Manufacturing Systems I

Course 2 of 8: Principles of Manufacturing 8 weeks total 10 – 12 hours each week

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About this course

In this course, part of the Principles of Manufacturing MicroMasters program, you will learn how to analyze manufacturing systems to optimize performance and control cost. You will develop an understanding of seemingly opaque production lines with a particular emphasis on random disruptive events – their effects and how to deal with them, as well as inventory dynamics and management.

Manufacturing systems are complex and require decision-making skills and analytical analysis. Managers and practitioners use a wide variety of methods to optimize the performance of manufacturing systems and control costs. The many processes and functions involved in building and maintaining these systems demand a high-level of knowledge.

In this course, you will learn about these various methods and processes. We will start with a review of probability and statistics, and then cover topics in linear programming, queueing theory, inventory management and the Toyota Production System (TPS). Lastly, we will introduce stochastic manufacturing systems models developed here at MIT.

The topics covered will provide the basis for learners to continue into the manufacturing field in such roles as an operations manager or supply chain manager.

Develop the skills needed for competence and competitiveness in today’s manufacturing industry with the Principles of Manufacturing MicroMasters Credential, designed and delivered by MIT’s #1-ranked Mechanical Engineering department in the world. Learners who pass the 8 courses in the program will earn the MicroMasters Credential and qualify to apply to gain credit towards MIT’s Master of Engineering in Advanced Manufacturing & Design program.

What you’ll learn

  • Applications of basic probability models
  • Building and solving optimization models
  • Inventory dynamics and management
  • Philosophy behind the Toyota Production System (TPS)


6.041.1x or the equivalent. Knowledge and comfortability with undergraduate-level calculus, probability and statistics.

Meet Your Instructors

Stanley B. Gershwin

Senior Research Scientist at Massachusetts Institute of Technology Stanley B. Gershwin is a Senior Research Scientist at the MIT Department of Mechanical Engineering. He received the B.S. degree in Engineering Mathematics from Columbia University, New York, New York, in 1966; and the M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Applied Mathematics from Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1967 and 1971.

Experience Level


Learning Partner

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Program Type



Business & Management Math
Advanced Business Harvard X-Series