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{ Category Archives } Personal

Touring the Rio Olympics

I’m a sportswriter who is bound for the Olympics, and I’m writing an article about maximizing the number of events I see in a particular day. I thought the input of a mathematician with expertise in these matters would be helpful to the story. This was an interesting start to day a month ago.  I […]

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 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 […]

Sports with a vague Operations Research connection

It is pretty clear that academic administration and blogging are perfect substitutes, at least in regard to time, if not satisfaction.  After having an easy period earlier in the year when I racked up a dozen blog posts, administrative needs sucked up all my time, leading to the buildup of dust-bunnies at Ye Olde Blog. […]

Summer Time Travel Plans

As I sit in a jet-lagged haze in a Beijing hotel,thoughts naturally turn to …. more travel!  The opportunity to travel all around the world is a great bonus of academia.   And while I think I have taken this bonus to extremes (I am not sure academics should really be at the highest tiers […]

Operations Research Resolutions for 2012

It is the time of the year for resolutions.  Resolutions help define what we would like to be, but are damned hard things to follow through on.  As Paul Rubin points out, gyms will be overrun for a few weeks with “resolvers” (or, as my former personal trainer called them “resolutionists”) before the weight room […]

Prostates and Probabilities

After a few years hiatus, I finally got back to seeing a doctor for an annual physical last week.  For a 51-year-old male with a fondness for beer, I am in pretty good shape.  Overweight (but weighing a bit less than six months ago), pretty good blood pressure (123/83), no cholesterol issues, all without the […]

On the Shoulders of Giants

Yesterday I was messing around with The Mathematics Genealogy Project and I learned that Anna Nagurney, among others, is a not-so-distant cousin.  That inspired me to shoot off a couple of emails trying to trace my history farther back. To recap, my advisors were Don Ratliff and John Bartholdi.  John was a student of Don, […]

Finding Love Optimally

Like many in operations research, my research interests often creep over into my everyday life. Since I work on scheduling issues, I get particularly concerned with everyday scheduling, to the consternation of my friends and family (“We should have left six minutes ago: transportation is now on the critical path!”). This was particularly true when […]

Postdocs and Special Year at the IMA

In 1987-88, I spent a great year in Minneapolis as a postdoc at the Institute for Mathematics and its Applications (and this picture of me comes from that time). Every year at the IMA has a special theme, and the theme my year was “Applied Combinatorics”. There were about a dozen of us postdocs that […]