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Complete Enumeration Arguments Deemed Harmful…

… or “The Traveling Salesman Problem is Not That Hard”. When I talk to people about what I do for a living, I often face blank stares (or, worse, rapidly retreating backs) when I describe problems like the Traveling Salesman Problem. Me: “Well, suppose the dots on this napkin represent cities, and you want to […]

State of Operations Research Blogging

It has been almost a year since I had a blog entry here.  Not that I don’t have a lot to say!  I am using twitter more, and I do have ideas for blog entries in cases where 140 characters is not enough.  But there is limited time. But I think something more fundamental is […]

Blogging and the Changing World of Education

As a blogger, I have been a failure in the last six months.  I barely have enough time to tweet, let alone sit down for these extensively researched, tightly edited, and deeply insightful missives that characterize my blog.  I tell you, 1005 words on finding love through optimization doesn’t just happen! I have my excuses, […]

COIN-OR needs a new web site

A long, long time ago (1995 to be exact), INFORMS asked for volunteers to put together its website.  While I was hesitant (I was an untenured assistant professor), I decided to apply, and I became the editor of INFORMS Online.  There are few decisions that had such wide-ranging, and unforeseen, effects.  I met people (like […]

Google Reader and Operations Research

I has been some months now since Google has announced the end of Google Reader.  I have gone through many of the stages of grief (getting stuck at “Anger” for a while) and am now entering acceptance. Personally, I have no problem with Feedly or one of the other readers.  But there is another aspect of […]

The cutting plane method for matching is polynomial

Michael Mitzenmacher is a computer scientist at Harvard with a blog My Biased Coin.  As you might expect from the title, Michael works in the area of randomized algorithms, and even has a book on the subject.  His blog is an extremely useful guide to the what is happening in algorithms in CS (and what […]

The Treasure has been Found!

I wrote previously about an “Analytics Treasure Hunt” organized by John Toczek.  I have just heard from John that the treasure has been found: Just wanted to give you an update on the 2012 Analytics Treasure Hunt.  The treasure was found by two member team, Madineh Sarvestani and Shepard Wallace who successfully retrieved the treasure […]

I may be depressed but I could win some money through operations research

I got an email recently from John Toczek, an OR professional with Aramark who writes the PuzzlOR column for OR/MS Today): You ran an article on a contest I created back in 2010 called the Analytics X Competition [http://mat.tepper.cmu.edu/blog/?p=1024] where contestants were trying to predict where homicides would occur in Philadelphia zip codes.  That contest ended […]

All Hail the Mighty Rose (and Mary and David and the rest of the gang at INFORMS)

A bit over a year ago, INFORMS took over sponsorship of OR-Exchange, a question and answer site for operations research and analytics.  And when I say “sponsorship”, I mean they agreed to host the site and provide all the infrastructure for the system.  It was a generous offer to a community that had been struggling to […]

Super Exciting News on Super Polynomiality of LP Formulations of the TSP Polytope

Years ago, I spent a very pleasant couple of weeks in a group debunking a claimed linear programming formulation of the Traveling Salesman Problem.  I wrote on this before, and bewailed the fact that I was not smart enough to figure out there was a general theorem there:  Yannakakis showed that no symmetric linear programming formulation […]