operations research?

<p>what is the reputation of operations research in engineering? i thought it looked really interesting but im curious what engineers already at cornell have to say about it</p>

<p>bump bump bump</p>

<p>It's basically perceived as the major that engineers switch to when they can't handle other engineering fields. That being said, there are definitely quite a few people who do Operations Research just because they think they'll like it - or because they want to do business but they really like math, etc.. It is kind of like a business w/ engineering applications major. The reason why it is widely considered to be the easiest engineering major at Cornell (which doesn't make it easy compared to other majors such as econ, AEM, etc.) is because there is next to no science involved in any OR classes. Placement is pretty decent, if you have about a 3.5 GPA or higher you can probably make it into a good finance/banking corporation.</p>

<p>you want to get into banking and finance, do CS. OR people are made fun of.</p>

OR people are made fun of.


<p>hmm ... this statement is made from what experience base? As a 25 year OR/IE vet I have to totally disagree.</p>

<p>It is fair to say when picking majors a lot of the engineers consider OR/IR engineering "lite" ... as someone said the OR/IE major will require a lot less science than the other engineering majors ... however, that said, OR is essentially an applied math degree. There are lots of branches of OR but one example is the airline scheduling problem ... develop a model to schedule the crews and planes across the airlines complete network ... this 3-6 month project would be expcted to save the company millions of dollars per year. (In algebra you did problems with 2 or 3 equations with 2 or 3 unkowns ... this scheduling problem is thousands of unkowns and thousands of equations). Another branch looks at queues (lines) ... how should banks / stores / airports / etc be designed to minimize the waiting of the clients. If you have a war simulation computer game it probably grew out of an OR simulation written for a defense contractor years ago.</p>

<p>If you like analytically solving problems OR can be a great field ... there are alot of OR specific jobs as new grads ... and it is a terrific background to enter business / i-banking / consulting. I'm biased but I'd much rather hire an OR person than and undergrad business major. OR may not be a science base as other engineering majors but it is hard core math/analytical in a way that is far beyond any business degree (and yes I have a business masters also).</p>

<p>No, OR is not an applied Math degree, an Applied Math degree from engineering is an applied math degree (and 10xs harder than an OR degree). OR is OR. When I made the statement, I was talking from the perspective of the student body. I know that in all of my CS classes the stigma is that the Operations Research majors are the ones scoring lowest on the assignments. Honestly though, OR is not nearly as rigourous as all the other engineering majors. If you really want to go into finance, do CS, because you'll be taking similar courses in OR, but CS placement will probably be better. I was looking at an article on Businessweek and CS is on the of the primary Majors Financial firms hire from. In some instances surpassing Undergrad Business, Econ and Math.</p>

<p>Additionally as someone with 7 different CS related internships over the course of the last 5 years, I'd say that even in the workplace, OR majors are organizing cubicles while CS majors are doing the actual work. I don't know what Mr. OR ^^ is talking about, but CS is much more respected. Also, you'll be getting more value out of Cornell if you do CS, we are one of the top 5 programs in the World.</p>

<p>Haha, that's funny, because I consider CS the "lite" engineering field.
You complain about OR not being based in science? Sorry, I don't see the science in Computer Science.</p>

<p>Your CS Degree is a "License to Program."
I have the utmost respect for people in OR.</p>

<p>well companies would rather have a GREAT PROGRAMMER than someone who knows why the sky is blue...</p>

<p>If you can handle CS, definitely do it. CS majors are the highest paid engineering majors coming out of Cornell, and also some of the highest paid majors coming from Cornell in general(check the career surveys). Be forewarned though, CS is a very difficult, and sometimes theoretical major. The placement for CS is really good, and if you really want to get some business knowledge, you can minor in business if you're in the engineering school or double major in CS and econ if you're in the arts school (CS is offered by both the arts and engineering schools).</p>

<p>I do feel that you learn to think analytically with an OR degree. Nevertheless, the skills acquired by an OR major is something I feel like anybody from another engineering major can pick up. A CS major can easily solve those problems 3togo mentioned, or at least pick up the skills necessary to do so. Those problems mentioned are just simple optimization problems, and just require you to throw numbers into a computer program (i.e. AMPL, etc.).</p>

<p>In response to chendrix's post, there is definitely more science in CS than OR. Computer architecture requires an extremely thorough knowledge of quantum mechanics. So, in that sense, there is definitely science in CS. Other than required sciences for OR, there is ZERO science in OR</p>

Those problems mentioned are just simple optimization problems


<p>Sure. You keep on telling yourself that. </p>

<p>One of my closest friends and one of the brightest people I ever know was an OR major and is now getting his PhD at Michigan. He wouldn't be getting his PhD if he could just throw all of the world's optimization problems into a computer program.</p>

<p>That is such an oversimplification of what OR's do.</p>

<p>To throw it into some computer program?
Who the hell had to come up with the equations to base the computer program on?
The OR's.
Not to mention the fact that computer architecture is how small of the entire curriculum for CS?</p>

<p>The first how many years is learning programming languages and how to implement object oriented programming?
I'm sorry, but I learned Java, C++, UNIX, Javascript, PHP, MySQL, HTML, Networking, ALL from online tutorials and online web manuals. </p>

<p>So if "the skills acquired by an OR major is something I feel like anybody from another engineering major can pick up," is true, then any 9th grader with internet access can learn the skills required for a CS major.</p>

<p>To Cayuga's post:</p>

<p>1) I never said all ORs do is to throw numbers into computer programs. Your post wrongly assumes that I did, by saying if all your friend does is throw numbers in a computer, he would not have a PhD. Rather, I said, THOSE PROBLEMS MENTIONED BY THE ABOVE POSTERS are simple in the sense that they can be automated to a high extent - in the sense that there are already many mathematical programming languages written to greatly facilitate such problems, such as AMPL. THOSE PROBLEMS MENTIONED BY THE ABOVE POSTER are not all that OR's do - in fact, they are a small subset of OR known as optimization. OR's do more than just this, and I never said this is all they do.</p>

<p>2) What is the story about your smart OR friend trying to prove? I never said ORs are dumb, or even hinted at that. In fact, I said that even though OR is one of the easier majors in the Eng. school, it is probably one of the more difficult majors in Cornell. Hence, ORs are not dumb, and I am not at all surprised by the fact that you have a friend who's a brilliant OR PhD.</p>

<p>To hendrix:</p>

<p>1) Read above, you made the same assumption that Cayuga made in that you automatically assumed all that I thought ORs do is optimize those problems provided. This is clearly not the case.</p>

<p>2) You asked to see the science in the CS curriculum. There it is. You can't say now that there is no science in the CS curriculum. Looking at the CS curriculum, I can say for sure that there are at least 3 courses that require an in-depth knowledge of physics: Computer Architecture, Quantum Information Processing, and Parallel Computer Architecture. It does not matter how much of the curriculum that consumes - that's still 3 more science intensive courses in the CS curriculum than the OR curriculum. Please point out a few (can't find any? how about one) course from OR that uses science.</p>

<p>3) "Who the hell had to come up with the equations to base the computer program on?The OR's.</p>

<p>Who the hell wrote the compiler, wrote the language and the syntax for the program, in addition to probably helping with the equations to base the program on? The CS MAJORS. In fact, many famous optimization algorithms such as Dijkstra's algorithm (Computer scientist , Edgard Dijkstra) Prim's algorithm (computer scientist Robert C. Prim), etc. were invented by computer scientists. </p>

<p>3) Any engineering major has the skills necessary to do OR. Period. Your OR buddy 3togo even said OR is essentially applied math. Therefore, OR largely requires mathematical thinking. If you don't think that all engineering majors have good mathematical thinking skills... I don't know what to say to you. I could argue that AEP, ECE, and MechE are in a sense forms of applied math as well, plus a heavy load of difficult physics courses.</p>

<p>4) "then any 9th grader with internet access can learn the skills required for a CS major."</p>

<p>Care to explain? Would a ninth grader know enough quantum mechanics to understand computer architecture, parallel computer architecture, or quantum information processing (do you as an OR know enough to do this?)? Can a 9th grader design his or own programming language and develop a compiler for it (can you do this as an OR?)? Can a 9th grader design artificial intelligence (An OR sure as hell cant...)? Can a ninth grader develop machine learning algorithms? Can a 9th grader manage a complex network or database of systems?</p>

<p>Look I have nothing against ORs... but OR is without a shadow of a doubt the easiest engineering major, period. To think otherwise is foolish. I myself am contemplating switching to OR, if I find it difficult to handle my ECE and MechE classes next year. That OR is the easiest engineering major by no means makes OR an easy major. It's just the easiest in the engineering school, and I think that's pretty clear.</p>

<p>just bc OR is known as the "easiest" engineering major- it is still challenging!</p>

<p>Just because OR is considered the easiest major in the school by most engineers (almost every engineer, including some ORs, agrees with this), doesn't mean that OR majors are intellectually inferior to everyone else. Some of the smartest people I know were OR majors and have since graduated and have very high paying banking/consulting jobs.
To answer chendrix's post about CS majors: CS majors learn programming languages and object-oriented programming in a total of 2 classes (one of which most CS majors don't even take): CS100 and CS211. The rest of the core CS classes are all theory or computer architecture. Even the 400 level electives (2 are required) are all theory since the CS department assumes you know how to program already and will learn whatever languages you need to on your own. CS majors only formally learn 2 languages at Cornell: Java and a functional language (for us it was SML). All of those skills you've stated are offered in elective 1/2 credit 100 or 200 level CS classes that most CS majors don't even take. I don't even know half of those languages since I've never had the need to learn them and I know I can just read a book if I cared enough.</p>

<p>operations research is part of the engineering school but it really isnt purely engineering guys! </p>

<p>and if by easiest you mean it is less-technical then i guess you're right...</p>