ABOUT OPERATIONS RESEARCH: Who plans routes for delivery drivers? Who double-checks to make sure businesses are using resources efficiently? Who designs strategies to limit the amount of time air travelers spend in line? Operations researchers use analytical processes to examine methods and techniques used in everything from train scheduling to football play calling. They may cover topics within a wide variety of well-known disciplines, often using computer-based models and statistics to improve decision-making.
HUMAN FACTORS SCIENCE: This is a branch of science that strives to design the job to fit the worker, rather than the other way around. In the modern office, it most commonly relates to the physical stresses placed on joints, muscles, nerves, tendons, bones, even hearing and eyesight, along with other environmental factors that can adversely affect comfort and health. Ergonomics deals with the interaction of technology and work environments with the human body, and involves such things as anatomy, physiology, and psychology in the design of chairs, desks, computer accessories, car controls and instruments. In short, something that is ergonomically designed is any kind of product that could help relieve potential repetitive strain from a given job or task.
The Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences and the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society contributed to the information contained in the TV portion of this report.