INFORMS awarded the 2018 Franz Edelman Award for Achievement in Advanced Analytics, Operations Research, and Management Science for its use of operations research (O.R.) to create a revolutionary approach to meeting the rapidly growing need for the spectrum used for wireless communication in the United States and Canada. The award was presented earlier this year at the 2018 INFORMS Conference on Business Analytics & Operations Research, in Baltimore, MD.
The session Tuesday morning was chaired by Anne G. Robinson, former president of INFORMS, and the reprise was conducted by Karla L. Hoffman of George Mason University.
The FCC conducted the world’s first two-sided “Incentive Auction” to meet the exploding demand for wireless services by reclaiming valuable low-band electromagnetic spectrum from TV broadcasters. By purchasing spectrum from TV broadcasters and reselling it to wireless providers, the auction repurposed 84 MHz of TV spectrum for mobile broadband, next-generation “5-G,” and other wireless uses, raised nearly $20 billion in revenue, and contributed over $7 billion to reduce the federal deficit. In addition, operations research enabled many TV stations to remain on their original channels, saving an estimated $200 million in relocation costs.
Since 1972, the Franz Edelman Award has been awarded in recognition of outstanding contributions of analytics and O.R. in the for- and non-profit sectors around the globe. Each year, finalist teams have improved organizational efficiency, increased profits, brought better products to consumers, helped foster peace negotiations, and saved lives. Since its inception, the cumulative dollar benefits from Edelman finalist projects have surpassed $250 billion.