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Serendipity and INFORMS San Francisco

by Anna Nagurney on November 10th, 2014

I love surprises and especially when they are wonderful!

One of the great aspects of this INFORMS conference Is the people that you meet just due to pure serendipity. With the number of registrants over 5,200 one can sometimes feel overwhelmed but it is those special unplanned meetings when one sees colleagues and even students from long ago that one remembers and treasures.

Yesterday, while waiting for a student for the Coffee with a Member initiative in the Hilton lobby, I ran into a colleague from Europe that I had not seen in years. He was looking for a former colleague from MIT and, although our scheduled meetings never took place, we had a great conversation!

This morning, who was in the elevator but a former student from UMass Amherst who is now at VT! And while wandering the streets around the hotel – yes, we east coast folks are up very early – I saw one of my former PhD students who works at SAS and I had no idea that she was even here. The exclamations of joy and hugs that followed elicited lots of stares from onlookers. Those wearing their INFORMS badges were just smiling with recognition.

INFORMS is now a big professional society with over 11,000 members but it is the special communities that make it feel personal

Enjoy the chance meetings and the making of many fabulous memories!

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