I asked this question to the OR community (https://or.stackexchange.com/questions/1498/how-is-the-field-of-operations-research-evolving) but, since there are quite a few CS people working in OR, I would like to get the perspective of the community.

Classically, it seems the problems that OR people studied (at least the ones I am most familiar with) were related to decision theory, optimization and scheduling, and queuing theory with the general sentiment that solving these problems would be of interest to a company's operations.

More recently, the lines between OR and other fields have gotten a bit more blurry for me. I am seeing more venues that focus on the intersection between OR, economics (game theory), and computer science. For example, see the recent talks at EC. Also see a new INFORMS conference on the intersection of OR and security.

Question(s): My main question concerns the current trajectory of the OR field and OR departments. Is the focus of OR becoming blurry or has the underlying motivation for the field changed? What's the future for OR: as problems traditionally studied under OR become more central in society, will other fields (e.g. computer science) begin to take over/cannibalize OR departments?

  • $\begingroup$ We're a site for narrowly focused technical questions; invitations for opinions or discussion are generally out of scope here. Also, please do not post the same question on multiple sites. $\endgroup$ – D.W. Sep 23 '19 at 20:57
  • $\begingroup$ @D.W. Why does the soft-question tag exist? Also, where is the line between rephrasing the same question and cross-posting? Seems the link you posted is suggesting I should delete the old post and re-post here if I find it more appropriate? $\endgroup$ – Erik M Sep 23 '19 at 21:04
  • $\begingroup$ In general, yes, if you post on the wrong site, deleting and re-posting is a good solution, but in this case you already got some answers over on OR.SE, so you won't be able to delete it there, and deleting and re-posting would not be appropriate in this case. $\endgroup$ – D.W. Sep 24 '19 at 1:32
  • $\begingroup$ @ErikM As for the tag, it shouldn't exist. It has been removed in the past, but it seems someone recreated it. The main reason to not use this tag is that it while it has a specific meaning on sites such as MO or TCS.SE, it does not have that meaning here. So it only confuses people, such as here. See also the meta discussion $\endgroup$ – Discrete lizard Sep 24 '19 at 9:06

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