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Program in Engineering and Management Systems


Warren B. Powell

Executive Committee

Christodoulos A. Floudas, Chemical and Biological Engineering  

Alain L. Kornhauser, Operations Research and Financial Engineering  

Sanjeev Kulkarni, Electrical Engineering  

Warren B. Powell, Operations Research and Financial Engineering

Robert E. Schapire, Computer Science  

James A. Smith, Civil and Environmental Engineering  

Robert F. Stengel, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering  

The certificate Program in Engineering and Management Systems (EMS) provides students with tools for the complex decision-making problems that arise in engineering and management. It is aimed at three types of students:

1. Engineering students interested in preparing for careers in management or consulting

2. Students in the liberal arts looking to acquire the analytic tools typically used for careers in corporate or government settings

3. Students in the sciences interested in a stronger exposure to analytic methods and, potentially, careers in management or public policy

It offers a coherent, integrated set of core courses that are based on analytic methods, with applications in the planning and control of complex systems required by a modern technological society. Emphasis is placed on rigorous modeling and analysis, taking advantage of the vast flow of data and ubiquitous computing power available today.

The EMS certificate program complements both the Program in Finance certificate and the certificate Program in Applied and Computational Mathematics. Our emphasis is on developing analysis skills that are useful in engineering and management.

Admission to the Program

The EMS certificate program is open to both B.S.E. and A.B. majors.

B.S.E. students are eligible for admission to the program once they have completed the engineering school core program (or its equivalent):

1. Mathematics through MAT 202
2. PHY 103 and 104
3. CHM 201
4. One course in computing at the level of COS 126

The certificate is available to A.B. students who have completed:

1. The required two science and technology courses
2. Mathematics through MAT 202
3. One course in computing (typically COS 126)

These requirements are satisfied if a student (A.B. or B.S.E.) has received AP credit in the course.

To be admitted, interested students should e-mail the director of the program, stating that they would like to participate in the program. Please include your class and major, and let the director know if you have placed out of any course requirements. Send your request to Professor Powell.

Program of Study

The program for each student is worked out by the student and the departmental adviser. In some cases, a course can fulfill both a certificate program requirement and a regular departmental requirement. The EMS certificate program does not have a GPA requirement, so courses may be taken pass/fail, limited only by university regulations on pass/fail courses.The program requirements are as follows:

Course requirements. All students must take courses from the following six areas:

1. ECO 100 Introduction to Microeconomics

2. An introductory statistics course:

ORF 245 Fundamentals of Engineering Statistics

ECO 202 Statistics and Data Analysis for Economics

PSY 251 Quantitative Methods

PHY 301 Thermal Physics and PHY 312 Experimental Physics (both courses must be taken)

WWS 200 Statistics for Social Sciences

This requirement may be satisfied by taking a higher-level statistics course such as ORF 350 or 405, or ECO 302/312.

3. An introductory optimization course:

ORF 307 Optimization

ELE 382 Distributed Algorithms and Optimization Methods for Engineering Applications

CBE 442 Design, Synthesis, and Optimization of Chemical Processes

MAE 433 Automatic Control Systems

4. A course in probability:

ORF 309 Probability and Stochastic Systems

MAT 390 Probability Theory

5. A course integrating optimization and uncertainty:

ORF 311 Optimization under Uncertainty

MAE 345 Robotics and Intelligent Systems

ORF 418 Optimal Learning

ECO 317 Economics of Uncertainty

ECO 418 Strategy and Information

6. An integrative course in management, entrepreneurship, or systems:

ORF 411 Operations and Information Engineering

ELE 491 High-Tech Entrepreneurship

CBE 442 Design, Synthesis and Optimization of Chemical Processes

EGR 497 Entrepreneurial Leadership

AP credit is allowed for ECO 100 (requires a 5 on the AP exam). AP credit is not allowed for statistics.

Independent Work

A senior thesis or project must be completed and presented to the program committee on a topic relevant to the program and acceptable to the program committee. Students in engineering departments that require a one-semester project can typically use a suitably designed project to satisfy the requirement. The project must be summarized in a report that describes the methodology in full using appropriate mathematics. Acceptable theses can be on a wide range of topics, as long as a significant portion of the thesis uses tools from some part of the core program (statistics, probability and stochastic processes, optimization). Topics do not have to be drawn from business or finance. A thesis with minimal or no mathematical modeling will not be acceptable. For example, if the research requires developing and estimating a statistical model, the thesis must carefully define the model in full using appropriate mathematics.

Theses that are not allowed include "soft" topics such as the history of the Chinese economy, and hard-science theses (laboratory-based theses) that do not have a significant data-analysis component.

Certificate of Proficiency

Students who fulfill the requirements of the program receive a certificate of proficiency in engineering and management systems upon graduation.