The Kopchick College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics' Science Inspires Series (SIS) is offered in collaboration with IUP's Sigma Xi chapter, an honor society of scientists and engineers that rewards excellence in scientific research and encourages a sense of companionship and cooperation among scientists in all fields.

SIS presents lectures by prominent researchers on topics interdisciplinary in nature and of interest to faculty and students from a variety of academic fields and to the general public. Every semester, the series schedules three talks by KCNSM researchers and renowned speakers.

The spring 2022 Science Inspires Series kicks off with the following talk:

"O.R. - What's That?"

  • Monday, February 18, at 11:30 a.m.
  • Dr. Jonathon Leverenz, Systems Planning and Analysis, Inc.
  • Humanities Building, Room 225 or Zoom

Abstract: Operations Research (O.R.) emerged during World War II from Allied efforts to hunt German U-Boats, move cargo safely across the Atlantic, and operate radar more effectively. It is a model-centric, scientific approach to studying systems and processes. Methods in O.R. focus on understanding how these systems operate and then applies ideas from math and science to find ways of improving them.

This talk discusses the role of O.R. in the decision sciences and some of its military and security applications. An example is presented that illustrates how operational knowledge and requirements aretranslated into a model of a system. Such a model can be used to determine the implications of different use cases and provide insight to decision makers.