Program in Engineering and Management Systems

Academic Unit

Program Information

The certificate Program in Engineering and Management Systems (EMS) provides students with tools for the complex decision-making problems that arise in engineering, the sciences, 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

The program 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 the certificate programs in applications of computing, applied and computational mathematics, and finance.

Admission to the Program

The EMS certificate program is open to both B.S.E. and A.B. students. B.S.E. students are required to take math through Math 201 and 202, which will satisfy the math prerequisites of any of the core courses. However, there is flexibility in the choice of core courses, and the math prerequisites depend on the electives that a student chooses. For A.B. students, it is their responsibility to take the necessary prerequisites for their program of study.

To be admitted, interested students should e-mail Professor Warren Powell. The e-mail should state the student's request to participate in the program, and should include the following information: the student's class year, area of concentration, and whether the student has placed out of any course requirements.

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, with the exception that ORFE concentrators may not double count the course that integrates optimization and uncertainty. 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 five areas:

1. An introductory statistics course:

ECO 202 Statistics and Data Analysis for Economics

ORF 245 Fundamentals of Engineering Statistics

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

PSY 251 Quantitative Methods

SOC 301 Sociological Research Methods

WWS 200 Statistics for Social Sciences

This requirement may be satisfied with a score of 5 on the AP statistics exam or by taking a higher-level statistics course such as ORF 350 or 405, or ECO 302/312.

2. An introductory optimization course:

CBE 442 Design, Synthesis, and Optimization of Chemical Processes

ELE 382 Distributed Algorithms and Optimization Methods for Engineering Applications

MAE 433 Automatic Control Systems

ORF 307 Optimization

3. Probability:

ORF 309 Probability and Stochastic Systems

4. A course integrating optimization and uncertainty:

COS 402 Artificial Intelligence

ECO 418 Strategy and Information

ECO 462 Portfolio Theory and Asset Management

ECO 465 Options, Futures and financial Derivatives

MAE 345 Robotics and Intelligent Systems

ORF 311 Optimization under Uncertainty

ORF 418 Optimal Learning

Note: ORFE concentrators (beginning with the Class of 2018 and later) may not count the course used in this category as a departmental elective.

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

CBE 442 Design, Synthesis and Optimization of Chemical Processes

EGR/ELE 491 High-Tech Entrepreneurship

EGR 497 Entrepreneurial Leadership

ORF 411 Operations and Information Engineering

The program is willing to add courses which satisfy the goal of each area. Students wishing to propose a course should send the syllabus to Professor Powell, with an explanation of which area the course satisfies, and why.

Independent Work

A senior thesis or project must be completed and submitted to the program director that demonstrates a command of some portion of the core disciplines of statistics, probability and/or optimization. Students in engineering departments that require a one-semester project can typically use a suitably designed project to satisfy the requirement.

Acceptable theses can be on a wide range of topics, but they must demonstrate a command of the core disciplines of the EMS certificate program, including statistic, probability and/or optimization. The thesis must demonstrate, in appropriate mathematics, the ability to model a problem and perform analysis that leads to some conclusion or scientific result. A thesis with minimal or no mathematical modeling is not acceptable.

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 (for example, collecting observations and taking averages is not sufficient).

Certificate of Proficiency

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