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This is a question I get whenever I tell anyone my major. And in all honesty, when I started at USC I had no idea what an Industrial and Systems Engineering Major was, I wasn’t even completely sure what it was when I switched into the major during my sophomore year. But now as a third year at USC, and in my second year in the major, I can actually answer this question. The best description of this program that I have heard was from one of my ISE professors. He claims the tagline for our type of engineering is “INDUSTRIAL ENGINEERING CONCERNS DESIGNING AND IMPROVING SYSTEMS”. Basically this means that people in our department are able to look at complex systems and organizations and optimize them. We look to minimize things like wasted energy, labor, and money. This idea optimization has taken many shapes and forms in the classroom. I have taken classes like manufacturing process, supply chain design, human factors in work design, database design, and discrete systems simulations. The one thing that all these different classes have in common is we work towards finding the most efficient way to solve the problems given. One of the things I love about this major and these classes is that I’m able to see the things that I’m learning in my everyday life.

Timothy Harrington