Exciting Times for the INFORMS Meeting

Lots of great things are being planned for the upcoming INFORMS Meeting. Let me highlight two.

First, there is a wonderful series of panel discussions planned (if I say so myself:  I organized this particular track).  The idea is to explore issues of professional interest (rather than technical tracks, which are interesting in their own right but not what we were aiming for here).   I previously asked for advice and feedback on topics, and ended up finding some great panel organizers.  Here is the list we ended up with:

Sunday Nov 07, 08:00 – 09:30 : Panel Discussion: Social Networking and Operations Research
Chair: Laura McLay
Sunday Nov 07, 13:30 – 15:00 : Panel Discussion: OR in Engineering Schools
Chair: Mark Daskin
Monday Nov 08, 08:00 – 09:30 : Panel Discussion: INFORMS Journals
Chair: Terry Harrison
Tuesday Nov 09, 08:00 – 09:30 : Joint Session Invited Panels /JFIG: Success as a Junior Faculty
Chair: Burcu Keskin
Tuesday Nov 09, 11:00 – 12:30 : Panel Discussion: Operations Research/Management Science in Business Schools
Chair: Jeff Camm
Tuesday Nov 09, 13:30 – 15:00 : Panel Discussion: Academic Administration and Operations Research/ Management Science: A Good Combination?
Chair: Cynthia Barnhart
Tuesday Nov 09, 16:30 – 18:00 : Panel Discussion: Skills and Career Paths in Industry
Chair: Ranganath Nuggehalli

I think there is nice variety in the topics.  I am particularly looking forward to the session on social networks.   Laura McLay, Aurelie Thiele, Anna Nagurney, and Wayne Winston will discuss how twitter, facebook, blogs and so on can be used in the operations research world.  Sounds like a great way to start of the conference.  I’ll definitely be there live tweeting/blogging.

The second big activity I am looking forward to is “Forrest-Fest”.  I am a big fan of COIN-OR, the open source initiative in operations research (for a few more weeks, I sit on its Strategic Leadership Board).  John Forrest was one of the key people in the founding of COIN, and continues to play an extremely active role in code development and debugging.  John is “retiring” from IBM;  COIN-OR is turning 10 years old.  The combination is obvious!  It is time for a famous COIN-OR Party!  You can check out their extensive set of talks at their wiki.  The COIN-OR reception is always enjoyable, and is promised to be “thoroughly optimized”.  I do worry the shape of people Monday morning:  robustness constraints are often ignored during the Sunday reception.

Between the program and the city of Austin, I am very much looking forward to the conference.  I hope to see many of you there!

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