Sunday, September 16, 2018

The Amazing 60th (Diamond Anniversary) Conference of The OR Society at Lancaster University

I have been back from England less than four days, having returned from the fabulous OR60 Conference at Lancaster University late last Wednesday.
This very special diamond anniversary Operational Research (OR) Conference was one I could not miss, having been invited by OR ambassador extraordinaire - Graham Rand and The OR Society to deliver the opening plenary talk, which kicked off the conference on September 11, 2018. As I had written about in my previous blogpost, I also had been invited to speak at the inaugural Early Career Researcher Workshop held at the same university, September 9 and 10. So, after teaching my classes  the first week of the new academic year at the Isenberg School of Management at UMass Amherst I was off to England!

It was a big honor to give a plenary at this conference and I did a lot of research in preparing it. I delivered it at what was, in effect, about 4:30AM my body time, but since I am an early bird, this worked for me.
My plenary talk has now been posted, due to numerous requests that I received. There were over 400 conferees at my hour presentation and I thoroughly enjoyed presenting and addressing the very interesting and thoughtful questions that followed. Throughout the day I had the pleasure of meeting both doctoral students and senior researchers not only from England but throughout the world. I was delighted to even see my UMass Boston colleague, Professor Michael Johnson, who is a leader in Community OR, arrive and I enjoyed his presentation very much.
We were not the only faculty from Massachusetts (New England) at OR60. I also met female colleagues from Bentley University and WPI.

It was quite special to have support provided for my plenary from the publisher Springer and I enjoyed meeting the Editor and seeing three of my books on exhibit there! A shout out to my co-authors: Professors Amir H. Masoumi, Min Yu, Dong "Michelle" Li, and Ladimer S. Nagurney as well as to my co-editors: Professors Ilias S. Kotsireas and Panos M. Pardalos!
It was a pleasure to have the photo below taken with Graham Rand, resplendent in an OR tie, and two fabulous STORi doctoral students, Emma and Lucy. The student volunteers in their bright red t-shirts were tremendously helpful.
Lunches and snacks were provided and there was even a boat cruise and dinner and dancing (which I missed because I had a lot of travel early the morning after back to the US).

I enjoyed meeting new colleagues in OR and thank everyone for their appreciation and kind words regarding my plenary talk.
It was a special thrill to meet several colleagues that I had only "met" through Twitter previously!

I would like to take this opportunity to thank my wonderful hosts as well as Hilary Wilkes and Charlene Timewell of  The OR Society for making my travel and stay so smooth and comfortable.

A special thanks to the staff at Lancaster House for the excellent and very cozy accommodations and the delicious British breakfasts, which kept me well-fortified.
Operational Research (or Operations Research, as we say in the US) is in fabulous shape and OR60 will be one for the record books is terms of excellent organization, hospitality, friendliness, and attention to detail and I am eternally grateful to have had the opportunity to be a part of it.