About Operations Research
Operations Research at West Point is an especially rich area of application that lies at the intersection of two disciplines: mathematics and systems engineering.
Military Operations Research applies logic and quantitative methods to complex problems to give military commanders a sound basis for decision making. Since WWII, Operations Research (OR) has formally emerged as an applied mathematical science and engineering discipline, with broad application in many fields of study. The need for OR within the Army is constantly growing as the demand for better utilization of limited resources continues. Many exciting opportunities currently exist for officers to pursue an education in OR at the graduate level, and to apply the skills they acquire in such a program during their military service.
Operations Research at USMA focuses on understanding, organizing, and translating a decision maker’s needs into a concise mathematical model whose solution aids in the decision making process. Cadets are required to understand and apply various systems engineering, optimization, simulation, probability and statistics methods throughout the program. The OR major/studies major prepares cadets to meet the many problem solving challenges faced by company-grade officers in all branches of the Army.
All Cadets must complete or validate both a core set of mathematics courses, which provides basic analytical knowledge and skills necessary for completing follow on courses, as well as a cores set of systems engineering courses that serve as a unifying experience. Summer enrichment programs at many of the Army’s analytical agencies are available through both sponsoring departments.
A studies major or major in OR will be of interest to you if you are someone who finds solving real world problems challenging, interesting, and satisfying. OR will improve your ability to make better decisions in a technical world.