MA445 - Stochastic Models in Operations Research

Instructor:  David Rader 
Time: Period 3 MTRF 
Prerequisite: MA381

Ever wonder...
(1)  How does the CDC estimate the number of people that are affected with H1-N1 in a given country?
(2)  How does L.L. Bean or QVC decide how many telephone operators to have working at any given time during the holiday season?
(3)  How much money should a bank put into the ATM at the mall during any given weekend?
This course deals with formulating these and other problems as stochastic models.  Stochastic models similar to these are often part of a branch of mathematics known as Operations Research.  In particular, the stochastic models we will study include (but are not limited to) This is an applied math course for computer scientists, engineers ( especially those with managerial aspirations) and, of course, mathematicians.  It assumes a background in probability (MA 381).

Job Outlook - from Occupational Outlook Handbook

"Employment is projected to grow much faster than average . Individuals with a master's or Ph.D. degree in operations research or management science should have excellent job opportunities; some entry-level positions are available to those with a bachelor's degree.

Employment change. Employment of operations research analysts is expected to grow 22 percent over the 2008-18 period, much faster than the average for all occupations. As technology advances and companies further emphasize efficiency, demand for operations research analysis should continue to grow. Technological advancements have extended the availability of data access and storage, making information more readily available. Advancements in computing capabilities and analytical software have made it cheaper and faster for analysts to solve problems. As problem solving becomes cheaper and faster with technological advances, more firms will have the ability to employ or consult with analysts.

Additionally, organizations increasingly will be faced with the pressure of growing domestic and international competition and must work to maximize organizational efficiency. As a result, businesses increasingly will rely on operations research analysts to optimize profits by improving productivity and reducing costs. As new technologies are introduced into the marketplace, operations research analysts will be needed to determine how to best use those new technologies.

Job prospects. Jobs for operations research analysts exist in almost every industry because of the diversity of applications for their work. As businesses and government agencies continue to contract out jobs to cut costs, opportunities for operations research analysts will be best in management, scientific, and technical consulting firms. The relatively small pool of qualified candidates will result in excellent opportunities for those with a master's or Ph.D. degree in operations research or management science. Operations research is not a particularly well-known field, which means there are fewer applicants competing for each job.

In addition to job growth, some openings will result from the need to replace analysts retiring or leaving the occupation for other reasons."


Any questions? Just send me mail. david.rader@Rose-Hulman.EDU
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