Daniel J. Epstein Institute

Enhancing Quality of Life

Historically, the Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISE) profession has focused in the improvement of manufacturing and service processes with the objective of minimizing cost and time. This has served American business and public well as the profession has been a key player in significant productivity improvements for the manufacturing and distribution sectors of the economy. The annual productivity improvement in the manufacturing sector has been consistently around 3% since the 1940s, resulting in an exceptional rise in living standards in America. However, America is presently at a crossroads as many of its organizations and citizens realize that the disproportionate emphasis on cost and time minimization is too narrow of an objective to deal with today’s social and environmental challenges. As an example to this realization, the Federal Transit Agency announced recently they will no longer select projects based solely on cost, but will include other factors in the selection process, such as livability and sustainability that might impact quality of life. The new challenges cannot be met by tweaking existing models; rather, they require an entirely novel approach to modeling the new problems and for finding solutions to them.

The objective of the Daniel J. Epstein Institute is to be the thought leader in shifting the profession’s paradigm from cost and time minimization to one that includes quality of life factors as well. The Institute conducts research and scholarly initiatives that are innovative and forward-looking within the theme of enhancing quality of life.



To shape the future of the field of Industrial and Systems Engineering, with emphasis on enhancing the quality of life.

To foster creativity and invention within the key facets of USC’s Daniel J. Epstein Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering including research and education.

To create a vibrant intellectual environment at USC where world-class researchers in Industrial and Systems Engineering and related fields engage in the development of new ideas, thus positioning the Epstein Department at the forefront in thought leadership in the world.


University of Southern California
Daniel J. Epstein Institute
3715 McClintock Ave, GER 240
Los Angeles, CA 90089-0193
Email: jcarlsso@usc.edu

Published on June 29th, 2017

Last updated on August 2nd, 2023