There are periodic discussions on various forums about how to define operations research, and the even trickier question of how one distinguishes operations research from management science from industrial engineering (or even if such distinctions are meaningful). So it comes as no surprise to me that the definition of "industrial engineering" may be evolving. It did come as a bit of a surprise, however, when I was notified today by Rachel Stevenson, co-founder of Engineering Masters, that this blog had made their "Top 50 Industrial Engineering Blogs" list. (Not as big a shock as when I found myself teaching organizational behavior, though, and considerably more pleasant!) I was particularly gratified by my #8 ranking ... until I realized it was alphabetical by blog title within groups.
The categories listed in the Engineering Masters blog post tell us something about the range of interests people with IE degrees might have these days. Besides operations research, they have operations management, project management, financial engineering (where the intent is to make something out of nothing and recent practice, at least, has been to make nothing out of a whole pile of something), machine learning, statistics (which I find interesting since AFAIK the average engineering major takes approximately one statistics course), analytics (another definitional debate in the making), and life-cycle management (who knew that would spawn so many blogs?).
Like any blog roll, there's a reciprocity at work here: they link my blog (and maybe drive a second reader to it), and I link their blog (and maybe drive my one current reader to it). I'm okay with that: it's free (unlike the occasional pitches I get for including me in the who's who of academic bloviators, presumably to get me to buy the book), I'm not embarrassed to point to their site, and I'm pretty sure it generates no money for terrorists, organized crime or political parties. (Apologies if those last two are redundant.) If nothing else, I appreciate their efforts compiling the list of blogs because I see a few entries on it that look promising, of which I would otherwise be unaware.