Monday, February 16, 2009

New Isenberg School Website

While I was in Dallas, the Isenberg School of Management (ISOM) at UMass Amherst, where I teach, unveiled its new website. It is larger and easier to navigate than the previous one. Plus, it contains information about both upcoming events and news. We are in the midst of searching for a new Dean and also recruiting new doctoral students so the redesigned website should be helpful in both dimensions. ISOM is a fantastic place to teach and do research. It is located in the Pioneer Valley of western Massachusetts, which is home to the Five Colleges and several neighboring colleges. Our students are very bright, hard-working, and very professional. Interdisciplinarity is valued, which makes for a very rich intellectual environment.

This coming Friday, we will be hosting Professor Ellis Johnson of Georgia Tech, who will be speaking in our Spring 2009 Speaker Series in Operations Research / Management Science. His topic will be major airline challenges, a topic very close to home, especially given the horrific crash of the Continental commuter plane last Thursday in Buffalo. I was flying that day to Dallas through Philly on USAir commuter planes. The first leg was incredibly bumpy and I engaged the stewardess in conversation since I was seated in the first row of the plane. We talked about the USAir plane that landed in the Hudson and the bravery of the pilots and crew and the travelers. She told me how those who were in the back of that plane sustained more severe injuries. Who was to know that that very same day, February 12, 2009, a crash would cost the lives of 49 on the Continental commuter plane from Newark to Buffalo with one life lost on the ground (in the house that the plane crashed into with the wife and daughter escaping). Our hearts go out to all the families of those who lost their lives in such a horrible tragedy. Matt Wald (who happens to be a classmate of mine from Brown University days) reported on the crash for the New York Times, from Amherst, NY.