Thursday, October 24, 2013

Road Warrior and Road Scholar

My suitcase is packed and, after teaching my Logistics & Transportation class this morning, I will be heading off to the airport. Today I will have a two-legged flight from Bradley airport to Dallas / Fort Worth and then onward to College Station where Texas A&M University is located.

The definition of road warrior is, according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary: a person who travels a lot especially as part of his or her job. Of course, as an academic, my mode of transportation, whether to conferences or to give invited talks, is frequently by plane.

Last night, I had some concerns since I was having a difficult time printing my boarding passes on the America Airlines website and,  after contacting colleagues at Texas A&M,  was told that they had not experienced this problem before. Well, after paying about $100 extra on a ticket whose price I do not want to reveal (ouch) I managed to get seats and print out my boarding pass.

Now you may wonder, why would I journey so far to give a talk and then come back past midnight tomorrow?!

The Texas A&M INFORMS Student Chapter invited me so I have to support this award-winning student chapter (congrats on the Summa Cum Laude Award from INFORMS this year) plus I have never been to this university campus and have quite a few colleagues there that I very much respect.

Moreover, since I teach courses in Logistics & Transportation and related subjects I am also a Road Scholar (not to be confused with the freight company of the same name -- great name).

The students have prepared a great itinerary for me so I am very much looking forward to seeing everyone there.

My presentation tomorrow will be on "Networks Against Time: From Food to Pharma," and this evening (it will be late for me given the time difference) I will be dining in Texas. I am being sponsored in part, also by the great INFORMS Speakers Program.

The last time that I gave an invited talk in Texas (not counting conferences) was when I spoke at SMU upon the invitation of the Dallas/Fort Worth INFORMS Chapter and I made it just in time for my evening talk! 

Soon I will be saying "Howdy!"

Interestingly, The New York Times the other day had an article on Texas A&M (TAMU) starting a new campus in Israel and it has the full support of Governor Rick Perry of Texas and the Chancellor of Texas A&M, John Sharp. They were room-mates back at TAMU!

I guess one can get a lot accomplished with such close connections.