Robin Lougee headshot

Robin Lougee

Biographical Profile

Education

  • Ph.D., Mathematical Sciences, Clemson University, 1993

Professional Experience

  • National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, 2020-present
  • IBM T.J. Watson Research Center, 1994-2020

INFORMS Activities

  • Practice Section, Officer, 2019-present
  • UPS George D. Smith Prize, Chair, 2016-2017
  • Syngenta Crop Challenge in Analytics, Founding Chair, 2016-2017
  • Vice President - Meetings, 2009-2010
  • Computing Society, President, 2007-2009
  • INFORMS Professional Colloquium, Founding Chair, 2005
  • Forum for Women in OR/MS, President, 2002
  • INFORMS Online, Founding Editor for Practice, 2001-2006
  • Associate Editor, Surveys in OR and Operations Research

Publication Summary

  • 35+ books, chapters, refereed papers and other publications
  • 19 patents issued, published and pending

Honors and Awards

  • IBM Industry Academy, 2017-2020
  • INFORMS Kimball Medal, 2016
  • INFORMS Impact Award, 2014
  • COIN-OR Distinguished Contributions Award, 2014

Other Professional Activities

  • Advisory Board, University of Florida, 2020-present; Cornell University, 2016-present
  • Co-creator, Founding Program Manager, COIN-OR open-source initiative, 2000-2010

Vision Statement

Yesterday, as I write this, 18,300 U.S.-based analytics job openings were posted on LinkedIn. In the last month, 247,000. How do we reach these professionals, how do we provide value to them and how do we involve them with INFORMS?

Industry engagement with INFORMS products, services and community is vital to our long-term growth and success. The health of our profession depends on a vibrant ecosystem of research, teaching and practice. I strongly support industry-academia collaboration. I personally serve on the industry advisory boards of two universities and I co-created the COIN-OR open-source collaboration. However, within INFORMS industry membership accounts for only 20% of the regular membership – roughly 2,000 people in 2020. INFORMS is working to address this challenge. We’re making progress thanks to the dedicated efforts of the Practice Strategy Committee and many others, yet much opportunity and work remains.

Enabling scale. Throughout my time on the Practice Section Board and other INFORMS committees, I have learned of more creative ideas to engage industry than there are funding, staff and volunteers to execute them. I will focus on scaling our bandwidth by enabling efficient reuse of winning ideas, building community and growing strategic partnerships.

Designing for reuse. By lowering the barrier to replicate winning ideas we can enable the efficient reuse of existing content and learnings. For example, as the founding chair of the INFORMS Professional Colloquium (rebranded the Early Career Professionals’ Network), a dedicated team and I collaborated to create a workshop designed by practitioners for practice-oriented students held in conjunction with the Business Analytics Conference in the spring. The event provided participants with a valuable experience and seeded their professional network with INFORMS members to increase the chance they’d stay engaged. We should provide templates and coaching to make it easy for any INFORMS member to build on that proven model and create their own event at an institutional, local or regional level.

Strengthening community. My experience creating initiatives with large, diverse teams of volunteers at IBM and INFORMS has shown me the value of building online communities that meet clear needs. For example, a key to growing the COIN-OR open-source software initiative into an independent nonprofit, now more than 15 years old, was learning how to build an online community. It involved learning how to set success metrics, introduce guidelines, closely monitor traffic, encourage networking, initiate discussions, add personality, cultivate success stories and stay organized. In my opinion, the community is COIN-OR’s biggest asset; the passion is self-propelling. 

Strategic partnerships. There’s an old African proverb that says “If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” We have to go far – and would be wise to get there quickly given industry trends toward AI/ML. Fostering stronger ties and strategic partnerships with established entities in the industry ecosystem can help achieve our goals.

If you’re passionate about practice, I invite you to join me at the Practice Section’s monthly networking discussions I host by registering at https://connect.informs.org/practice/events/virtual-happy-hour and connect with me at https://www.linkedin.com/in/robinlougee/

I have the experience, time and passion for the role of VP Practice. If elected, I want to help grow our membership by enabling efficient reuse of winning ideas, building community and growing strategic partnerships – tapping the opportunities to reach the many analytics professionals we haven’t reached yet.