Operations Research school to celebrate its 50th April 15-16

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Melissa Osgood

The School of Operations Research and Information Engineering (ORIE) at Cornell will celebrate its golden anniversary April 15-16 with a welcome reception and a full day of panel discussions, guest speakers, an ORIE quiz event and a gala dinner.

“This is truly a special time for us,” said David Shmoys, the director of ORIE and the Laibe/Acheson Professor of Business Management and Leadership Studies. “This event should provide a wonderful reflection of the field as a whole … and a nice reflection on who we are, to the extent that the School’s graduates have both made fundamental advances in the underlying theory, as well as had an impact in a wide range of industries. Cornell was one of the places that set the significant directions for the field right from the start.”

All talks and panel discussions are open to the public.

The weekend kicks off with a welcome/cocktail reception on April 15 at 6:30 p.m. in the Stocking Hall Gallery. An Advisory Council dessert reception will follow from 9 to 10 p.m. in the Colloquium Room, 340 Duffield Hall.

Lance Collins, the Joseph Silbert Dean of Engineering, will make welcoming remarks April 16 at 9 a.m. in the Statler Hall Amphitheater, followed by a presentation by IBM’s Brenda Dietrich, Ph.D. ’86, vice president specializing in business analytics and mathematical sciences.

The schedule resumes at 10:15 with a half-hour panel discussion, “Multi-Generational ORIE Families,” featuring three sets of family members who have graduated from or who are in the program. That will be followed by presentations from Retsef Levi, Ph.D. ’05, professor of management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Sloan School of Management, and by ORIE Professor Emeritus Bill Maxwell.

After lunch, Lee Schruben ’68, former ORIE professor and current operations research professor at the University of California, Berkeley, will give a talk at 1:30 p.m. in the amphitheater.

That will be followed at 2:15 by a panel discussion, “OR, Analytics and Their Impact on Industry: Looking Back and Looking Forward,” featuring leaders from six multinational corporations. Panel members will include Jeff Goldman ’98 (Procter & Gamble), Jamie Hintlian ’82, M.Eng. ’84, MBA ’86 (EY), Chris Jones ’80, M.S. ’83, Ph.D. ’85 (Marchex), Radhika Kulkarni, Ph.D. ’81 (SAS), Reha Tutuncu, Ph.D. ’96 (AQR Capital), and Theresa Wise, Ph.D. ’95 (Delta).

The day’s schedule will draw to a close with the ORIE Quiz Show at 3:45, and a talk at 4:30 by Peter Cramton ’80, economics professor at the University of Maryland, College Park.

ORIE, one of the world’s pre-eminent graduate and undergraduate engineering programs, was born in the 1965-66 school year, the first in which there was a unit in the College of Engineering at Cornell with operations research in its name. ORIE is the study of a quantitative approach to combine statistical analyses, stochastic models and optimization methods to yield better data-driven decision-making in a broad range of application domains.

Although operations research has its roots in military operations, and for years focused on industrial applications rooted in manufacturing operations, with myriad new sources of data to guide individual decision-making, the field today has an increasingly broad impact on each person’s daily life.

The school offers undergraduate, master’s and doctoral degrees, including a Master of Engineering at Cornell Tech in New York, which will start in fall 2016.


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