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Operations Research Dual-Title Degree Program

Graduate students within the Entomology program can elect to participate in the Operations Research Dual-Title Degree Program. "Operations research" is the use of scientific methodology in the formulation, analysis, and solution of decision-making problems.

single_5630The term "operations research" originated in World War II to describe studies of military operations involving man-machine systems. Since its origin, operations researchers have addressed a wide variety of problems, including production and inventory control, transportation and distribution system design, capital investment marketing strategies, health maintenance, pollution control, personnel staffing, military deployment, resource management, and other regional planning problems, just to name a few.

The applications of operations research are numerous, and, more important, new applications are continually arising. The strength and versatility of operations research lie in its ability to model the behavior of complex systems in quantitative mathematical terms, as well as its prescriptive power through analysis and synthesis. Operations research (OR) is interdisciplinary by nature and draws on the techniques from many fields, including the mathematical sciences, engineering, economics, and the physical sciences.

The unique structure of the OR program at Penn State enables students from rather diverse backgrounds to attain and be identified with the tools, techniques, and methodology of OR and at the same time maintain a close association with their field of major interest. The opportunity to study and work with others from such diverse backgrounds provides an enriching experience not usually available in graduate work.

By a judicious selection of courses, a student can tailor a plan of graduate study to meet career objectives in both of the chosen fields. Students electing to participate in this program will earn a dual-title degree at either the Ph.D., M.S., or M.Eng. levels, e.g., Ph. D. in Entomology and Operations Research, or M.S. in Entomology and Operations Research. The Ph.D. students can also elect to take Operations Research as a minor. Additional information regarding the dual-title degree OR program can be found on the program Web site or the graduate degree programs bulletin

Dr. Michael Saunders, professor of entomology, is a member of the Operations Research faculty, and would be happy to speak with students about the possibility of pursuing a dual-title degree in Entomology and Operations Research.