Friday, June 25, 2010

Professor George L. Nemhauser and Sports Scheduling in The Chronicle of Higher Ed

The name of George L. Nemhauser is well-known (I should say renowned) in operations research.

The Chronicle of Higher Education has a really nice writeup on Professor Nemhauser's work in sport scheduling and on his company. According to the article: His company, Sports Scheduling Group, now handles all scheduling for Major League Baseball and has worked with the Atlantic Coast Conference, Big Ten, Mountain West, and other college leagues. Over the past few weeks, as conferences considered all kinds of changes, he fielded numerous calls from athletics officials wondering how their schedules might be affected by the addition of one or more programs.

George Nemhauser's paper, with Mike Trick, entitled, "Scheduling a Major College Basketball Conference," that appeared in one of our top journals, Operations Research, is a classic.

Earlier in this blog I wrote about the work of Professor Celso Ribeiro in soccer game scheduling in his home country of Brazil.

It is great that The Chronicle of Higher Ed recognizes the great contributions of our profession to applications in sports!

The full Chonicle of Higher Ed article can be accessed here

I have a special soft spot for Professor Nemhauser because, after my PhD dissertation advisor at Brown University, Stella Dafermos, received her PhD from Johns Hopkins, she moved to Cornell University and George was her mentor there. I also regularly cite his work with Trotter on column generation as applied to traffic network equilibrium algorithms for the solution of large-scale problems.

When Stella died, back in 1990, George was one of the first people that I called with the sad news and he was instrumental in having me write her obituary which appeared in Operations Research.