University of Iowa, Department of Business Analytics Awarded the 2021 INFORMS UPS George D. Smith Prize


Ashley Smith
Public Affairs Coordinator

University of Iowa, Department of Business Analytics Awarded the 2021 INFORMS UPS George D. Smith Prize

CATONSVILLE, MD, April 13, 2021 – INFORMS, the leading international association for professionals in operations research and analytics, has awarded the Department of Business Analytics at the University of Iowa the 2021 UPS George D. Smith Prize. The award recognizes excellence in preparing students to become practitioners of operations research and analytics.

The Department of Business Analytics at the University of Iowa has been evolving for decades, but hit its peak in 2019 with the official naming of the department of business analytics. Despite management science courses being offered for some time, the program has continued to develop by adding courses in operations research and now business analytics.

The school offers an array of opportunities for students of all study levels and has emerged as a thought leader in business education and research. One of their standout programs is the requirement of all students to participate in a capstone project with companies in industry. In addition to the capstone projects, the school prepares students to be effective practitioners of operations research with the help of the Tippie Analytics Cooperative Advisory Council and specific professional preparation courses.

“We are honored to receive the UPS George D. Smith Prize from INFORMS. It’s a tribute to our mission of developing storytellers with data,” said Ann Campbell, department head for business analytics, Tippie College of Business at the University of Iowa. “This award is also a strong recognition of our faculty research and exceptional industry partnerships.”  

Named in honor of the late UPS Chief Executive Officer – a champion of operations researchers at a leading Fortune 500 corporation – the UPS George D. Smith Prize was created in the spirit of strengthening ties between industry and the schools of higher education that graduate young practitioners of operations research. The prize is awarded to an academic department or program for effective and innovative preparation of students to be good practitioners of operations research or analytics.

“On behalf of the INFORMS community, we congratulate the Department of Business Analytics at the University of Iowa for their exceptional efforts to provide high-level programs and teaching in operations research and analytics,” said Elena Gerstmann, INFORMS executive director. “Their work has played a key role in strengthening ties between academia and industry, making them a clear standout recipient for this award.” 

Past recipients of the award include Queens University; University of Cincinnati; University of Tennessee, Knoxville; Air Force Academy; H. John Heinz III College of Information Systems and Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University; Sauder School of Business at University of British Columbia – Center for Operations Excellence; MIT Leaders for Global Operations (LGO); Naval Postgraduate School; and Tauber Institute for Global Operations at the University of Michigan.

The finalists for the 2021 Smith Prize included: Gies College of Business at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and the Department of Information & Decision Sciences at the Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota.




With more than 12,000 members from around the world, INFORMS is the largest international association of operations research (O.R.) and analytics professionals and students. INFORMS provides unique networking and learning opportunities for individuals and organizations to better understand and use O.R. and analytics tools and methods to save lives, save money, and solve problems. 





Ashley Smith