U.S. Air Force and Walt Disney awarded the 2017 INFORMS Prize for Operations Research


Ashley Smith
PR Specialist

U.S. Air Force and Walt Disney awarded the 2017 INFORMS Prize for Operations Research

LAS VEGAS, NV, April 3, 2017 – INFORMS, the leading international association for operations research and analytics professionals, announced that both the U.S. Air Force and The Walt Disney Company have received the 2017 INFORMS Prize for their pioneering and enduring integration of operations research (O.R.) and analytics programs into their organizations.

The U.S. Air Force launched its operations research program in 1942, which has grown today to include approximately 539 military and 849 civilian operations research analysts serving in nearly 300 Air Force organizations and agencies. The diverse applications of O.R. span operational effectiveness, acquisition of new systems, cost analysis, manpower and personnel, along with logistics and infrastructure. Air Force analysts provide timely, credible and defendable analyses that have been and continue to be essential to informing decisions.

“The Air Force’s commitment to operations research was forged 75 years ago in the urgency of World War Two and continues today,” said Mr. Kevin Williams, director of Air Force studies, analyses and assessments. “We continue to drive analytical innovation and excellence as we address the challenges of the future in nearly every facet of the planning and execution mission of the United States Air Force.” 

From improving the consumer and guest experience, to creative content development and operational excellence, The Walt Disney Company uniquely leverages diverse analytic applications to create innovation and value across nearly every system and organization within the company. In addition, Disney brings together analytics professionals and industry leaders to connect and share best practices to advance the field as part of an annual conference.

“Driven by our desire to create, innovate, learn and inspire, we use analytics and data to enhance our business in unique ways,” said Mark W. Shafer, senior vice president, revenue & profit management, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. “At Disney, we’re storytellers, and analytics have become part of our story, and will ensure we continue to create magic for years to come.”

The INFORMS Prize honors effective integration of operations research into organizational decision making. The award is given to organizations that have repeatedly applied the principles of O.R. in pioneering, carried, novel, and lasting ways. Past recipients of the award include General Motors, Intel, UPS, HP, IBM, Ford, Procter & Gamble, and GE Research.

“Each year, INFORMS recognizes organizations that have leveraged O.R. and analytics to improve nearly every facet of their decision-making process,” said Melissa Moore, executive director of INFORMS. “This year, we are proud to honor both the U.S. Air Force and the Walt Disney Company, for their shared recognition of O.R. and analytics as core components of their success, as well as a commitment to furthering their use within each organization.”

For more information about the INFORMS Prize, visit here.


With more than 12,500 members from around the globe, INFORMS is the leading international association for professionals in operations research and analytics.

INFORMS promotes best practices and advances in operations research, management science, and analytics to improve operational processes, decision making, and outcomes through an array of highly-cited publications, conferences, competitions, networking communities, and professional development services. Visit www.informs.org or @informs.