Saturday, October 10, 2009

The Award Season and the INFORMS Conference in San Diego

October is a season for the announcement of some major awards, including the Nobel prizes! I always find it fascinating to see who gets selected and, this week, the big news has been about President Obama's selection as the recipient of the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize.The recipient of an award receives recognition and, when an award is not expected, there is that extra element of surprise and wonder (and, of course, heightened expectations). The newspapers have had articles on previous recipients who continue to feel energized that their hard work has been recognized in a substantive and magnificent way.

Many of my colleagues and I are now getting ready to travel to take part in the 2009 INFORMS Conference, to be held in San Diego, October 11-14. This is an annual conference for operations researchers and management scientists and you can read a press release here. The program even includes a talk by the Nobel laureate in Economics, Dr. Harry Markowitz, who will be speaking next Monday, the same day that the 2009 Nobel Prize in Economic Science will be announced.

As Chair of the 2009 WORMS (Women in Operations Research and the Management Sciences) Award Committee, I will be giving out this award on Tuesday at the WORMS luncheon. I have already prepared my speech in which I have included quotes from several support letters for the awardee (very moving, I must say). I will also be taking part in a breakfast for fora at which the student chapter awards and other fora awards will be given out. The UMass Amherst INFORMS Student Chapter that I serve as the Faculty Advisor of will be honored with the summa cum laude award and one of its former officers, Dr. Patrick Qiang, will be receiving the 2009 Judith Liebman Award.

I am also very much looking forward to the Transportation Science & Logistics Society business meeting next Monday evening in San Diego at which a dissertation prize and the Robert Herman Lifetime Achievement Award will be given out.

Many of my former doctoral students from as far away as Australia as well as Associates of the Virtual Center for Supernetworks will be attending the INFORMS Conference in San Diego. It will be a wonderful venue in which to reunite and to celebrate research, community, and friendships.