INFORMS Annual Conference  

INFORMS Annual Meeting 2012, Phoenix, AZ, October 14-17

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Monday Musings

by Paul Rubin on October 16th, 2012

On my flight into Phoenix, the first officer announced the inflight movie: Safetey Not Guaranteed. He had the giggles through the rest of his announcements. I’m not sure why being a panelist in the social media session reminded me of that. At one point, panelist Mike (@miketrick) Trick mentioned that searches for “zombies and operations research” drove traffic to Laura (@lamclay) McLay’s blog. (Laura has posted about zombies more than once.) Mike, arguably the most visible person from the OR community on social media, is also now an administrator. I was sorely tempted to ask whether searches for “vampires and operations research” pulled up his LinkedIn page. :-)

The MA22 session had a lot of good information about branch-price-and-cut solvers … but I would have had to sit through back to back sessions in the Military Applications track to see that many acronyms in one place. A couple of the presenters had slides featuring the cover of a (hopefully fake) book titled “Decomposition for Dummies”. I don’t think this was another zombie reference, but I can’t be certain.

In MD08, there were three presentations relating to Managing Operations in Non-profit Food Distribution, with methodologies ranging from algebra to neural networks to mixed integer programs. I’m a fan of MIP models, but it was refreshing to be reminded that basic algebraic models, correctly analyzed, can produce meaningful managerial insights.

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