Ruminating on my first 2+ Days in San Diego

by Jim Cochran on October 12th, 2009

I have already had the opportunity to participate in many great activities. The 2009 Combined Colloquia Committee (Jill Hardin, Matt Drake, Larry Snyder, and Brady Hunsaker (http://meetings.informs.org/SanDiego09/colloquia.html) did a fine job; during the breaks in these colloquia it was difficult not to overhear participants discussing how valuable this experience was for them. I encourage you to take advantage of this program next year in Austin at the 2010 INFORMS Conference – attend the Teaching Effectiveness Colloquium (the presentations in this colloquium will make you take a critical look at how you teach) and send a doctoral student who is near completion of her/his degree to the Future Academician Colloquium or Future Practitioner Colloquium (both terrific ways for these students to hear INFORMS members discuss a variety of career-related issues).

I also greatly enjoyed the two sessions in which the finalists of the “Doing Good with Good OR Student Competition” presented their work. These students (and their advisors) have done some amazing research, from building a model to aid decision-makers in designing an optimal water distribution network in the Middle East to finding the optimal timing of statin initiation for patients with Type II diabetes. Serving as a judge for this competition was extremely educational and rewarding. Congratulations and thanks to all of the finalists!

Dick Larson gave an engrossing keynote presentation yesterday afternoon very In “Worldwide Reach into High School Math and Science Classes,” Dick discussed the BLOSSOMS (Blended Learning Open Source Science or Math Studies, http://blossoms.mit.edu) program for developing interactive learning videos for high school math and science classes in many countries. He included demonstrations of BLOSSOMS videos, including OR materials, and called on audience members to add to this valuable shared Open Source video repository.

Today I look forward to attending the plenary “Better Smarter Electricity Markets: Efficiently Capturing Wind, Rain and Fire,’ by Richard P. O’Neill (Chief Economic Advisor, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission). I also look forward to attending a series of sessions in the SpORts section’s invited cluster. Cluster Chair Eric Bickel and his session chairs have pulled together four very interesting sessions (including two that prominently feature golf). I hope to see you in these sessions.

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