Thursday, November 11, 2010

A Tribute to the Founder of Regional Science, Walter Isard

It has taken me a few days to come to terms that the founder of the field of Regional Science, Walter Isard, passed away last Saturday at the age of 91. I heard the sad news while at the INFORMS conference in Austin, Texas through a message from David E. Boyce who is not only an INFORMS Fellow but also a Regional Science Association International (RSAI) Fellow.

The Regional Science conference is now taking place in Denver, Colorado.

The New York Times ran an obituary on Professor Isard last Monday and Professor Boyce graciously prepared an obituary on the RSAI website.

There aren't many individuals today who can say that they established entirely new fields.

Professor Isard, you will always be remembered as a great scholar, humanitarian, and gentleman. Thank you for coming to my talk at Cornell University on April 1, 2009. Having you in the audience meant the world to me.

The middle and bottom photos above were taken at Cornell that day. In the middle photo joining me with Isard were Professors Kieran Donaghy, my kind host, and Sid Saltzman (the father of Matt Saltzman, who is well-known in INFORMS circles). In the bottom photo, in the background, is my collaborator, Professor June Dong of SUNY Oswego.

The top photo above was taken at the RSAI conference in November 2008 in Brooklyn. I am standing behind Isard who is seated between my two dear friends, Professors Manfred Fischer and David E. Boyce.