Industrial engineering, operations research, and systems engineering are fields of study intended for individuals who are interested in analyzing and formulating abstract models of complex systems with the intention of improving system performance. Unlike traditional disciplines in engineering and the mathematical sciences, the fields address the role of the human decision-maker as key contributor to the inherent complexity of systems and primary benefactor of the analyses.
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At ISyE, we are a national leader in 10 core fields of specialization: Advanced Manufacturing, Analytics and Machine Learning, Applied Probability and Simulation, Data Science and Statistics, Economic Decision Analysis, Energy and Sustainable Systems, Health and Humanitarian Systems, Optimization, Supply Chain Engineering, and Systems Informatics and Control.
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Valerie Thomas is the Anderson-Interface Chair of Natural Systems and Professor in the H. Milton School of Industrial and Systems Engineering, with a joint appointment in the School of Public Policy.
Dr. Thomas's research interests are energy and materials efficiency, sustainability, industrial ecology, technology assessment, international security, and science and technology policy. Current research projects include low carbon transportation fuels, carbon capture, building construction, and electricity system development. Dr. Thomas is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and of the American Physical Society. She has been an American Physical Society Congressional Science Fellow, a Member of the U.S. EPA Science Advisory Board, and a Member of the USDA/DOE Biomass Research and Development Technical Advisory Committee.
She has worked at Princeton University in the Princeton Environmental Institute and in the Center for Energy and Environmental Studies, and at Carnegie Mellon University in the Department of Engineering and Public Policy.
Dr. Thomas received a B. A. in physics from Swarthmore College and a Ph.D. in theoretical physics from Cornell University.