Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Number 100 -- Oh, the Places You'll Go!

This is my 100th blog post, since starting this blog in January 2009. It is also the first day of September and a gorgeous, crisp day in Amherst, Massachusetts.

The anticipation of the new academic year is clearly in the air!

I decided to name this blog post, "Oh, the Places You'll Go!" after the famous Dr. Seuss book. Dr. Theodore Seuss Geisel was born in Springfield in Western Massachusetts. Western MA is the home of numerous writers and creative folks, and I like to think that academics strive to be creative and productive.

As someone who works on networks from transportation and logistical ones to social networks, I practice what I write about and "preach." One of the best benefits/recognitions of doing solid research is the invitations that one garners and the places that one gets to go to. Indeed, one of my favorite senior colleagues is Professor Martin Beckmann, who is the co-author of the classic book, Studies in the Economics of Transportation, and who was on my dissertation committee at Brown University. He is a brilliant economist whose love of life and good food and friends has taken him around the world. I have been at conferences with Professor Beckmann from Mallacootta in the outbacks of Australia to Stockholm, Sweden, one of my favorite parts of the globe. Although he is in his mid80s he still travels and meets with colleagues in Europe and Asia. He is an amazing scholar, individual, and lover of life! You can see some photos of Professor Beckmann (even with me on a beach in Australia) if you click here and scroll down the page. Professor Beckmann is the recipient of the Robert Herman Lifetime Achievement Award in Transportation Science, among other notable recognitions.

I received an invitation a few weeks back to be a plenary speaker in Cape Town, South Africa, at a conference on life cycle management that will take place next week and, regretfully, I had to turn down this invitation since the new academic year begins next week at UMass Amherst.

Yesterday, I received an invitation to speak at a conference, which also really piqued my interest -- a conference in Mongolia! This conference, which is on Optimization, Simulation and Control will take place July 25-28, 2010, and it is worthwhile to check out the website. However, and this is painful, I have already made a commitment to be a plenary speaker at the Computational Management Science Conference to be held in Vienna, Austria, July 28-30, 2010, an invitation that came first and that I could not refuse.

Also, I have already committed to giving a tutorial on Fragile Networks at the ALIO-INFORMS conference to be held in Buenos Aires, Argentina, June 6-9, 2010, which I am very much looking forward to, and where I will really put my Spanish to practice!

Since beginning this blog, I have in 2009 alone given talks in Dallas, Ithaca, Northfield (Minnesota), Cambridge, Vienna, Rome, New York City, and Chicago and in Davis, California (but virtually). Each year brings new destinations and new adventures! The life of an academic is never dull but does require spirit, flexibility, and stamina! Some photos taken at conferences, speaking venues, and of other activities can be found here.