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Sources: Todd Easton, 785-532-3478,;
and Melinda Sinn, 785-532-5888,
News release prepared by: Rosanna Vail, 785-532-2720,

Wednesday, June 3, 2009


MANHATTAN -- A new engineering degree, the master of science in operations research, is being offered by Kansas State University through distance education.

The 30-credit-hour master's degree is a fully online, course work-only program offered by K-State's department of industrial and manufacturing systems engineering through the Division of Continuing Education.

Operations research is an interdisciplinary field of applied mathematics that involves studying a real-world problem and developing a mathematical model of the problem.

"Numerous applications of operations research help companies reduce costs and increase profits, which dramatically benefits society," said Todd Easton, director of the operations research distance program and an associate professor of industrial and manufacturing systems engineering at K-State.

According to Easton, expertise in this field can be applied to tasks such as transporting goods, creating airline schedules, managing portfolios, researching genetics, fighting cancer, optimizing call centers or developing sports schedules.

"Students strong in mathematics and good at problem solving are excellent candidates for this rigorous discipline," he said.

The operations research program is the seventh distance education master's program in an engineering field offered by K-State. Other engineering programs include chemical, civil, electrical, mechanical, software engineering and engineering management.

Students who live in and outside of the United States can complete these engineering programs using K-State's distance education technologies.

"K-State is known as an affordable place to obtain an extremely high quality online graduate degree," Easton said. "The new master of science in operations research program will continue this tradition, and now distance students will have the flexibility to receive a first-rate master's degree in operations research wherever they live."

More information on the new operations research degree is available online at: and a listing of all available K-State distance education programs is available at