College of Science

Department of
Mathematical Sciences
150 West University Boulevard
Melbourne, Florida 32901-6975
(321) 674-8091
http://cos.fit.edu/math
GRADUATE
PROGRAM
OVERVIEW
GA-249-506
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MASTER OF SCIENCE
DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY
OPERATIONS RESEARCH
Operations research is a scientific approach to analyzing problems and making decisions. It uses mathematics and mathematical modeling on computers
to forecast the implications of various choices and identify the best alternatives.
Operations research methodology is applied to a broad range of problems in both the public and private sectors. These problems often involve designing
systems to operate in the most effective way. Many problems deal with the allocation of scarce human resources, money, materials, equipment or
facilities. Applications include staff scheduling, vehicle routing, warehouse location, product distribution, quality control, traffic light phasing, police
patrolling, preventive maintenance scheduling, economic forecasting, design of experiments, power plant fuel allocation, stock portfolio optimization,
cost-effective environmental protection, inventory control and university course scheduling.
Operations research is interdisciplinary and draws heavily from the mathematics program. It also uses courses from computer science, engineering
management and other engineering programs.
MASTER OF SCIENCE DEGREE PROGRAM
The Master of Science in Operations Research offers concentrations that emphasize those areas of application most in demand in today’s job market.
Graduates have skills that include probability and statistics, deterministic and stochastic models, optimization methods, computation and simulation,
decision analysis and the ability to effectively communicate with clients and managers. In addition, graduates have a breadth of knowledge that allows
them to work in teams, interacting with people who bring different expertise to a problem. All areas involve expertise with standard computer software
packages.
ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS
An applicant for the master’s program in operations research should have an undergraduate major in a science or engineering discipline that requires a
significant amount of mathematics. Business majors with strong quantitative backgrounds are also encouraged to apply. A proficiency in mathematics
covering topics in calculus and linear algebra, and computer literacy must be demonstrated by testing or suitable course work.
General admission requirements and the process for applying are presented in the Graduate Information and Regulations section of the University Catalog.
DEGREE REQUIREMENTS
The master of science degree can be pursued with either a thesis or nonthesis option; each requires 33 credit hours. Under the thesis option, up to six
credit hours of thesis may be granted in place of electives toward the required 33 credit hours and an oral defense is required. The nonthesis option
requires a comprehensive examination. Courses taken to satisfy admission prerequisites cannot be counted toward the degree requirements.
CURRICULUM
The program’s curriculum is designed to provide breadth with some flexibility to accommodate the diversity of backgrounds typically found in an
operations research program. Greater flexibility is provided for the elective courses beyond the core. A student has the choice of developing greater depth
in one area of specialization, aiming at eventual research in that area, or continuing to develop breadth across more than one area. By choosing courses in
a related field of application, students can prepare for careers in specialty areas such as management science, actuarial science or economic modeling in
addition to conventional areas of operations research.
Each student will complete a program plan that satisfies the requirements listed below, subject to approval of the adviser and program chair.
Substitutions are sometimes permitted.
DEPARTMENT HEAD
V. Lakshmikantham, Ph.D.
ASSOCIATE HEAD
Michael D. Shaw, Ph.D.
PROFESSORS
Jewgeni H. Dshalalow, Dr. Sci.
V. Lakshmikantham, Ph.D.
Syamal K. Sen, Ph.D.
Muzaffar A. Shaikh, Ph.D.
Wade H. Shaw Jr., Ph.D.
ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR
Michael D. Shaw, Ph.D.
PROFESSOR EMERITUS
Frederick B. Buoni, Ph.D.
Core Courses (12 credit hours)
MTH 5411 Mathematical Statistics 1
ORP 5001 Deterministic Operations Research Models
ORP 5002 Stochastic Operations Research Models
ORP 5010 Mathematical Programming
or
ORP 5003 Operations Research Practice
Restricted Electives
(9 credit hours from the following list)
MTH 5051 Applied Discrete Mathematics
MTH 5102 Linear Algebra
MTH 5401 Applied Statistical Analysis
MTH 5412 Mathematical Statistics 2
ORP 5020 Theory of Stochastic Processes
ORP 5021 Queuing Theory
Computation/Computer Science Elective
(3 credit hours from the following list)
CSE 5100 Data Structures and Algorithms
CSE 5210 Formal Languages and Automata Theory
CSE 5211 Analysis of Algorithms
CSE 5290 Artificial Intelligence
CSE 5610 Computational Complexity
MTH 5301 Numerical Analysis
MTH 5305 Numerical Linear Algebra
MTH 5320 Neural Networks
ORP 5050 Discrete System Simulation
Free Electives (9 credit hours)
Nonthesis option
Three courses in areas of interest to the student as
approved in the student’s program plan.
Thesis option
At least one course plus up to six credit hours for a
thesis.The thesis should be an in-depth study of some
topic and/or problem in operations research, subject to
the approval of the thesis committee.
DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY DEGREE PROGRAM
The doctor of philosophy program provides a more advanced level of education, as well as demonstrated ability to perform independent research. These
additional strengths should qualify the graduate for vital positions of leadership in industry, business, government and academia.
ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS
An applicant for the doctoral program will normally have completed a master’s degree in operations research or a related discipline. If the master’s
degree is not in operations research, then the student will be required to take the core courses for Florida Tech’s master’s degree in operations research.
These courses may be used toward fulfilling the credit requirements for the Ph.D. in operations research. Students also will be required to take a written
qualifying examination equivalent to Florida Tech’s master’s comprehensive examination.
General admission requirements are discussed in the Graduate Information and Regulations section of the University Catalog.
FINANCIAL AID
Graduate student assistantships for
instruction and research are available
to well-qualified master’s and doctoral
degree students. Assistantships carry
stipends plus a tuition waiver. In some
cases, a tuition waiver alone may be
awarded for a limited amount of service.
Assistantships for master’s degree
students are normally for an academic
year; assistantships for doctoral students
are renewable on a yearly basis.
THE UNIVERSITY
Florida Institute of Technology is a distinc-
tive, independent university, founded in
1958 by a group of scientists and engineers
to fulfill the need for specialized,
advanced educational opportunities
of Florida’s Space Coast. Florida Tech is
the only comprehensive, independent
scientific and technological university in
the southeast. Supported by both industry
and the community, Florida Tech is the
recipient of many research grants and
contracts, a number of which provide
financial support for graduate students.
LOCATION
Melbourne is located on the central
east coast of Florida. The area offers a
delightful year-round subtropical climate
and is 10 minutes from the ocean and
beaches. Kennedy Space Center and the
massive NASA complex are just 45 minutes
north of Melbourne. The city of Orlando,
Walt Disney World, EPCOT and many other
attractions are one hour west of Florida
Tech’s main campus.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
To obtain more detailed information
about this Graduate Program or to obtain
application materials, visit our home page
at www.fit.edu/grad or the University
Catalog at www.fit.edu/catalog, or
contact:
Florida Institute of Technology
Office of Graduate Admissions
150 W. University Blvd.
Melbourne, FL 32901-6975
(321) 674-8027
(321) 723-9468/Fax
(800) 944-4348
Florida Institute of Technology is an independent
university located in Melbourne, Florida. Florida Tech
is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges
and Schools to award associate, baccalaureate,
master’s, education specialist and doctoral degrees.
Florida Tech admits students of any race, color,
national or ethnic origin, and does not discriminate
on the basis of disability in admission or access to
its programs.
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OPERATIONS RESEARCH
DEGREE REQUIREMENTS
A minimum of 48 credit hours beyond the requirements for the master’s degree is required to earn the doctoral degree. These credits include 24 credit
hours of dissertation research in addition to normal course work.
Each student must complete an approved program of study, pass a comprehensive examination, complete a program of significant original research and
defend a dissertation concerning the research.
General degree requirements are presented in the Graduate Information and Regulations section of the University Catalog.
CURRICULUM
The individual doctoral program of study must be approved by the student’s doctoral committee and the program chair. Students who have not
taken MTH 5051 and MTH 5102, or their equivalents, will be required to take them. Students are also required to take at least two courses from the
Computation/Computer Science list on the previous page.
The doctoral program in operations research does not fall within the traditional boundaries of a single discipline. The scope is broad and inter-
disciplinary. Consequently, every course in a student’s program of study is evaluated in terms of how it complements other courses and provides
breadth and depth to the program. Considerable latitude is permitted in course selection, provided the core requirements for operations research/
mathematics/computation are met. The remaining courses are selected in collaboration with the doctoral committee according to the interests and
research objectives of the student.
RESEARCH
Current active research efforts include the modeling of controlled queuing systems, stochastic processes, applied statistics, design of experiments,
neural networks, parallel processing and algorithms, decision-making under uncertainty, simulation, engineering management, quality control,
optimization models and methods, scheduling and timetabling algorithms, applied graph theory and integer programming.