Operations Research

Coordinator: Eric Denardo, 502 DL, 432-7276, eric.denardo@yale.edu

Professors Eric Denardo, Edward Kaplan, Arthur Swersey

Operations research is concerned with the organization and management of productive activities. Operations research includes mathematical analysis of techniques of optimization, efficient organization of production, calculation of operating characteristics of complex systems, and application of these and other techniques to operating problems throughout business and government. The subject, also known as management science, is closely related to computer science, economics, statistics, engineering, and pure and applied mathematics.

To practice operations research, one must identify the objectives of the operation under study, describe alternative actions, define measures of effectiveness for them, create a model of the system under study, and select the action that best meets the stated objectives.

Operations research has four major subfields. Mathematical programming concerns the optimal operation of systems with many variables that are linked by simple relationships. Stochastic processes describes the evolution over time of systems whose "laws of motion" are affected by chance. Game theory describes models of cooperation and competition between members of an organization or participants in a market. Production and inventory control is a family of models that applies to manufacturing and service systems. Operations research can prepare the mathematically inclined student for a career in the management of technology or in administration, for graduate study in the mathematical sciences, or for graduate study in management. Yale College offers no major in this subject.


OPRS 235a / AMTH 235a, Optimization Eric Denardo

Resource allocation problems solved by linear programming and its generalizations: the simplex method, duality, the Karush-Kuhn-Tucker conditions for nonlinear programs, economic equilibria, and selected applications. Prerequisite: MATH 118, 222, or 225, or equivalent.  QR
TTh 1.00–2.15 Lecture