Operations Research is undergoing a renaissance, a re-birth. As the theory of our field advances, as computational power increases, as data becomes ever more available, the practice of our field expands its boundaries. From public policy to entertainment, from medicine to physics, new applications of operations research abound. These new applications are driving new theory, and new computational models open the doors to rich, exciting new approaches to problems. Even in our traditional areas of manufacturing and logistics, companies are finding more than just profit from operations research: they are finding new business models and competitive advantage.
The INFORMS Annual Meeting 2006 Pittsburgh will explore and celebrate this renaissance. O.R. has always been at its most ulseful and most innovative when the profession’s visionaries have tackled new problem domains. The meeting will feature reports from the outposts of O.R. innovation in health, crime, counter-terror, IT, privacy and a host of other non-traditional domains. We will hear about new businesses built on operations research and on how advances in computation are opening up new directions in research.
Our view of the renaissance of operations research revolves around three aspects: novel applications, pioneering methodology, and the relationship between O.R. and the broad trends of the 21st century. Clusters and plenary speakers have been chosen to illuminate the thesis that O.R. is about to undergo a dramatic increase in its relevance.
Michael A. Trick