Inspiration, Credibility and Trust: The Key Tenets for a Strong Academic-Industry Ecosystem

We are all exceedingly aware of the unprecedented times in which we live. Supply chain constraints, wars, accelerating climate change, cybersecurity breaches and unimaginable political conflicts have created an environment of continued disruption. The combinatorial nature of these problems calls for the capabilities of operations research (O.R.) and advanced analytics professionals to navigate these issues, because we work in disciplines that have the breadth and depth of understanding uniquely poised to address decision-making and constraints under dynamic uncertainty. These global challenges impact us all; therefore, the solutions need all of us to make an impact. Nurturing a healthy academic-industry ecosystem will strengthen our ability to drive the creation of talent, new ideas and their effective application to maximize relevance to the world’s needs.



Longtime INFORMS member Fred Hillier talks about his beloved field of operations research and how it led to his charmed career. Entering Stanford University as an undergraduate, his timing was perfect because Jerry Lieberman had just introduced the very first course in the entire university in this budding new field. Fred loved the course and knew then that this would be the perfect career field for him. That was 66 years ago.

Andrew (Andy) Loerch, longtime faculty member and associate chair of the Department of Systems Engineering and Operations Research at George Mason University, passed away June 16 after an unexpected and brief battle with cancer.

As chair of the INFORMS Magazine Editorial Advisory Board (MEAB) and its predecessor (INFORMS’ OR/MS Today and Analytics Committee) for almost a decade, Jim Cochran discusses the benefits of contributing an article to OR/MS Today or Analytics magazine.

INFORMS is pleased to announce the appointment of Lamar Pierce as the next editor-in-chief of Organization Science. Pierce, professor of organization and strategy, and associate dean for executive education at the Olin Business School, Washington University in St. Louis, has broad research expertise across disciplines, topics and methodologies, and a commitment to an inclusive, fair and developmental review process. Pierce has extensive editorial experience as a department editor for Management Science as well as other premier journals.

The WORMS Family Care Award aims to support INFORMS Annual Meeting attendees who are primary caregivers for a family member. The award will partially reimburse recipients for up to $500 in costs associated with care and/or travel for family members whose caregiver is participating in the 2022 INFORMS Annual Meeting in Indianapolis, IN, October 16-19, 2022.


The Burrito Optimization Game

The Burrito Optimization Game is an educational resource designed to introduce players to the power and capabilities of mathematical optimization. It is free and publicly available to anyone interested in discovering – or teaching others about – the benefits of optimization.




The Longitudinal Education Programs of AI4OPT

The NSF AI Institute for Advances in Optimization (AI4OPT) is one of the first 18 AI Research Institutes. Its mission is “to revolutionize decision making at massive scales by fusing AI and mathematical optimization into intelligent systems that will achieve breakthroughs that the two fields cannot achieve independently.” AI4OPT’s foundational research lies at the intersection of AI and operations research (O.R.) and is inspired by grand challenges in energy systems, supply chains, circuit design and control, and resilience and sustainability. AI4OPT features an innovative educational program with the goal to “democratize access to AI education, research and jobs, bridging the gap in opportunities that exists in many communities” and is building pathways in “AI in Engineering” for African American and Hispanic communities, starting with high school education and continuing with community colleges and universities.


What's Your StORy?

Joyce Weiner

You published a book titled “Why AI/Data Science Projects Fail,” and have given talks on the same topic at INFORMS meetings. Without giving it all away, can you tell us the #1 reason why projects fail?

The number one reason is not having the right conversations and as a result solving the wrong problem. Solving the wrong problem is the worst outcome because the team has worked hard to provide a solution, then has to learn that the solution they created isn’t a match for the problem the customer or user actually has. Then you have to go solve the real problem, so it’s double the work.

For more from Joyce, click here.


Future Edelman Impact Award

Purdue University’s M.S. in Business Analytics and Information Management (MS BAIM) program began residentially in 2016 and hasn't stopped growing since. Its latest endeavor is the Future Edelman Impact Award with hopes to inspire students to lead their future client or organization to apply to be a real Franz Edelman Award winner - to be the “best.” The award focuses on student outcomes and benefits their future workforce.



Can you teach AI common sense?

2019 Franz Edelman Award Finalists: Boston Public Schools

There’s a very famous story of a grocery chain, they had a run on their toilet paper, so there were a lot of online orders for toilet paper. And there was an AI system that shut down the ordering system online because it thought there was some kind of attack that is happening on the system, and it did not realize that because of the pandemic there is a move towards stocking up on essentials. You know, it would have known that if it had common sense.

Common sense. A highly valued trait among our peers, partners, friends, and honestly anyone we interact with on a regular basis. Difficult to define at best, common sense is a necessary component to decision-making, helping us navigate any number of choices we must make day to day, to presumably achieve the best outcomes.

And while common sense is an inherently human trait, much like our emotions, as applications of artificial intelligence in our daily lives continue to grow, from customer service interface to smart home technology, can common sense be introduced to this technology to improve their decision-making capability? Or will technology’s inability to incorporate common sense place a hard stop on the role that AI will ultimately play? Joining me to take a closer look at the challenges of introducing common sense into AI decision-making is Mayank Kejriwal with the University of Southern California, who is leading a research team exploring this very topic.

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A Fresh Set of Eyes on Course Scheduling

Creating program course schedules happens behind the scenes, but it affects the day-to-day of all students, most faculty and a good portion of the staff. Scheduling is a classic category of optimization problem. I wondered what I could do to move closer to optimality for all those people at the Leeds School of Business, University of Colorado Boulder.


What's Your StORy?

Matthew Brady

Tell us about your startup Volley Solutions, and the path that led to its founding.

Throughout my career, I have seen world-class organizations make decisions based on intuition, tradition and the “path of least resistance.” During my undergraduate and graduate studies, I had the opportunity to pursue a very specific area of OR/MS that focused on leveraging decision science and behavioral economics, and the result is Volley Solutions. I have helped run and co-founded other startups that were successfully acquired, and now I am building an organization from the ground up to be the leading platform for collaborative decision optimization.

For more about Matt, including how he became an INFORMS member, click here.


A Model for Amplifying Military Education

A dozen critical cognitive strengths and attributes that are necessary for military and analytics leaders alike who can succeed in our future world.



Inside Story

Back-to-School Blues

Dreading the end of summer? Us too. Here are some thoughtful articles on innovative education in the OR/MS and analytics field that might excite you for back-to-school time.

President's Desk

Houston Highlights, Leadership Opportunities and More

2022 INFORMS president shares her top INFORMS-related events and highlights from the past few months.

HQ Highlights

Paving the Way for a More Impactful INFORMS

How do our members and potential members play into our future growth?

Issues in Education

Transforming an Undergraduate Industrial Engineering Curriculum with Data Analytics and Data-Driven Computing

In 2018, the Department of Industrial and Operations Engineering (IOE) at the University of Michigan started down a path to enhance its undergraduate program’s computational and data analytics components. Our goal was to prepare students for their future careers in an increasingly data-driven world. We summarize some of the most significant changes and lessons learned so that other programs considering similar curricular changes can benefit.


My Mom – Operations Researcher Extraordinaire!

Neither of my parents graduated from high school – not unusual at the time – and neither had ever heard of operations research (O.R.) until I was exposed to the discipline as an undergraduate student. However, I believe, other than using the vocabulary, my mom could have written much of my introductory operations management textbook.

Student Perspectives

Data Science Pedagogy Implementation Discussions: A Professional Experience

Data-driven quantitative approaches are being widely implemented across different domains such as manufacturing, healthcare, transportation and finance. Hence, data science-related courses are particularly in high demand. However, students who take these courses often face difficulties applying their learning toward implementing data science-based projects in academic and professional settings. As a result, there is a need to develop innovative and nontraditional teaching approaches to address these challenges.

BOD Candidate Statements

INFORMS President-Elect Nominee: Sheldon H. Jacobson

Sheldon Jacobson provides his vision statement for the August 2022 INFORMS Board of Directors election.

INFORMS President-Elect Nominee: Julie Swann

Julie Swann provides her vision statement for the role of president-elect in the August 2022 INFORMS Board of Directors election.

Conference Preview

2022 INFORMS Annual Meeting is Coming to Indianapolis

What do “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing,” headquarters for the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the 2022 INFORMS Annual Meeting all have in common? They are all located in the “Crossroads of America” – or what most people know as the city of Indianapolis, Indiana.

Last Word

Head of the Class: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the OR/MS Classroom

There has been an evolution over the past few decades from simply trying to increase diversity in STEM classrooms to ensuring that students feel included in their academic endeavor and have equitable pathways to success. Efforts to promote diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) in STEM education are widespread. Here are several efforts underway led in part by the INFORMS Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee (DEIC).


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