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{ Monthly Archives } June 2009

Different Mores for Different Fields

In the wake of the discussion of how different fields have different measures of evaluation (a view I am not 100% on board with: if a subgroup chooses a method of evaluation antithetical to the mores of the rest of academe, don’t be surprised if the group gets little respect outside their narrow group), it […]

Yet Another Name for Our Field

I was wandering through the Internets and came across a new blog from, makers of @RISK and other software. It was a nice, relevant blog with some good stories, particularly on Monte Carlo simulation. I was taken aback by the name of the blog, however: “Operation Research”. I was a little confused for a […]

Grumpy Wikipedians

My experience with Wikipedia has been mixed, at best, particularly in the Operations Research area. Arguing with some non-OR person about what OR is has its advantages: it forces a rethink of one’s beliefs. But it can be frustrating, since it is not clear who you are discussing changes with or what their goals and […]

Netflix Prize ready to finish?

While I have been somewhat skeptical of the Netflix Prize (in short: it seems to be showing how little information is in the data, rather than how much; and the data is rather strange for “real data”), it is still fascinating to watch some pretty high powered groups take a stab at it. If I […]

New Blogs and Welcome Graham!

On my sidebar, I try to keep track of all the operations research oriented blogs. There are still few enough that I think I can keep a complete list (even allowing for a pretty broad view of operations research). The advantage of being on the list is that new posts on each of those blogs […]

Conference Proceedings are Not Enough

In much of operations research, a conference is simply an opportunity to give a talk on recent research.  At INFORMS, EURO, IFORS and many other conferences, there are no printed proceedings, and no real record of what was presented in a talk.  While giving a talk is useful, it doesn’t really count for much in […]

Visualization of Visualizations

Stuart Mitchell, a buddy from my New Zealand year (and I hope soon a coauthor), passed along a neat “Periodic Table of Visualization Methods” from  If you mouse over each box, you get a quick picture of a particular type of visualization.  Given my own biases, I am very taken with the “information visualizations” […]

INFORMS: 30,000 members or 5,000?

When I was elected President of INFORMS in 2000 (my Presidential Year was 2002:  they ease you into the job!), I was very proud to become President of a 14,000 member society (at the age of 42:  don’t let the grey hair fool you).  14,000?  Actually probably 12,000.  Maybe 11,500.  Where did all the members […]

Pittsburgh: Hotbed of Operations Research and Baseball

Pittsburgh is becoming the center of the universe when it comes to combining baseball with operations research.  First, there is … well, me! … a Professor of Operations Research whose company provides Major League Baseball with their player and umpire schedules.  And, beginning last year, Pittsburgh has had Ross Ohlendorf, who has converted his Princeton […]

Humanitarian Operations Research

Two and a half years ago, I spent a sabbatical year in New Zealand.  I had a great year, and very much enjoyed the vibrant research life at the University of Auckland, and the even more interesting life of living in New Zealand (you can check out my blog from the year, and perhaps especially […]