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{ Monthly Archives } January 2009

American Express and Data Mining

I teach a data mining course here to our MBA students.  It is a popular course with about 70% of the students taking it at some point during their two years with us.  Since I am an operations research guy, I concentrate on the algorithms, but we spend a lot of time talk on the […]

Gurobi versus CPLEX benchmarks

Hans Mittelmann has released some benchmark results comparing CPLEX 11.2 with the first version of Gurobi‘s code (1.02) in both sequential and parallel (4 processor) mode.  Mosek’s sequential code is also included in the test.  Let me highlight some of the lines: ================================================================= s problem CPLEX1 GUROBI1 MOSEK1 CPLEX4 GUROBI4 —————————————————————– air04 9 18 49 […]

Over- versus Under-Planning

My wife and I have been arguing recently about my family’s tendancy to over-plan.  The Trick way does tend to have plans with lots of contingencies, which perhaps a reason operations research appeals to me.  The Weyers (my wife Ilona’s surname) approach is a little more … take it as things come. The Think-OR blog […]

End of INFORMS Resources page? No really!

Last year, we had a brief discussion on the value of the INFORMS Resources page.  Since then, things have simply got worse.  Spammers overwhelm the system, keeping things updated is horrendously difficult, and it is unclear if more than a handful of people are interested in it.   As I write on the page: As announced […]

Larry Wein on Post Traumatic Stress

I missed Larry Wein’s op-ed in the New York Times on post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), so thanks to Güzin Bayraksan for pointing it out in her blog.  Entitled “Counting the Walking Wounded”, the piece argues that the number of soldiers expected to get PTSD is quite a bit higher than previous estimates (which were in […]

A Sheriff Goes to Jail for Not Using Operations Research

An Alabama sheriff spent time in jail for not feeding his prisoners enough.  From the CNN Report: A federal judge ordered a north Alabama sheriff jailed this week, saying the lawman intentionally served jail inmates “woefully insufficient” meals in order to pocket more than $200,000. … At issue is an Alabama law that attorneys for […]

ACM Fellows and Operations Research

The ACM (the Association for Computing Machinery) has announced 44 new Fellows.  A number of them are well-known in the operations research community (some are just plain well-known:  can it be that Stephen Cook of NP-completeness fame was not a Fellow before now?).  These include: Tuomas Sandholm, Carnegie Mellon.  Tuomas does an amazing number of […]

OR Forum paper on Personal Decisions

There is a new paper and discussion at the OR Forum.  Raph Keeney published  a neat paper entitled “Personal Decisions are the Leading Cause of Death” in Operations Research, where he argues that the choices people make (eating, drinking, etc.) cause more deaths than anything else.  There are some very insightful commentaries about this, and […]

IBM Completes Purchase of ILOG

IBM has now completed its purchase of ILOG.  From the “ILOG, an IBM Company” press release: ARMONK,NY and PARIS – January 6, 2009. IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced the completion of its approximately $340 million USD (EUR 215 million) tender offer for the shares of ILOG (NASDAQ: ILOG) (PARIS: ILO) (ISIN: FR0004042364). The tender offer, […]

On “On Explaining Operations Research to Others”

Jim Orlin, professor of OR at MIT, and coauthor of one of my favorite books (Network Flows: Theory, Algorithms, and Applications with Ravi Ahuja and Tom Magnanti), has just started a blog.  It looks like it will be a little more wide-ranging than this one, including education and politics along with operations research. His first […]