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Puppetry, Turf Management, and Operations Research

CNN and have put out a list of six unusual college degrees. I checked it out, expecting to see Carnegie Mellon’s own offering in this area: bagpiping. But bagpiping was not unusual enough to make this list. After possibilities for racetrack management and packaging (“Don’t think outside the box: think about the box”), there was one appealing one nestled between puppetry and turfgrass management: “decision making”. At the Kelly School at the University of Indiana, you can get a doctorate in “help[ing] future business leaders analyze and make decisions.” Wow!

Of course, this is just our favorite field of Operations Research, weakly disguised with a fake mustache and beard:

According to the program’s website, “Decision Sciences is devoted to the study of quantitative methods used to aid decision making in business environments. Using mathematical models and analytical reasoning, students examine problems … and learn how to solve these problems by using a number of mathematical techniques, including optimization methods (linear, integer, nonlinear), computer simulation, decision analysis, artificial intelligence and more.”

In our never-ending quest to find the right name for our field, we are showing up on lists of wacky degrees, displacing bagpiping and cereal science (“Ingrain yourself to a great career”). Better that than being on no lists at all. Maybe a prospective puppeteer will see the list and decide to go into “decision making” instead. No strings attached.

Thanks to Kevin Furman for the pointer!

{ 3 } Comments

  1. Paul Rubin | April 1, 2011 at 11:44 am | Permalink

    Isn’t decision science about coming up with impenetrable models that dazzle managers and convince them to do what the analyst says they should do? So why isn’t this merged with puppetry on the list?

  2. Eden | April 1, 2011 at 11:04 pm | Permalink

    “In our never-ending quest to find the right name for our field…”

    Sounds like you need to apply some “decision science” to this quest!:)

  3. Larry (IEOR Tools) | April 2, 2011 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    I still like the term Decisioneer. It kind of sounds like the magic of Disney with their Imagineers. So I guess its not that far off.

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