Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Is this a Scientific Guinness World Record -- Attendance at 50 Consecutive Annual Meetings of the Same Conference!

I don't think that Guinness in its compilation of World Records has a category for this achievement but perhaps it should.
In November, Professor David Boyce, who is both an INFORMS Fellow and an RSAI Fellow, will be attending his 50th consecutive North American Regional Science conference, which will take place in Atlanta, Georgia. His first such conference was in 1964! Walter Isard was the founder of Regional Science and he passed away in 2010 at age 91.
David reflected on his Fifty Years at the North American Regional Science Meetings (we are assuming that he will be there in Atlanta and 49 consecutive meetings is an achievement, as well). in an essay published in the NARSC newsletter in which he wrote:
I attended my first Meetings of the Regional Science Association in November 1964 at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. At the time I was a graduate student focused on my thesis research, and working full time on the side to support my expanding family. Through careful planning, and extraordinary good luck, I have not missed the North American Meetings since. If my luck continues to hold, I will attend my 50th consecutive North American Meetings next November in Atlanta.

I have wondered out loud to a few people what I might do to commemorate this event. The likely answer is nothing unusual: give a 20-minute talk, and say hello to the many colleagues I have met over the years, whose friendship I cherish. This invitation to write a few lines for the first newsletter of the North American Regional Science Council presents an unexpected opportunity to say more on this occasion that may interest younger readers, as well as remind some of my contemporaries about the meetings back then.

Given Professor Boyce's outstanding scientific contributions, his mentorship and advocacy of numerous students and professional colleagues, and his impact on transportation and regional science globally, I had to do something to honor this very special person.

So, I asked the Program Chair of the NARSC conference, Dr. Peter Stenberg, and its Executive Director, Dr. Neil Reid, whether I could organize a special session in honor of Professor Boyce, and they both agreed. The response was wonderful and below I have the information on the session, which will take place at the NARSC conference on Friday, November 15, 2013, from 10:30AM-12:30PM. And, if you see Professor Boyce, in the meantime, congratulate him on his stamina, dedication, and as, he even acknowledges, "luck."

Session: In Honor of Professor David E. Boyce – His 50th NARSC Conference – His Scholarship and Mentorship

Organizer: Anna Nagurney, John F. Smith Memorial Professor, Isenberg School of Management, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Paper #1: Conventional Transportation Planning Models: Review and Prospects for Alternatives

Presenter: Tschangho John Kim, Endowed Professor Emeritus, Urban and Regional Systems, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; email:

Paper #2: A Corridor-Centric Approach to Planning Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure

Presenter: Marco Nie, Associate Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois; email:

Paper #3: David Boyce, RSAI Archivist

Presenter: Kieran Donaghy, Department Chair, Department of City & Regional Planning, Cornell University, Ithaca, NewYork; e-mail:

Paper #4: Shrinking Global Population - a Futuristic Scenario or a Current Challenge 

Presenter: Hillel Bar-Gera, Department of Industrial Engineering and Management, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev; email:

David Boyce has served as a faculty member at the University of Pennsylvania (1966-1977), the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (1977-1988), and the University of Illinois at Chicago (1988-2003). He is a Fellow of the Regional Science Association International (2002), the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (2003), and the American Society of Civil Engineers (2009), and is an Emeritus Member of the Transportation Networks Committee of the Transportation Research Board. He has published over 190 journal articles, books, book chapters and reports.