Monday, July 16, 2012

When the Most Recent Time Feels as Good as the First Time -- Getting a Paper Accepted and Published

I recently received an email message from a former doctoral student of mine that is the kind of message that is a keep-sake. It highlighted milestones in an academic career.

The message included the following, which had been copied to several former and present doctoral students of mine.

When I received your phone calls in my dorm at China, I didn't realize that's one of the biggest decisions in one's life. From the first day at UMASS, the first presentation at Professor's 821 class, the first homework that I ever graded, the first paper, the first conference, the first job interview, the first job offer,...until now the tenure and promotion, every step in my growth records Professor Nagurney's effort. I can't thank you enough, Professor!

I met my best friends in the supernetwork lab which is really like a family. Thank you all for friendship and support, which is my lifelong asset!~~~

This got me thinking -- I hope that, as an academic, one never loses that sense of wonder and, indeed, happiness, at getting another paper accepted for publication and then seeing it in a journal.

Do you recall the time that you received the good news of the acceptance of your first journal article?

My first three journal articles were co-authored with my doctoral dissertation advisor at Brown University, Professor Stella Dafermos, the second female in the world to receive a PhD in Operations Research. We actually had, as our first set of joint publications,  a series of three papers, published, in Mathematical Programming, Transportation Research B, and in Operations Research.

That same year (and only a year after receiving my PhD), I then had a single-authored paper (another first) published in Transportation Research B.

Last week, we heard the good news that a paper that I had written with the other Dr. Nagurney, who is educated in physics, had been accepted for publication. The effort in understanding the scope of the medical nuclear supply chain network problem and issues, which are affecting medical diagnostics, and even security, along with acquiring the data for the problem, had been intense, and, after two revisions, we had done it. The paper integrates operations research and physics for a supply chain network application.

The good news of the paper acceptance made our day and the warm feeling continues and makes the hard work worth it.

I hope that I never lose that feeling -- and wish you all the same.