What is Operations Research? What is on-topic for this site?
Welcome, and I'm glad you found your way here from HNQ.
Operations research (operational research, to some) is a set of mathematical and computational tools for making decisions about complex systems. Its major methodological subfields are things like mathematical optimization (linear programming; nonlinear/integer/stochastic programming; and so on), stochastic processes, and simulation. Its major application subfields are things like supply chain management, energy, health care, military, and humanitarian relief. It draws heavily on mathematics, computer science, statistics and probability, business, economics, and other fields. If you browse the questions or tags on the main site you'll get a sense of the kinds of topics we deal with.
We are a brand-new site; we entered public beta a week ago. So we haven't written our tour or on-topic pages yet, but expect to do that soon.
What is Operations Research? The obvious locations, tour and on-topic have no details at all.
Our Tour page is equal in length to the one on Physics.SE (or Stats.SE), and customized for our site. The On-Topic link is editable by the Moderators - because our site is new and we haven't had an election there are no Moderators.
Wikipedia: "Employing techniques from other mathematical sciences, such as mathematical modeling, statistical analysis, and mathematical optimization, operations research arrives at optimal or near-optimal solutions to complex decision-making problems. Because of its emphasis on human-technology interaction and because of its focus on practical applications, operations research has overlap with other disciplines, notably industrial engineering and operations management, and draws on psychology and organization science. Operations research is often concerned with determining the extreme values of some real-world objective: the maximum (of profit, performance, or yield) or minimum (of loss, risk, or cost)."
What is on-topic for this site?
Look at our questions tagged [scope].
A 5 minute long explanation about OR is offered in the video: "INFORMS - O.R. and Analytics Impact", and INFORMS just uploaded a new video called: "Bright Future, Big Opportunities in O.R. and Analytics" (Oct 23 2019).
Here is a transcript of the 2nd 2 minute long video:
"Operations research and analytics play a role in nearly every part of our day to day lives, in ways both big and small, and in ways you may have never known.
And for students that are interested in math, science, and inspired to make a difference, operations research and analytics can offer a fulfilling career with limitless opportunities to make lasting contributions to the world around us.
Operations research, otherwise known as OR, uses advanced analytical methods to turn data into information, and information into insight, to help organizations make better and smarter decisions, or more simply stated, operations research and analytics saves lives, saves money, and solves problems.
From managing healthcare operations in hospitals, to improving emergency response services, enhancing surgical outcomes, expanding access to donated organs, and stopping the spread of diseases, OR and analytics are helping people live longer healthier lives.
Organizations across virtually every sector rely on powerful OR and analytics tools in nearly every aspect of how they function more efficiently and effectively. From resource allocation and management, to planning logistics, operations, and more.
OR and analytics are used to plan public transportation systems, determine economic and financial policies, drive new technologies, and innovate and improve the world around us. And that's just the beginning.
Virtually every organization uses OR and analytics to do things more efficiently and effectively. You can be a part of this incredible profession and make meaningful differences in the world around us.
If you are interested in learning more about operations research and analytics talk to your adviser or visit informs.org/students.".