide rational bases for
decision making by seeking to understand and structure complex
situations and to use this understanding to predict system behavior and
improve system performance. Much of this work is done using analytical
and numerical techniques to develop and manipulate mathematical and
computer models of organizational systems composed of people, machines,
Research draws upon ideas from engineering, management, mathematics,
and psychology to contribute to a wide variety of application domains;
the field is closely related to several other fields in the “decision
sciences” — applied mathematics, computer science, economics,
industrial engineering, and systems engineering.
Research is distinguished by its broad applicability and by the wide
variety of career opportunities and work styles it embraces. Because
the concepts and methods of OR are so pervasive, operations research
offers highly flexible career paths.
The SMU Operations Research Ph.D. program
prepares its graduates for a career in higher education, research, or
industry. With its strong faculty and curriculum, the SMU OR program is
ranked in the top 25 operations research programs in the United States.