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{ Monthly Archives } September 2007

Getting cheaper boats and ships

I am in Providence attending this year’s Constraint Programming conference. I’m on the executive and we have developed new bylaws, so instead of listening to all the talks, I am involved in discussions on the minutia of quorums and transition rules. Still, there is some time for the conference itself. I just saw a terrific […]

Operations Research in the Caymans?

Through the magic of “Google Alerts“, I get email every time “operations research” (and a bunch of other terms, some of which are none of your business) appears in the press. I was delighted to see an article in the Cayman Net News about operations research. While we love New Zealand, I will say our […]

Algorithms and the Economist

The Economist, in its September 13th issue, has a nice article on how businesses use algorithms to work better. From the introduction: ALGORITHMS sound scary, of interest only to dome-headed mathematicians. In fact they have become the instruction manuals for a host of routine consumer transactions. Browse for a book on and algorithms generate […]

Math, Poker, and Peter Winkler

Peter Winkler was kind enough to send me a copy of his new book Mathematical Mind-Benders. It is full of wonderful puzzles, at a level similar to the level aimed at by Martin Gardner (I have written about Peter’s work before): go and buy it! Here is a question (for which I will provide the […]

Pecha-Kucha: the Solution to a Conference Problem

I am involved in a number of small (100 attendees or so) conference series: CPAI-OR, PATAT, MISTA, and a number of others. One problem all of these smaller conferences have is getting enough people to attend. Typically, they are competitive, so only accept a limited (30 or so) number of papers. This means we get […]

Scheduling people in the Netherlands

John Poppelaars has started a blog entitled “OR at Work” about OR applications in practice. One of his posts is about employee scheduling, where a Dutch directive includes the following requirements: In normal English the rule states that when an employee performs one or more resident on call duties, each period of 7 times 24 […]

Operations Research and Tattoos

Being in New Zealand, I am looking for the one big memento of the year. And naturally tattoos come to mind. Here, tattoos are not (necessarily) a sign of a an evening with too much drink, but are a an integral part of the Maori culture, and have been adopted by pakeha (those of European […]