Thank you to everyone who attended Tuesday night’s Member Meeting! We are pleased to see such a strong turnout. As always, this event provided members and staff the opportunity to mingle and connect while hearing the latest news from INFORMS.
Melissa Moore, Executive Director of INFORMS, shared the many exciting new milestones for INFORMS in 2018, beginning by sharing the inspiring O.R. & Analytics: Saving Lives, Saving Money, Solving Problems video and how the powerful theme of Saving Lives, Saving Money and Solving problems, resonates throughout all that INFORMS does. From the Annual Meeting, to the advocacy work on Capitol Hill, to the INFORMS journals and magazines and the new INFORMS podcast.
She also discussed how INFORMS has made it a priority to focus on diversity and inclusion, in recognition that INFORMS is stronger because of our different backgrounds, perspectives and experiences. Where diversity includes embracing people no matter their gender, race, age, ethnicity, professional path and more, inclusion is how INFORMS leverages our differences to infuse our programs and committees with new perspectives and energy to take us to new heights.
Over the past year, INFORMS has seen significant changes to the publication of our magazines, OR/MS Today and Analytics, which have transitioned to INFORMS, and have been launched on a brand new publication platform that will feature exciting new multimedia content in addition to informative and interesting articles. In addition, to shorten the publication times of articles in our 16 journals, INFORMS has transitioned our journal production and composition to an external vendor. This will enable INFORMS to significantly increase production speed, enhancing the tremendous value and impact of our journals.
This year, both the INFORMS CAP and aCAP programs have continued to grow – a 47 percent increase in the number of certifications – and now nearly 500 different companies and organizations have a CAP on their team. In addition, the INFORMS continuing education program continues to attract participants from across the U.S. and Canada and new courses are currently in development.
Melissa also shared that both the Annual Meeting and the Business Analytics Conference earlier this year achieved record attendance. In addition, INFORMS began adding new regional analytics conferences this year, starting with Seattle and Chicago, which provide new ways to reach practitioners and organizations that might not yet be involved with INFORMS and help showcase the depth and breadth of how INFORMS can help them succeed.
In addition, Melissa shared new exciting initiatives for INFORMS: the launching of the new INFORMS podcast Resoundingly Human and the publication of the INFORMS Analytics Body of Knowledge. Resoundingly Human highlights the incredible contributions of our members who are using O.R. and analytics to change the world around us. The monthly podcast is available on the INFORMS website in conjunction with OR/MS Today, as well as on iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Play. The INFORMS Analytics Body of Knowledge is an effort several years in the making and is the first-ever body of knowledge about analytics. It is now available for purchase from our publishing partner, Wiley, as well as from Amazon and many other booksellers.
Earlier this year, INFORMS also launched an advocacy program — a dedicated effort to raise awareness and interest among decision makers on Capitol Hill of how O.R. and analytics can better serve the public interest in policymaking, governmental operations, or returns on research investment in these fields. Our advocacy initiative got off to a very strong start with the first annual INFORMS Government & Analytics Summit, which took place in May just across the street from the United States Capitol.
INFORMS has also launched a new NSF Liaison Committee with the primary focus of making sure that O.R. and analytics remained supported by the National Science Foundation.
Finally, INFORMS has established a new way for our members to be involved – a dedicated effort to help support and enrich the future of the O.R. and analytics profession. Members can now donate to the new INFORMS Scholarship Fund, establish a named endowment or scholarship, honor the memory of legacies of the profession, and more. More information is available at http://www.informs.org/About-INFORMS/Donate – https://www.informs.org/About-INFORMS/Donate.
2018 saw many exciting changes for INFORMS, new initiatives, and tremendous milestones. Thank you to all our members for joining us on this journey and we can’t wait for that the future holds!