The Libraries seek to support research in industrial engineering and operations research including design, analysis and control of production and service operations and systems. Operations research includes solutions to quantitative decision problems using mathematical and statistical models including mathematical optimization techniques, probabilistic and statistical methods, queuing theory, linear and integer programming, and computer simulation. It supports the needs of undergraduate, graduate and Ph.D. students, the teaching faculty, researchers and staff members.
During the first half of the 1990’s: The total population of faculty, masters and Ph.D. students has remained steady. The undergraduate enrollment has gone up in the school of Engineering because of the university's efforts to strengthen undergraduate education at Columbia.
New courses include a new undergraduate major. "Engineering and Management Systems" was created to provide students with an understanding of contemporary technology and management. The department has also created a new Economics-Operations Research major, which is administered in conjunction with Columbia College Economics department. Increased research is being conducted in optimization and a new faculty member is being hired in Manufacturing Engineering ( not duplicating manufacturing engineering from mechanical engineering).
Areas of established specialization are optimization, simulation, linear programming, mathematical programming, deterministic and stochastic network flows. Routing, scheduling and facility location problems both in their traditional environments and in contemporary settings such as those induced by computer integrated production systems, flexible manufacturing systems and automated warehouses are also areas of specialization.