Measuring the Impact of Diversity: Where Does INFORMS Stand?

As I reflect on the ongoing fight for social justice and effort to bring an end to systemic racism, I want to hold INFORMS accountable. We don’t just want to be performative; we want to act intentionally and with purpose. I say this even though the statement about George Floyd was written prior to my INFORMS employment (I hope some have noticed that I write about diversity every June as a way to ensure that we are tracking our progress).



Join us July 28-30 in Arlington, Virginia, for the third INFORMS Security Conference. Located just minutes from downtown Washington, D.C., this year’s conference will explore the latest research, advancements and proven applications for addressing a broad spectrum of complex security challenges at the individual, organizational, national and global levels.

INFORMS Fellow and current VP of Education Illya Hicks has been selected as the recipient of the 2024 Blackwell-Tapia Prize sponsored by the National Science Foundation Mathematical Sciences Institute and awarded by the Institute for Computation and Experimental Research in Mathematics (ICERM). The Blackwell-Tapia Prize recognizes a mathematician who has served as a role model for mathematical scientists and students from underrepresented minority groups or has contributed in other significant ways to addressing the problem of underrepresentation of minorities in mathematics.

As INFORMS members, it is our professional responsibility to ensure the next generation of operations research (O.R.) and analytics practitioners are being effectively educated with innovative methods, practical experiences and inspirational examples of success. The UPS George D. Smith Prize is an excellent way to elevate our academic counterparts who create programs that deliver outstanding practitioners.

INFORMS members can earn the Senior Member distinction by being the most committed members of our community – the ones who get involved, contribute and engage. The base requirement for becoming a Senior Member is simply being a Regular INFORMS member for five (or more) continuous years.

Before venturing into data analytics, my world revolved around epidemiology and government. Although my transition may seem like a significant leap, it was, in fact, a natural progression.


Accelerating DEI with O.R. in the Age of AI

An analytic, data-driven approach enables diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) efforts to succeed where they otherwise might suffer from a lack of focus or implementability. By clearly defining and measuring desired outcomes alongside the design of DEI improvement initiatives, organizations may then apply operations research (O.R.) techniques to focus their efforts and accelerate progress.



Chasing Tomorrow: ChatGPT Regulations and Models in a Rapidly Changing Landscape

The benefits derived from using generative AI are enormous, and the risks are substantial. We must know the risks and make decisions about how to reduce them. Still, there is not a unique global regulation to reduce their risks and enforce their beneficial, safe applications. This article discusses generative AI applications, risks and regulations as well as technical aspects of large language models, and how to implement ChatGPT in the real world.


What's Your StORy?

Dessislava Pachamanova

“Don’t be afraid to venture into interdisciplinary research and collaborate with people outside your field of study. So many ideas and inspiration can come from just learning to understand the language and conventions of other fields. In addition, there is often low-hanging fruit where a small idea from one field can make a big difference for another.”

—Dessislava Pachamanova, Professor and Zwerling Family Endowed Term Chair, Babson College

Click here to watch the full video interview.


The Impact of Analytics and AI in Digital Transformation for the University of the Future

Analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) seem to be omnipresent in today’s society and it's all part of the melting pot of the digital transformation (Dx) movement. A key focus for universities of the future will be the application of Dx efforts, including online learning, analytics and AI.



The Daughter Effect

2019 Franz Edelman Award Finalists: Boston Public Schools

Daughters are not intentionally influencing their father. Actually the influence happens through the social dynamics in the family environment. So for example, when the daughters have a frustrating day in the school or in the workplace and they tell their story to their father about how they experienced that, and the father will just learn from those stories and become more aware of the challenges and constraints that women face, either in the school or in the workplace.

Looking back, I think we can all recognize and appreciate the role that our parents played in shaping who we are. But have you ever thought about the impact you had on your parents, how they view themselves and others?

For this episode, we’re going to turn the tables and take a look at the role that children can have on shaping and influencing their parents, specifically, how having daughters can shape how men view and interact with women in the workplace, especially men in leadership roles. This is also known as the daughter effect. I’m thrilled to introduce Zhiyan “Z” Wu with Erasmus University and Lucia Naldi with Jönköping University, who collaborated with their fellow authors on a study recently published in the INFORMS journal Management Science titled “Learning from Their Daughters: Family Exposure to Gender Disparity and Female Representation in Male-Led Ventures.”

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The Science of Winning

The term “operations research” has various meanings that differ considerably. For some, O.R. refers to a specific collection of problems, solutions and techniques that have been accumulated over the last 80 years and recognized as O.R. problems. Others consider O.R. as more of an approach to doing things by leveraging a wide set of tools and skills. This article serves as a reminder of the history of O.R. and how far it's come.


What's Your StORy?

Dan Hudson, CAP

“As a decision scientist at heart, I will highlight that analytics is for the purpose of making better decisions. Analytics may not lead to better outcomes from a decision under uncertainty due to the impact of chance or random factors that are beyond your control. The idea is to have a robust analytics and a decision process that increases the likelihood you will realize better outcomes over the long run.”

— Dan Hudson, CAP, Director of Applied Technology, Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) Mission Technologies

Watch the full interview on the INFORMS YouTube channel.


Inside Story

50th Anniversary of OR/MS Today

Most readers of OR/MS Today are at least somewhat aware of the origin story of INFORMS, when two dynamo organizations – Operations Research Society of America (ORSA) and The Institute of Management Sciences (TIMS) – joined forces in 1995. That said, OR/MS Today predates our current Institute. The magazine began with its nomenclature in 1974, marking 2024 the 50th anniversary of the membership magazine of INFORMS.

President's Desk

Change Brings Opportunity

2024 INFORMS President Julie Swann shares her outlook for the year regarding INFORMS and its myriad activities, offerings and opportunities for change.

HQ Highlights

Let’s Discuss: Enlisting Young People in STEM/Data Fields

It’s no secret that math and science scores among young people are dropping at an alarming rate. In 2023, U.S. News & World Report reported that math scores among U.S. teenagers were the lowest they had been since the 1970s and math test results from 2021 found that among 13-year-olds, average math scores declined 9 points compared to the previous assessment – the single largest decline observed in the last half century. It’s hard not to be dismayed by such startling results, but nonetheless, it presents a significant opportunity for the INFORMS community to join together to find ways to communicate with and engage these students.

Issues in Education

Student Perceptions Going into an Undergraduate Business Analytics Course

Most business schools are incorporating some form of business analytics into their curricula, and a substantial number even have departments dedicated to the field. However, we speculated that there was a stigma surrounding the required undergraduate courses designed to introduce students to statistics and analytics, and developed a survey to measure various components of students' perceptions going into an undergraduate business analytics course.


Ethical Decision Quality: Teaching Students to Make Great (and Ethical) Decisions

Decision analysis is amoral. You can use the tools of decision analysis (and many other tools of operations research) to decide on the best way to rob a bank. The tools are insensitive to the morality of their application. Should there be an ethics focus on the teaching of decision analysis and O.R. in general? And should there be a method to assess the ethical quality of a decision?

Analytics Advice

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Staying Current with the Latest Analytics Trends and Technology

It can often seem daunting to keep pace with the rapid advancements in technology and the tools available to operations research and analytics professionals. The INFORMS community offers their best tips for staying current with the latest analytics trends and technology.

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If Dantzig Had a Sister

February 11 is the International Day of Women and Girls in Science. We exploit some quotes from Virginia Woolf’s “A Room of One’s Own” to discuss why there is still the need for such days as well as the challenges faced by women in operations research (O.R.) past and present. In her 1929 essay, Woolf pretended that William Shakespeare had a sister, Judith, as brilliant and talented as him to reason about the social disadvantages and prejudices women dealt with and the lack of their production in literature at the time. We adopt a similar reasoning by assuming that, besides a brother, George B. Dantzig, one of the pioneers of O.R., had a younger sister.


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An Interview on Neuro-Operations Management

In a world where traditional operational strategies have long been the driving force, neuro-OM emerges as a groundbreaking paradigm shift. This article shares an insightful conversation with Professor T. T. Niranjan from Indian Institute of Technology Mumbai, a luminary in this innovative field, in which we explore the nuances of how understanding the intricacies of the human mind can revolutionize operations and supply chain management.

Member Insights

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Academic Branding Through Volunteering

The world of academia has a constant buzz of ideas and ambitions that is as relentless as it is quiet. Time flies, and before I know it, I’ve been navigating this world for more than a decade. Along the way, I’ve seen firsthand the power of branding to shape our careers, forge our connections and turn our ideas into impact.

Member Insights

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An Epidemiologist’s Journey to Data Analytics

Before venturing into data analytics, my world revolved around epidemiology and government. Although my transition may seem like a significant leap, it was, in fact, a natural progression.

INFORMS Initiatives

Succeeding in Analytics by Leading in Analytics

Now more than ever, firms are investing in artificial intelligence (AI) and analytics efforts. However, the reality is that despite a few very big headline-making wins, most AI and analytics projects fail. However, it does not need to be this way. If we want our AI and analytics projects to succeed, we must become leaders.

Conference Preview

Gearing up for the 2024 INFORMS Analytics Conference

The 2024 INFORMS Analytics Conference is coming up on April 14-16 at the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress in Orlando, Florida. It is THE place to be if you work in analytics – whether you’re a practitioner at any career stage, a manager of analytics projects, an executive at an organization using analytics or a student wanting to learn more about your future career.

Student Perspectives

Informing Tomorrow’s Leaders: The Advantages of INFORMS Student Membership and Its Impact on Academic Excellence

Navigating the whirlwind of college life, with its blend of classes, research commitments and the quest for real-world experience, can be an overwhelming feat. The struggle to find time for even a good night’s sleep can make the idea of joining clubs and organizations feel like an impossible luxury. However, student involvement is key to developing interpersonal skills that simply cannot be learned in the classroom. In particular, joining a professional society, such as INFORMS, can provide connections to more senior professionals in the field, volunteer opportunities and an introduction to cutting-edge research through conferences and meetings.

Last Word

Diversity Fatigue

We are exhausting our organizations with the continuous refocus on efforts on levels of diversity. Money, time and, most importantly, emotional and mental energy of managers and employees go into these efforts. Are they working? Do we see a change?


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