Operations and…Genetics? Neuroscience? What’s Next?

by John Angelis on October 9th, 2013

This year, INFORMS Annual Meeting is overlapping with the presentation of the Nobel Prizes. It’s exciting to see each award come out, and as many of you know, the Nobel Prize in Economics has occasionally had an Operations connection. But it also has me wondering; in what ways is Operations connecting with the dominant trends in the greater world of science?

For example, at INFORMS, one of the talks I attended was on genetics. It was given by Nicos Nicolaou. He and several colleagues had written a 2008 Management Science paper on “Is the Tendency to Engage in Entrepreneurship Genetic?.” This paper had won an award from the Technology Management Section, and Nicos was explaining further work done in the field. The work also received favorable attention in articles appearing in Forbes, Money @CNN, and other popular online business portals.

I was glad to see some work in genetics represented at INFORMS, given the way that genetics seems to be advancing so quickly as a science. I’m now also curious as to whether advancements in neuroscience hold any promise for Operations research. In your opinion, what scientific advancements or fields do you think could benefit Operations work? I like using Wednesday blogs at INFORMS for more whimsical, futuristic ideas. I’d be curious as to what some members think on this topic.

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