Friday, May 16, 2014

Transportation Research Board of the National Academy of Sciences Honors Memory of Operations Research Female Superstar

I received the news when I was at the Cities, Energy, and Complex Systems Workshop in Erice, Sicily, which took place May 11-14, 2014.

Yesterday, I traveled back from Erice to Palermo to Munich and, finally, to Gothenburg, Sweden where I am a Visiting Professor.

Professor David E. Boyce sent me a message that the Transportation Network Modeling Committee of the Transportation Research Board of the National Academy of Sciences has introduced a best paper award in honor of my doctoral dissertation advisor at Brown University, Professor Stella Dafermos. Stella was the second female to receive a PhD in Operations Research in the world and died at the age of 49.

More information on this award is available here:

Professor Boyce told me that much of the credit to making this happen belings to Professor Elise Miller-Hooks and I thank all those who made this important recognition of Stella's great contributions happen.

Stella passed away almost 25 years ago and made lasting contributions to the modeling of network equilibria in transportation science, operations research, and economics. When she passed away I was asked to write an obituary in her honor which was published in our journal Operations Research.

Interestingly, while in Erice, at one of the delicious dinners, I sat next to Dr. Aristides Patrinos, who is Greek, and who is heading NYU's Center on for Urban Science + Progress. We ended up talking aout the Dafermos family since he has served on scientific funding panels with Professor Constantine Dafermos, Stella's husband.

Dr. Patrinos is the only person that I have ever met whose face graces a postage stamp and he surprised me with a few stamps with his image.