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{ Monthly Archives } February 2009

Kurt Spielberg Passing

There is news from Monique Guignard, via a complicated path, that Kurt Spielberg has passed away, struck by a passing car outside the Philadelphia Museum of Art.  Kurt did a lot of work on how to make integer programming and relaxation methods really work in practice.   This work started in the 60s and continued […]

Have you Registered for INFORMS Practice?

The INFORMS Practice Conference is one of my favorite conferences. It is here that I get most of my stories for my classes and get inspired about the areas I work in. I also get inspired about Operations Research in general: it is a great field, and this conference shows the wonderful things we do. […]

Visual Display of the Stimulus Package

Further to the $787 billion stimulus package (or 78 NSF Stimulus Package, as I like to call it), my finance colleague Bryan Routledge has done a wordle of the summary of the appropriations bill. Here it is (from There is a lot to like in that picture. Certainly “science”, “research”, “grants” and “billion” go […]

I want my 78 NSFs!

Three times a day, I trek across campus with a group of colleagues, most of whom are in finance and economics.  Conversation, not surprisingly, has often been on the financial mess the world is in.  How different the world would be if people in operations research ruled the world!  We’d need a little more centralization, […]

New Life for the Operations Research Resources Page?

I have previously written about my frustration handling the INFORMS OR/MS Resources Page.  I wrote: As announced last year, it is unclear whether this resource page will continue. On one hand I started this back in 1994, so it is sad to see it go after 15 years. On the other hand, the internet has […]

The Edelmans are here!

The January-February 2009 issue of Interfaces is now online, which means the papers from the 2008 Edelmans have now arrived.  My only disappointment is that my “OR Techniques for Consultants” course was moved up 7 weeks, so this year’s students had to make due with last year’s papers. The papers include: The New Dutch Timetable: […]

Test Gurobi yourself!

In keeping with an unusually awesome collection of comments, Daniel Fylstra of Frontline Systems wrote regarding the new linear/integer programming software from Gurobi (apologies for the self-linking, but, hey!, it’s my blog!): Although Gurobi Optimization plans to offer the Gurobi Solver directly (with its own APIs and tool set) starting in April, it’s available in […]

Keep the Operations Research Name!

A few years ago, INFORMS spent significant amounts of money on its “Science of Better” campaign in an effort to brand the phrase “Operations Research”.  This was not an easy or uncontroversial decision.  Even choosing “Operations Research” was controversial.  Practically everyone agrees that it is a lousy name for a field:  it is uninformative and […]

What stops you from using Open Source in Operations Research?

In the discussion of CPLEX versus Gurobi software, the discussion took an interesting turn when it came to open source (like that of COIN-OR).  Sebastian, bemoaning the cost of commercial packages such as CPLEX said: I think another long-term way to make OR feasible in situations where the cost of Cplex cannot be justified is […]

Algorithmic Decision Theory (ADT) 2009

Algorithmic Decision Theory 2009 Venice, Italy