Operations Research Theory is a specialization of the Econometrics and Operations Research master's programme.
If you are interested in a career defining the rules of the game of industry and production practice by having a deep understanding of the possibilities of cutting-edge techniques, if you want to pursue an academic career, or if you just love the mathematics of operations research, then the Operations Research Theory specialization is for you. It offers you deeper knowledge and understanding of this research area and eventually, through the thesis, participate in front-line research in operations research.
Next to the core courses of the programme, lectures are provided through the Dutch Network on the Mathematics of Operations Research, a collaboration of the top researchers from throughout the Netherlands. This way, the specialization offers the opportunity of learning from a wide range of leading researchers in the field.
The programme challenges you to deepen your knowledge and understanding of the mathematics behind Operations Research models and methods, so that you will be able to contribute to the further development of the field. Next to the theory in the core courses, you will also get hands-on experience in turning the models and methods you learn, or design yourself, into practical code.
We welcome any student with a great interest in solving optimization problems in the field of Supply Chain Management, Financial Engineering, Data Science, or any other field where mathematical optimization plays a key role in making decisions. Besides being extremely motivated, students should satisfy the admission requirements listed here.
The master programme Econometrics and Operations Research, track Operations Research, is open to students with a university Bachelor's degree that provides a thorough knowledge in mathematics. Additionally, you need to have successfully completed courses and studied literature related to the core of this program, consisting of (or equivalents of):
• Stochastic modelling
- S.M. Ross, Introduction to Probability Models , Academic Press, 2009
• Operations research and deterministic optimization
- H.A. Taha, Operations Research: An Introduction , Prentice Hall, 2010, Chapter 1-12 or
- F.S. Hillier and G.J. Lieberman, Introduction to Operations Research , McGraw-Hill, 2005 (8-th ed.).
Besides these core courses, the requirements of admission are that the applicant has followed courses in Linear Algebra, Probability Theory, Analysis and Statistics at the level of our Bachelor EOR. The levels of these courses are indicated by the following books:
• Linear Algebra:
- D.C. Lay, Linear Algebra and Its Applications, Addison-Wesley, 2013
• Probability Theory:
- S.M. Ross, A First Course in Probability, Pearson, 2013
- J.M. Howie, Real Analysis, Springer, 2001
- J.A. Rice, Mathematical Statistics and Data Analysis, Duxbury Press, 2006 or G. Casella and R.L. Berger, Statistical Inference, Cengage Learning, 2008
Furthermore, it is important that students have experience with optimization and numerical programming in, for example, Python, R, Matlab, Java or C/C++. If you can show certified exam results for courses in operations research and mathematics as listed above you are admissible for the master. The equivalence will be evaluated by the Admission Board.
Approval is in most cases given to students who:
- Hold a Bachelor’s degree in Econometrics and Operations Research.
- Hold a Bachelor's degree that provides a thorough knowledge in mathematics and statistics (such as Mathematics, Econometrics, Operations Research, Business Analytics, Management Science, Computer Science, Physics, Industrial Engineering) and who completed courses in Operations Research as listed above.
To enroll in the programme submit your enrolment application via Studielink. Please note: in Studielink you can apply for the Master in Econometrics and Operations Research and in VUnet you can select the specialization Operations Research.
Apply for the programme MSc Econometrics and Operations Research via Studielink. You can register for the specialization Operations Research in VUnet (see step 2)
After application in studielink you will receive a VUnet-ID and password. Please complete your application in VUnet by answering additional questions, affirming your choice for the specialization Operations Research and uploading the following document:
• a formal transcript of your bachelor grades. Your transcript must include an average score (GPA).
Please note: we can only process your application when your choice of specialization is clear and you uploaded your transcript.
The admission committee will assess if you meet the admission criteria and will inform you about the decision via email.
Four 6 EC compulsory core courses:
- Combinatorial Optimization
- Stochastic Gradient Techniques in Optimization and Learning
- Operations Research Case study
- Behavioral Operations Research
Three electives from the programme offered by the Dutch Network on the Mathematics of Operations Research (LNMB, Landelijk Netwerk Mathematische Besliskunde).
The LNMB-courses are taught by the best researchers in OR from all over the Netherlands in centrally-located Utrecht. The following courses are offfered:
- Continuous Optimization
- Discrete Optimization
- Heuristic Methods in Operations Research
- Advance Linear Programming
- Queueing Theory
Thesis (18 EC): work on a challenging research question under supervision of one of our staffmembers. If you belong to the very best students of the Operations Research Theory specialization, and you have the creative talents to do research, you may like to do a PhD with us or at any other university in the world.
The one-year master's allows the student to attain a double degree by combining it with the second year of another tightly related two-year master's programme, such as Applied Mathematics, Computer Science, Industrial Engineering or Business Analytics.
Your theoretical knowledge, conceptual understanding and creative insight, all tested and expanded in this specialization, will be highly valued by business and industry. Our alumni have leading positions in the companies where they work. This is thanks to their analytical excellence strengthened by the mathematical approach to problems in our Econometrics and Operations Research programme. Many of our best master’s students went on to study for a PhD with us or at universities in other parts of the world.
During your studies there are plenty of social activities organized by our student association, so that you get to know your future colleagues. After completion of your master's, you will be part of our thriving alumni community.
Graduates in Operations Research are highly desired throughout industry and society. More than 25% of our students already find a position during their master study, and almost all of them find a position within 3 months of graduating. According to a study by Elsevier, the average gross monthly income of graduates from Operations Research and Econometrics in their first year is approximately € 3.300.
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