Operations Research

Degree Concentration for PhD, Industrial Engineering

Operations Research (OR) is the application of scientific and especially mathematical methods to the study and analysis of problems involving complex systems. 

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PhD students interested in OR apply methods such as mathematical programming, stochastic modeling, and discrete-event simulation to the solution of problems in complex systems such as logistics, supply chain optimization, long-range planning, energy and environmental systems, urban and health systems, and manufacturing.

We have an active student body - in fact, UB hosts one of the founding chapters of Omega Rho, the National Operations Research Honor Society. Students are also active participants in the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS).

Our faculty and students conduct OR research funded by such agencies as the National Science Foundation, the Office of Naval Research, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Transportation and the National Institute of Justice, as well as national and local corporations and foundations such as United Airlines, Praxair, Lockheed Martin, Boeing, and the Fire Protection Research Foundation. We often work in teams with faculty and students with research interests in manufacturing, production systems and human factors to solve problems beyond the expertise of any single discipline.

Graduating students take positions in national and international corporations, academic institutions and research laboratories. 

Required Core Courses

ISE PhD students who concentrate in OR complete at a minimum:

  • IE 572 Linear Programming
  • IE 573 Discrete Optimization
  • IE 575 Stochastic Methods
  • IE 576 Applied Stochastic Processes
  • IE 5xx/6xx Operations Research/IE Elective
  • IE 555 Programming for Analytics (Must be completed within the first two years of the program)