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{ Monthly Archives } November 2005

OR in the media and Virginia Postrel

Operations Research has a hard time getting into the press. Partially it is our fault: OR people as a whole are pretty modest and are great at seeing two sides to every issue (after all, it is this dynamic that makes for the best models: start small, and add to address issues with the resulting […]

Initial Plans for INFORMS 2006

Now that INFORMS 2005 New Orleans/San Francisco is over, it is the Pittsburgh crowd’s turn to put together INFORMS 2006. We are well on the way planning, with a list of tutorials and invited sessions that I think will be very good. The theme of the conference in OR Renaissance, and we hope to highlight […]

Rothkopf’s Rankings of University Contributions to the Practice Literature

Mike Rothkopf has just published his sixth ranking of universities in publishing in the practice of operations research in the journal Interfaces (subscription required to access full paper). The definition of “practice” is naturally a complicated thing: most OR people (myself included) claim relevance to practice on pretty slim connections. For this ranking, “practice” means […]

John Muth

John Muth passed away in October. He was an early faculty member at the school I am at (the Tepper School at Carnegie Mellon) and a key researcher in the economic area of rational expections. What is the OR content? Check out his obituary and note the work in operations management and forecasting along with […]


I just got back from the INFORMS Award ceremonies. Some of the highlights: 1) John von Neumann Theory Prize went to Robert Aumann, who also won the Nobel Prize in Economics this year. The committee picked Aumann before the Nobel Prize was announced. Pretty good year for Robert! 2) The Lanchester Prize (best publication in […]

Luk Van Wassenhove and IFORS Distinguished Lecturer

Luk Van Wassenhove was the IFORS Distinguished Lecturer at this year’s INFORMS conference. Here he is receiving congratulations from Tom Magnanti (right), President of IFORS. Luk spoke on “Closed Loop Supply Chains: Past, Present, and Future”. Closed-loop supply chains are those where the supply chain bringing goods from consumers back to suppliers is also important. […]

Heading off to San Francisco …

for the INFORMS Conference (originally planned for New Orleans). US Airways cut back their direct flights from Pittsburgh, so it is through Minneapolis I go. I’ll try to post some of the interesting things I see at the conference (if I can get out of the bar long enough: see my comments on social capital […]

The Community of Operations Research

For the past three or four years, I have given a talk at the INFORMS Doctoral Colloquium about the importance of social capital in a successful career. This talk is based on the book Bowling Alone by Putnam which argued that society (particularly US society) is becoming more detached, with fewer people engaged in the […]

Web Resources, then and now

Wandering around the web, I came across a site that had copied my web page on pointers in Operations Research from 1994, presumably to avoid the then-slow cross-Atlantic downloads. It is stunning to remember what life was like pre-web. That page has about 50 pointers, about half of which were “ftp” or “gopher” (a http/html […]


It’s been about a week that I have been keeping this blog, and so far I think it has gone well. It is nice to see the activity (I have opened up my sitemeter so you can check out the stats as well): there’s about 20 visitors a day, and people are clicking around to […]