Operations Research involves mathematically modeling physical systems (both naturally occurring and man-made) with a view to determining a course of action for the system to either improve or optimize its functionality. Examples of such systems include: manufacturing systems, chemical processes, socioeconomic systems, mechanical systems (e.g., those that produce and utilize energy and materials), and mining systems.
The ORwE Program allows students to complete an interdisciplinary master’s (non-thesis) or doctoral-level degree by taking courses and conducting research in the following departments and divisions: Applied Mathematics and Statistics, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Computer Science, Economics and Business, Mining Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Metallurgical & Materials Engineering. Currently, eleven faculty in the departments listed above serve as core faculty in this program.
Mines currently enjoys the fourth ranking in yield and visibility of all U.S. universities according to the Eleventh Rothkopf Rankings of Universities’ Contributions to the INFORMS Practice Literature, which emphasizes applied, effective and influential operations research. The past decade has seen an increase in Mines faculty in engineering departments and divisions who use OR techniques in their research and in students with engineering backgrounds with research interests in OR. Specifically, interdisciplinary activity in OR can be found in the Mechanical Engineering Department, the Mining Engineering Department, and in the Department of Electrical Engineering, among others. OR presence at Mines is ubiquitous, especially in Mines’ focus areas of earth, energy and the environment.