Frequently Asked Questions

Objectives

Organizations are welcome to request an INFORMS speaker. Those that have requested speakers include:

  • INFORMS chapters seeking non-local speakers;
  • students and faculty at colleges and universities, especially those trying to strengthen their OR/MS/analytics program or to launch an OR/MS/analytics-related program;
  • practitioners and management, both at organizations with established OR/analytics projects and at those trying to establish such activities;
  • kindred societies and members of the press seeking information about OR/analytics activities.

Lecturers will be prepared not only to give formal lectures but also to confer with members of organizations visited, singly and in groups. They will be available to advise students on future opportunities for study and employment, discuss teaching problems and curricula matters with faculty, and explore issues surrounding applications in business and industry.

The program interprets operations research/management science/analytics in a broad sense. The lecture topics include both theoretical and applied subjects, and may be presented at any level desired by the organization. Since operations research and the management sciences are interdisciplinary in nature, it is suitable for several departments to organize a joint seminar. It is also recommended that the host institution publicize the visits among other departments as well as neighboring educational institutions and industrial organizations.

NOTE: Speakers are expressing their own individual opinions, which are not necessarily the opinions of INFORMS, and should not be considered or presented as representatives of INFORMS.

Program Cost

The host institution is expected to assume the travel and the local expenses (including meals and lodging) of a speaker while on a visit. However, if this arrangement poses a hardship, the Chair of the Speakers Program Committee will use discretion in authorizing full or partial reimbursement for travel from a small fund designated for this purpose (frequently INFORMS shares expenses by underwriting a speaker's airfare/travel and asking the host organization to assume local costs of lodging, food, taxi fare, and other items). A host institution can only receive INFORMS travel funding for one speaker per year. Because the Program budget only allows support for a small number of speakers every year, the Chair may decline an organization's request to underwrite a distant speaker if travel costs are great. Contributions by the host institution to this fund are appreciated and are encouraged by the Program. Checks can be made payable to INFORMS and sent to the INFORMS Speakers Program at the address below.

How to Engage a Speaker

Use the application available through the link at the end of this section to engage a speaker. Make sure to list several potential speakers to provide flexibility in making assignments. The form will be sent directly to INFORMS staff supporting the Speakers Program Committee.

INFORMS will assign a speaker shortly after the application is received by the Chair, and notification will be sent to both the institution and the speaker. All further arrangements for a visit - schedule, speaking topics, local arrangements, reimbursement, and so forth - should be arranged directly between the host institution and the lecturer, with correspondence initiated by the host institution.The host institution should copy the Speakers Program contact on any email correspondence with the speaker.

How to Become a Speaker

Any INFORMS member involved in the practice or instruction of OR/analytics may apply to become a speaker with the INFORMS Speakers Program. Registrations to become a speaker will be reviewed by the Speakers Program Committee Chair, and accepted speakers will then appear on this web page. If you would like to participate in the INFORMS Speakers Program, use the link at the end of this section. Your registration will be sent to the staff and relayed to the Speakers Program Chair for review.