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What is operations research?

Operations Research (OR) is a field at the crossroads of computer science, applied mathematics, management, and industrial engineering. Its goal is to provide automated logic-based decision making systems, generally for control or optimization tasks such as improving efficiency or reducing costs in industry. OR can be used to:

  • Manage healthcare in hospitals
  • Organize police and ambulance services
  • Plan energy use while managing its production
  • Plan delivery and public transit systems
  • Manage manufacturing production, inventory, and distribution
  • Design communication and computer systems
  • Schedule work, classes, and sporting events
  • Drive economic and financial policies