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What Panels would you Like to See?

The organizers at this Fall’s INFORMS Meeting (theme of the conference: “Willie, Lance, and Optimizing the Music Scene in Austin”) have asked me to organize a series of panel discussions (or other “not four papers, each of 22.5 minutes” form) on topics of interest.  These panels should not be on technical topics but rather on issues of professional interest.  What would make for a good panel?  Here are a few possibilties:

  • Blogging, Twitter, and Facebook: Role for Operations Researchers (of course!)
  • Editors Panel:  How to be a successful author, referee, and editor
  • Funding Agencies: How and why to get funding
  • The Academic/Industry Interface: How Industry can Support Academia and vice versa
  • Role of Operations Research in Business Schools
  • Role of Operations Research in Undergraduate Education
  • Department Heads Panel: The Future of Industrial Engineering Departments
  • Dean’s Panel: Operations Research as a Path to Academic Leadership

What would you like to see?    Do any of the above particularly resonate?  What would you add? Other than a panel discussion (or four 22.5 minute talks, and please hold all questions until the next conference), what would be an interesting format to present some of this?

If you have some suggestions of possible panel organizers or members, please feel free to email me those personally.

{ 6 } Comments

  1. Paul Rubin | February 3, 2010 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

    They all look plausible, but the academic/industry interface would be far and away most appealing to me. I’d be particularly interested in two aspects: on which problems industry would like to partner with academics; and thoughts on mechanisms by which industry-academic “matches” could be made (particularly for smaller industrial firms and academics not at major OR “factories”).

  2. Tallys Yunes | February 3, 2010 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    I love Paul’s idea, especially because I’ve tried to initiate a consulting relationship with 3 companies already and none of them worked out (and it was not because they didn’t need OR help).

  3. Sanjay | February 3, 2010 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

    A few comments:

    1. (@Tallys) Initiating commercial relationship is inherently tough. Whether you’re an academic, consultant, or a software vendor, expect a low hit rate. (Sustaining mutually beneficial commercial relationships over the long term is even more of a challenge. But that’s a different topic.)

    2. As a sometime adjunct, I like the “OR in Business Schools” idea, though it would be more interesting if broadened to “OR in Management Education”.

    3. On Funding, let me note that while research funding is a relatively well-understood and discussed topic even among OR grad students, funding opportunities for OR-focused commercial entities (e.g. SBIR grants) are generally not as well-known.

  4. Patricia Randall | February 3, 2010 at 10:30 pm | Permalink

    As someone with a PhD from an Industrial Engineering department, I am very interested in the panel on the future of IE departments, although I am not sure whether the panel would be discussing the growth or decline of these departments. When I was finishing my PhD, I noticed that a MS was becoming the “new” BS with many students feeling that a BS was no longer enough to get a good job in Industrial Engineering. It would be interesting to see if this trend was nationwide or just localized to my department.

    I would also be interested in a panel/session on how Operations Research has fared during the recession, both in terms of academic funding and academic/industry partnerships. It could also include tips for promoting Operations Research in a tough economy.

  5. Kanraj | February 7, 2010 at 5:41 am | Permalink

    I would be interested to see how foreign OR departments (especially in developing countries) could partnership with established OR departments in joint research. I am particularly interested in OR in development and how different departments could partner up in spreading OR.

    Also like the OR in business school idea.

  6. Matthew Saltzman | February 7, 2010 at 10:32 am | Permalink

    I’ll cast my vote for the academy/industry panel. Successful methods for making those collaborations happen will go a long way toward bridging the academic/practitioner divide in the profession.

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  1. […] tracks, which are interesting in their own right but not what we were aiming for here).   I previously asked for advice and feedback on topics, and ended up finding some great panel organizers.  Here is the list we ended up […]