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Canadian Operational Research Society Diploma

Operations Research or Operational Research (OR) deals with making the “best” decision when confronted with many choices plus a variety of constraints in a large-scale problem. Examples of typical problems are: minimizing operating costs in a large hospital while maintaining quality service to patients, finding the shortest route for a delivery truck which must make many stops, and scheduling jobs on a large construction project to finish in the shortest possible time. The problems are represented by mathematical models and various algorithms are used to find the optimal solution. Because of the magnitude of these problems, computers are usually needed to execute the algorithms.

Employment opportunities in OR usually occur with large organizations with complex operations such as trans­portation, manufacturing, utilities or government agencies (including the military). Other employers include manage­ment consulting firms which offer OR expertise to other companies. Some current areas in which OR practitioners are employed are: organizational design, industrial en­gineer­ing, supply chain management, decision technology, enterprise resource planning and expert systems. To en­courage students to study OR and seek employment in this field, the Canadian Operational Research Society (CORS) offers a Diploma in Operational Research to students who complete a prescribed set of courses.

In the Department of Mathematics and Statistics one can satisfy the requirements for the CORS Diploma while completing an Honours degree. This is simplest in Applied Mathematics since many of the courses required for the Diploma are part of the degree requirements. In other programs, careful planning in choosing courses may be required. The courses required for the Diploma are listed below. Students are also encouraged to become student members of CORS and participate in its meetings. This is a very good way in which to meet practitioners in the field of OR and find out more about potential job opportunities. A membership in CORS listed on your resume will indicate to future employers your seriousness about a career in this field. You can find out more about CORS from its web page (

The Faculty Liaison for the CORS Diploma is Professor Michael Chen,, DB 2034, (416) 736-2100 x 66677.

Course Requirements for the CORS Diploma:

To obtain the CORS Diploma, a student must have graduated from an Honours program, must be a member of CORS, and must have completed the following courses with at least a B average.

  1. OR Techniques: SC/MATH 3171, SC/MATH 3172, SC/MATH 3333
  2. Probability and Statistics: SC/MATH 1131, SC/MATH 2131, SC/MATH 2030, SC/MATH 3330
  3. Computers and Systems: At least one of LE/EECS 1020, LE/EECS 1030, LE/EECS 1520, LE/EECS 1530, LE/EECS 1540, or LE/EECS 1560, or SC/MATH 4939
  4. Applications of OR: At least one of SC/MATH 4172, SB/OMIS 4000, SB/OMIS 4550, SB/OMIS 4560

Note that OMIS/MGTS courses are offered by the Schulich School of Business.

Students are strongly encouraged to select additional courses from the following list in preparation for a career in OR:

  • SC/MATH 3260 - graph theory
  • SC/MATH 4130B, SC/MATH 4280, SC/MATH 4430, SC/MATH 4830, SC/MATH 4930A - additional statistics courses
  • SC/MATH 3280 - actuarial science
  • LA/ECON 3580, LA/ECON 3590—accounting
  • SB/OMIS 4670, SB/OMIS 4710, SB/OMIS 4720 - information systems
  • additional SB/OMIS or SB/MGTS course from item 4 in the list of required courses above.
  • LE/EECS 2031 - Software Tools
  • SB/OMIS 3670 - Spreadsheet-Based Decision Support
  • SB/OMIS 3730 - Database Management with Microsoft Access

Note that these courses may have additional prerequisites.