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{ Category Archives } Education

Helping Operations Researchers start young

Now that my son has turned twelve, I am beginning to see among his friends a bifurcation:  some “love” mathematics and some “hate” mathematics.  This is frustrating to me since I know that if the kids see operations research then they will all love it.  What is not to like?  Coloring maps, finding paths, scheduling […]

Taking Optimization With You After Graduation

In the Tepper MBA program, we use versions of Excel’s Solver (actually a souped up version from Frontline Systems)  for most of our basic optimization courses.  Students like this since they feel comfortable with the Excel interface and they know that they can use something like this in their summer internships and first jobs, albeit […]

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, […]

Operations Research at Business Schools: The Bad!

Right after returning from Egon Balas’ 90th Birthday tea, as I thought good thoughts about the role operations research plays in business schools, I read some disconcerting news from the College of of Business and Economics, University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand, from Dr. Nicola Petty: On Wednesday the Council of the university at […]

Operations Research and Business Schools: The Good!

Way back in 1988, I was a fresh Ph.D. out of Georgia Tech doing a postdoc at the Institute for Mathematics and its Applications at the University of Minnesota.  While I had plans to spend another postdoc year, likely in Europe (and I ended up doing so, in Germany), I did decide it would be […]

Teaching and Research

For the last few years, I have been dabbling in academic administration, first as Associate Dean for Research and now as Senior Associate Dean, Education here at the Tepper School of Business.  While there are frustrations in this position (“There are how many courses not covered?  And are all the adjuncts on vacation in Aruba […]

Puppetry, Turf Management, and Operations Research

CNN and careerbuilder.com have put out a list of six unusual college degrees. I checked it out, expecting to see Carnegie Mellon’s own offering in this area: bagpiping. But bagpiping was not unusual enough to make this list. After possibilities for racetrack management and packaging (“Don’t think outside the box: think about the box”), there […]

The List Every University Should Want to Be On

About this time last year, I asked advice about where a high school senior should consider for college engineering.  At the back of my mind, I was figuring that this is a pretty smart kid and both of his parents have PhDs, so finding a place that might get him fired up enough to consider […]

More Operations Research in the News, but not in a Welcome Way

Fabrice Tourre, “the fabulous Fab”, who is at the center of the Goldman Sachs scandal, is a 2001 graduate of Stanford University. That, in itself, is no surprise. Stanford has a top ranked business school that does about as well as the rest of us in graduating ethical MBAs (by that I mean MBAs who […]

Conditional Probability in the New York Times

When you ask a question of the form “What are the chances of X given Y”, your are asking a question of conditional probability. These sorts of questions have come up in this blog before: “What are the chances of cancer given a positive test result?” “What are the chances a monkey prefers blue M&Ms […]