Monday, March 9, 2015

The Academic Life and a Sense of Wonder

Spring is in the air and the snow is really melting today. Plus, it's great to have extra daylight.

Academic life is never boring and sometimes you experience a sense of wonder.

In the past 2 weeks I have had some rather amazing "coincidences" that I would like to share with my readers. These have added to some of the magic in what has been a record-breaking  cold and snowy winter.

About 10 days ago, while teaching my Humanitarian Logistics and Healthcare class,  I had the students read a paper by two female co-authors, one of whom I had met.

The next morning, I received an invitation from a foreign country to review this junior co-author's promotion and tenure case. Needless to say, I accepted and it will be an easy letter to write.

Last Monday, while teaching my Management Science Seminar, in which we have been discussing many different network models and behavioral principles,  I was describing spatial price equilibrium models, and talking about two of the notable contributors to this area, Professors Takayama and Judge. I even brought photos to share with students of Professor Takayama since I had met him at an amazing workshop in Mallacootta, Australia, just after my first book, Network Economics: A Variational Inequality Approach, was published (and I had carried a copy for him).

The very next day, there was a message in my email from none other than Professor George Judge of UC Berkeley. Part of the message said: Anna, nice surprise  when your name popped up on my computer this morning. So nice to know your are now working on dynamic network problems. 
Professor Judge celebrated his 80th birthday on May 2, 10 years ago and, hence, will be turning 90 this coming May. I had received a handwritten letter from him many years ago which is hanging in my office for inspiration since I respect him and his work so much. His latest book, written when he was about 85 was published by Cambridge University Press - truly inspiring! Of course I told him that just the day before I was not only thinking of him but talking about his earlier work!

Also, last Friday, we had the pleasure of hosting Dr. Radhika Kulkarni of SAS, whose brilliant talk I blogged about. I had told her about one of my former students, Emily Covill, who was an Operations and Information Management major at the Isenberg School and is getting her Master's at NCState in Analytics.  Radhika serves on the board of the Institute for Analytics there. Lo and behold, today, in my email, I had a message from Emily, saying "Employed!!!!." She received an offer from a top consulting firm in Boston and will begin there on September 1. I had not heard from Emily in several months until today. I was thrilled.