Friday, February 12, 2016

Happy Valentine's Day and Operations Research

This morning, in my email, I had a message from the Harvard Gazette (I was a Radcliffe Institute Science Fellow in 2005-2006 so I am officially a Harvard alumna and enjoy lots of mailings, etc.,  from Harvard University). In the email there was a link to an article, which reminded me that Valentine's Day is only two days away. This weekend, including Sunday, the weather forecast is for dangerously low temperatures in Massachusetts and the east coast but at least Valentine's Day should warm us up.

The article was on a recent panel on negotiation and love and offered the following sage (this being Harvard, of course) advice:

What are the secrets for long-lasting love? Lean closer to find out:
— Keep curiosity alive.
— Never assume anything about each other.
— And, last but not least, open a joint bank account.

One of our doctoral students in Management Science at the Isenberg School pointed out the following article to me by two Emory University professors: ‘A Diamond is Forever’ and Other Fairy Tales: The Relationship between Wedding Expenses and Marriage Duration. The authors evaluated the association between wedding spending and marriage duration using data from a survey of over 3,000 ever-married persons in the United States. Controlling for a number of demographic and relationship characteristics, they found evidence that marriage duration is inversely associated with spending on the engagement ring and wedding ceremony. So for all those in the process of planning a wedding, you may wish to heed this advice. This study generated, as one would expect, a lot of publicity.

When it comes to Operations Research and Valentine's Day, I point you to a post that I wrote on roses and logistics in which I also included a link to PunkOR blogger Dr. Laura Mclay's roundup post on operations research models for finding love.

Earlier, I had written a post on Optimizing the Marriage Market based on a paper with the same title published in the European Journal of Operational Research   Researchers in Switzerland and England developed a mathematical model whose solution yields a new social optimum as to who should be married to whom based on a longitudinal dataset in Switzerland. The authors used the linear assignment model.

And for all the students working on their PhDs, I also wrote a post for Valentine's Day on loving your thesis and academic genealogy.

Happy Valentine's Day!