I am at the Institute for Mathematics and its Applications at the University of Minnesota. This brings back very fond memories. I was a postdoc here 21 years ago at the start of my career when they had a Special Year on Applied Combinatorics. As I recall there were 10 postdocs that year: nine combinatorialists and me who was trained in operations research. The combinatorialists were all scary smart and many (including Bernd Sturmfels) went on to sparkling careers. Doing my two postdocs (in addition to the IMA, I spent a year in Bonn, Germany at Prof. Korte’s Institute) was the best thing I have done in my career. The postdoctoral time gave me the opportunity to move past my doctoral work and to start new research directions even before I took a permanent position. And, given I met my wife during my postdoc in Bonn, the social aspects were also wonderful.
I am speaking tonight in the IMA’s Math Matters series. My topic is “Sports Scheduling and the Practice of Operations Research”. The talk is open to everyone, so if you are in the Minneapolis area, feel free to come on by! There has already been some press on this.