The Department of Operations and Decision Technologies offers doctoral programs in three areas:
The primary focus of these programs is on training outstanding researchers and teachers who develop knowledge to improve our understanding of critical managerial issues.
Decision sciences is devoted to the study of quantitative methods used to aid decision making in business environments. The program is characterized by its rigorous analytical approach and emphasizes the use of mathematical models and analytical reasoning to solve problems in areas such as:
- operations and supply chain management
- information technology
Students learn how to solve problems in these areas by using a number of mathematical techniques, including:
- optimization methods (linear, integer, nonlinear)
- computer simulation
- decision analysis
- applied probability
- artificial intelligence
The PhD program in information systems is an “apprenticeship” that enables students to join the community of scholars who create and disseminate fundamental knowledge about information systems. The program uses formal coursework, informal interaction with faculty and other students, and hands-on experiences in teaching and research. Most students entering the program will have a background in information systems and have an understanding of the fundamental concepts in system development, databases, and networking. The program is open to students who lack prior information systems education or experience, but these students will require additional courses at the master’s level to ensure that they have a solid knowledge of information systems.
The program has four key components:
- Learning the current state of knowledge in information systems and a reference discipline;
- building a toolkit of research methods to advance the knowledge frontier;
- demonstrating the ability to create new knowledge through a dissertation; and
- demonstrating the ability to disseminate knowledge in the classroom.
In the operations management PhD program, students focus on ways to address the strategic and tactical problems faced by practicing managers who oversee the systems—such as labor, capital, energy, and materials—that transform resources into goods and services over the whole supply chain, from an originating location to a destination in the marketplace. Operations management improves the use of resources through the development and implementation of effective operating systems to aid in the design, planning, and control of productive activities for goods and services. No single construct fits all settings, so students must understand the elements common to both manufacturing and service industries and those unique to just one area.
While the doctorate in operations management exposes students to a wide range of material from the field, the plan of study is tailored to the students’ interests and abilities. As with other doctoral business majors, students supplement the program with minor courses and methodology and analysis courses.
Students studying operations management conduct research in a broad range of areas, such as:
- supply chain management
- material scheduling and inventory control
- group technology
- new product development
- service system labor scheduling
- logistics system configuration
- manufacturing strategy
- automated manufacturing
- material handling
- project management