History and Traditions

This web site, a continuing work in process, already includes profiles of more than 230 historic individuals as well as the institutions, methodologies and application areas with which they are associated.  It incorporates images, bibliographic citations and links to online material, including oral history interviews, archives, and memoirs.  The great preponderance of material, including relevant papers in INFORMS publications, is open access.  The site is a public resource for research, teaching, and the enjoyment of those interested in the history of OR/MS.  It will continue to grow as new material becomes available. 

This INFORMS initiative by the History and Traditions Committee is described in an article on page 18 of the April 2015 issue of OR/MS Today.

The History and Traditions Committee encourages and facilitates the collection and preservation of materials relating to the history and traditions of OR/MS. Relevant materials include documents, audio and video recordings, and other artifacts relating to the OR/MS field, its founders, leaders, and notable activities. It encourages the creation and dissemination of new historical materials through articles in society publications, books, symposia, sessions at national meetings, electronic media, and other means, in order to summarize, interpret, and carry forward the history and traditions of OR/MS.

If you are interested in participating in helping to document the history of OR/MS, have changes to the website to propose, or have questions for the committee, contact history@informs.org

In This Area

What's new on this web  site:

Biographical profile pages are available for 238 historical individuals, including links to the institutions, methodologies and application areas with which they are associated and citations and links to available oral history interviews, memoirs and archival material.  Brief biographies are provided for more than 175 of the historical individuals, with more to come.    

INFORMS oral history video interviews of Alan Hoffman, Ronald Howard, John Magee and Philip Wolfe are now included in their profiles, with more videos to come.

People in the History of OR/MS
Institutions in the History of OR/MS
Subject Areas in the History of OR/MS
Resources in OR/MS History
An Annota
An Annotated Timeline of Operations Research
ted Timeline of Operations Research: An Informal History by Saul I. Gass and Arjang A. Assad recounts the evolution of Operations Research (O.R.) as a new science - the science of decision making. Arising from the urgent operational issues of World War II, the philosophy and methodology of OR has permeated the resolution of decision problems in business, industry, and government. more...
Topics in OR: The Operations Research Center at MIT
Topics in Operations Research is the INFORMS series of research monographs for operations research professionals. Topics in O.R. had its origin in the Military Applications Section of ORSA during the 1980s, whose goals are: to advance research in military operations; foster higher standards in the practice of military operations research; promote the exchange of information among developers and users of military operations research; and encourage students of military operations research. more...

Presidential Portrait Gallery

Hugh J. Miser The Presidential Portrait Gallery contains pictures and biographical sketches of presidents of ORSA, TIMS, and INFORMS. The first phase of the Gallery concentrated on the first ten presidents of ORSA and TIMS. The Gallery is named in honor of two leaders in our profession: Hugh Miser and Carl Harris. Hugh moved and inspired us all with his care for and strong commitment to the history and traditions of our field. Carl Harris provided the main impetus for the conception of the Gallery and was intimately involved with its formation and development until his untimely demise. The passion that Hugh and Carl shared for their chosen profession continues to guide and inspire us.

Click here to view the gallery »

George B. Dantzig

George Dantzig was a pioneer innovator of theoretical and applied mathematical methods that were key to the development and efficacy of the then new field of operations research. This web site salutes him and his work.

George B. Dantzig Memorial Site

History and Traditions Web Page