The best way to understand systems modeling is to consider examples drawn from the research that is performed by the faculty proposing the program.
Each of these researchers looks at the river, the port, the wound or the body as a system of components that interact together and lead to behaviors beyond what their individual pieces can do. We cannot study the population of one type of fish in a stream alone without considering the populations of its predators and it food sources, along with the actions that man takes that affect it. A ship in dry dock will not have an accident as it cannot run in to other ships or run aground; accident risk is a product of all the other parts of the port the ship navigates through. In other words, we must consider the behavior of the systems, not just individual pieces.
This program is the result of significant research growth in the two participating departments in recent years.
The program focuses on the development and understanding of the skills used to conceptualize and analyze real world systems. The continued development of operations research, statistics, applied mathematics and discrete mathematics is critical to scientific advancement in the twenty-first century.
Faculty and students engage and collaborate to contribute to the mathematical tools and knowledge base in the fields of science, medicine, business and engineering.
This program fulfills important needs nationally and for the Commonwealth in terms of research, training and service. Graduates of the program would be well placed for roles as mathematical scientists, operations research analysts and statisticians. The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ occupational outlook forecasts strong growth in employment in these roles nationally, especially at the Ph.D. level. The Virginia Employment Commission forecasts increases in employment in the Commonwealth of 19% for mathematical scientists, 20% for operations research analysts and 21% for statisticians. Businesses and organizations are looking for people trained in applied mathematics, operations research and statistics, but who also understand the systems that they model and can analyze them using multiple tools.
For more information, visit the Systems Modeling and Analysis doctoral program website.