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{ Monthly Archives } June 2007

Coordinating supply chains

I just attended a talk given by Tava Olsen from Washington University in St. Lous. The talk was held at the business school at the University of Auckland (who are building a spectacular new building nearby). Her talk was an overview talk on supply chain coordination. For a non-specialist like myself (albeit one who often […]

Queue or Queues

I am spending this year visiting the University of Auckland. New Zealand is a wonderful, beautiful country filled with very friendly people (see our personal blog for pictures and stories). It is not, however, a particularly efficient country. Service standards are not quite up to US standards. This is made worse by our living on […]

OR Forum Paper on Influenza released

As one of my hats, I am the Area Editor for Operations Research responsible for the OR Forum. This area tries to attract contentious or provocative papers on topics in OR of broad interest. We have just published our second paper in the Area: a work by Dick Larson of MIT on influenza modeling. You […]

New Computer Coming

I just ordered a new computer to replace this one. has done a great job over the last five years, but it is showing its age. The operating system is woefully out of date, causing ever-increasing security problems. Of course, if it gets out of date enough, the machine becomes “secure by obsolescence” as […]

Is most published operations research false?

Seed Magazine has an excellent article entitled “Dirty Little Secret” with a subtitle of “Are most published research findings actually false? The case for reform.” (Thanks to the Complex Intelligent Systems blog for pointing to this). The article begins with some amazing statistics: In a 2005 article in the Journal of the American Medical Association, […]

The Traveling Salesman Problem: A Computational Study

The Traveling Salesman Problem: A Computational Study is a new book by David Applegate, Bob Bixby, Vasek Chvatal, and Bill Cook (published by Princeton University Press) and it is terrific. I was asked by OR Letters to provide a review, which I have done. I won’t spoil the review for the journal, but here is […]

Six Key Ideas of Operations Research?

For most of us, teaching a first course in operations research involves trotting out our old friends linear programming, sensitivity analysis, integer programming, and so on. Twenty years ago, we used linear algebra; today, we concentrate more on modeling. But it is not clear that students get the Big Picture. Like “Modeling is useful” or […]

Google’s search algorithm

There is an article in the New York Times on Google’s algorithm for returning pages after a search. It is remarkable how complex it has become. At its base is a concept called Page Rank (named after Larry Page, one of the founders of Google), a very simple concept that every operations research student can […]