The CORS Diploma
The CORS Diploma is awarded by the Canadian Operational Research Society, in association with participating Canadian universities, to recognize CORS members who have successfully completed a program of study which has included significant exposure to operational research in the following areas: OR techniques, probability and statistics, computers and systems, and applications of OR. Specific program criteria are outlined below. The objective of the Diploma is to encourage students to pursue an educational program in the field of operational research and to recognize their achievement in successfully completing such a program. It benefits the university by highlighting the fact that a student can gain significant exposure to operational research through a particular course of study offered at that university. It benefits CORS by encouraging students to pursue a career in OR and by attracting new members.
The Diploma is administered by the Chair of the Education Committee who assumes the role of National Diploma Coordinator. Participating universities have a Diploma Coordinator. A list of coordinators may be found by clicking here. Specific roles and responsibilities are detailed in the CORS Administrative Handbook.
A candidate must be a student member or a full member of CORS to receive the Diploma. The minimum requirements are a 70 average in the 100-point grading system and a B- average in the letter grading system (or equivalent in other systems). This average is to be computed based on the courses that make up the CORS diploma program in a particular university. The participating universities can set higher standards.
The program of study must provide coverage of four broad areas as outlined below. At least seven courses must comprise the program, where a course is defined approximately as three hours of instruction per week over a semester of 12–13 weeks. This is not a rigid program of study. It is expected to vary somewhat between universities. While the number of courses in each area is not dictated to provide flexibility, it is expected that most programs will satisfy Area 1 and Area 2 requirements with two (or more) courses each. Areas 3 and 4 do not require a dedicated course as long as the material is adequately covered throughout the program.
Area 1: Operational Research Techniques
This area consists of the technical skills of operational research. It requires coverage of all of:
- linear programming
- decision analysis
and at least three of:
- dynamic programming
- integer programming
- nonlinear programming
- heuristic optimization
- project management
- facility location/layout
- supply chain management/logistics
The program should give broad exposure to operational research, similar to the coverage of the major textbooks in the field.
Area 2: Probability and Statistics
This area consists of basic techniques in probability and statistics. It requires coverage of:
- Random variates and distributions,
- Estimation and hypothesis testing, and
and at least two of:
- Analysis of Variance,
- Stochastic processes (Markov processes, renewal processes, or semi-Markovian queueing),
- Statistical testing (parametric and non-parametric),
- Quality control and reliability, and
- Time series (or other forecasting models).
Area 3: Computers and Systems
This area consists of the basic tools of computer science that are used in operational research. It requires coverage of:
- Basic computer tools (such as spreadsheets, data base management systems, and statistical analysis packages).
- Basic computer programming in any language (including but not limited to FORTRAN, BASIC, C, C++, Pascal, VB).
As well, exposure to one or more of the following is strongly encouraged:
- Management information systems
- Geographic information systems
- Decision support systems
- Expert systems
- Artificial intelligence
Area 4: Applications of Operational Research
This area is designed to give exposure to the application of operational research in various settings. It could consist of project courses, seminars or workshops in addition to standard means of course delivery. It could also be met by work experience (provided it was properly documented). It should illustrate the scientific method in problem solving, and discuss modeling issues such as data collection, model generation and revision, solution, implementation, verification, and validation. Functional areas include accounting, actuarial science, finance, logistics, marketing, operations, production, strategic planning and transportation. The focus might be on a particular sector, such as agriculture, defence, government services, health care, manufacturing, or natural resources, or it could consist of a broad survey of applications.
To apply for the CORS Diploma, candidates must provide transcripts of their academic record (in English or in French) to the CORS Diploma Coordinator at the university from which they graduated. A graduate of a Canadian university that does not have a Diploma Coordinator should contact the National CORS Diploma Coordinator. The university Diploma Coordinator will review the submitted course list and ascertain whether the candidate satisfies Diploma requirements. Once satisfied, the candidate’s name will be forwarded to the National Coordinator with a recommendation for the issuance of the Diploma.
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