One of the greatest strengths of Carnegie Mellon University is our interdisciplinary approach to understanding and solving real world problems. This is perhaps nowhere more evident than in our public policy research.
Understanding and finding solutions to the public policy challenges affecting people's lives is not the purview of a single discipline. The complexity of these issues requires the combined intelligence generated from the work of economists, statisticians, organizational theorists, operations researchers and information systems specialists.
Another common thread underlying Carnegie Mellon's impact in public policy remains our remarkable strength in information systems.
Using data, our faculty and students often turn conventional wisdom on its head, or find new ways to solve old problems. This is at the heart of "intelligent action," the vision embraced by William Cooper, the first dean of the School of Urban and Public Affairs (SUPA). Forty years after SUPA's founding in 1968, it remains one of the social "value propositions" of the Heinz College.
And while the Heinz College is at the center of our public policy work, Heinz is hardly the only policy voice on campus. In fact, our Engineering and Public Policy Department is the only one of its kind in the United States. Faculty from business, history, the social sciences, computer science, the arts and architecture also are concerned with policy, which is as it should be at a university dedicated to interdisciplinary problem solving.