Applications to ORIE's M. Eng. Program Have Tripled Since 2005
The number of applicants to ORIE's Master of Engineering (M.Eng.) program has tripled to nearly 750 in the past four years. While nearly all of the concentrations within the program have experienced at least a modest growth in demand, the unprecedented growth in the applicant pool is largely due to the burgeoning popularity of the Financial Engineering concentraion.
It is likely that the growth in applications to Financial Engineering is a consequence of enhancements to the concentration during the past four years. Several new courses have been added and the curriculum has been made more rigorous. ORIE has established OR-Manhattan, which includes Cornell Financial Engineering Manhattan (CFEM), located at an office in Wall Street near the New York Stock Exchange. The concentration has gained an experienced CFEM director, Dr. Victoria Averbukh, ORIE Ph.D. '97. CFEM benefits from the input and guidance of an exceptional Advisory Council. The program has been extended to three semesters (with the third semester taking place at CFEM), providing Financial Engineering students with the opportunity to pursue summer internships and to immerse themselves in Wall Street culture. These enhancements have contributed to the increasing popularity of the concentration.
Nonetheless, Dr. Kathryn Caggiano, who directs ORIE's overall M.Eng. program, finds it surprising that some of the other M.Eng. concentrations such as Strategic Operations, Data Mining and Analytical Marketing, Information Technology, and Applied Operations Research are not equally popular. While she is delighted with the success of Financial Engineering, "Wall Street investment banks are not the only places that value (and are willing to pay a lot for) Operations Research (OR) skills. The variety of lucractive career opportunities available to students who are well-versed in OR modelling and analysis techniques is amazing."
Whatever the concentration, the keystone of the M.Eng. program is the engineering design project. ORIE M.Eng. students undertake team-based projects working on real problems for real clients in industry and elsewhere. Caggiano notes that the classroom curriculum gives M.Eng. students a solid foundation in the theory and computational aspects of OR, "the focus on team-based project work and real-world problem solving gives Cornell's Master of Engineering students a clear advantage once they leave here, regardless of the concentrations they pursue."
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