## The Mathematics and OR Majors

Mathematics Majors

The Department of Mathematical Sciences offers degrees in Mathematics and Applied Mathematics.

The **Mathematics** degree provides a broad overview of the foundational subjects of classical and modern mathematics while leaving considerable flexibility to tailor a program of study that meets individual interests. The degree stresses problem solving, logic, and abstract reasoning while also providing some exposure to various modern applications of mathematics to include programming.

The **Applied Mathematics** degree also provides a solid foundation in diverse mathematical topics but applies that foundation to related subjects. The hallmark of the Applied Mathematics degree is a focused four-course interdisciplinary concentration coordinated with another department or departments. This blending of applied mathematics with another scientific discipline offers significant benefits in terms of career and graduate school choices.

The Mathematics and Applied Mathematics majors were created to offer a broad yet focused education in problem solving, analytical reasoning, and technical communication. These skills will allow each major to handle the complex operational, managerial, and technical problems that routinely challenge Air Force officers. In addition, both majors provide a superior education that will facilitate success in a wide variety of graduate school programs. Cadets majoring in Mathematics or Applied Mathematics historically perform well in areas such as operations research, physics, engineering, business administration, economics, computer science, law, medicine, meteorology, and, of course, mathematics and applied mathematics.

Flexibility is a critical component of any modern, relevant degree program. The Mathematics and Applied Mathematics majors have been designed to allow you to choose a course of study that suits your interests, while also providing an education well-suited to the modern Air Force. As an Officer with a background in math or applied math, you will be well-suited to succeed across a diverse range of AFSCs ranging from scientific analyst or acquisitions to intelligence or pilot.

**Mathematics Advisor in Charge**

You can reach Capt Jeremy Thompson by e-mail.

**Director of Mathematics Major Programs**

You can reach Dr Kurt Herzinger and Dr Beth Schaubroeck by e-mail.

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**Operations Research Major**

**Operations Research** (OR) the application of quantitative techniques to managerial decision-making. To gain an appreciation for the field, it is necessary to look at the origins of OR.

OR, as a discipline, arose from the need to determine optimal resource allocation and assist decision makers during the Second World War. Groups of mathematicians, physical scientists, and economists were assembled during the war to perform studies that would provide quantitative input for commanders. The results of their efforts were impressive and, soon thereafter, the commercial sector realized the power of these new planning techniques.

The use of mathematics to model real world systems was nothing new; physicists and economists had been doing this for years. What defined this new field called OR was its focus on the operations of organizations. Not only were traditional mathematical modeling methods used, such as statistics and probability, but new modeling methods were created, such as mathematical programming and queuing theory.

Operations Research, therefore, entails the development and application of quantitative modeling methods to real management and economics problems. This is an exciting field and one that attracts curious problem-solvers who are strong in mathematics and computer science and are eager to solve real world problems.

The description of Operations Research provided above highlights OR's interdisciplinary nature. USAFA has captured the essence of the field by establishing a truly interdisciplinary major. The OR program is jointly administered by the Departments of Management, Mathematical Sciences, Computer Science, and Economics and Geosciences. In addition to the basic set of OR courses, your required major's courses will include courses from each of the four departments.

**Operations Research Advisor in Charge**

You can reach Capt Stephanie Ysebaert by e-mail.