Academic Institutions

Academic Institutions

The institutions listed below had educational programs early in the history of Operations Research, as indicated by employment postings, published conference programs, course descriptions, ORSA education committee brochures, and faculty membership in ORSA and TIMS. 

The image above (courtesy of Clearose Studios) is of old Fine Hall (now Jones Hall) at Princeton University, where Robert Aumann, Harold Kuhn, John Nash, Lloyd Shapley, Albert Tucker, and John von Neumann (as well as Albert Einstein, Kurt Gödel and Alan Turing) spent time in their careers.

This image was chosen to represent historic academic institutions in Operations Research because of the historic role of Fine Hall in OR, but also because its design principles were established by a Princeton mathematician with ties to OR (projective geometry) and computing (ENIAC).  He was Oswald Veblen (nephew of economist Thorstein Veblen), a founding member of the Institute for Advanced Studies, which was initially housed in Fine Hall. 

At the building's dedication, Oswald Veblen described some of the design considerations:

 

"A pencil sharpener is about all the apparatus that a mathematician requires. There was no need for many classrooms or large lecture rooms, for there are plenty of these already on the campus. The new building has two small lecture rooms and two seminar rooms which can be used informally.

"The chief need was for a convenient library and suitable studies. This library was placed on the top floor so that it should be as far removed from traffic and noise as possible. In order to make it easier to enforce a rule of silence there are four talking rooms in the four corners, where we can go when we want to discuss what we have been reading....now we have not only offices but actual studies, so attractive that many of us will be doing our private reading and research in these rooms rather than in our own homes. These rooms are going to be a godsend to young men on small salaries who find it hard to afford a house with a suitable study ...These quiet and comfortable rooms have already in two or three weeks, had a perceptible effect in drawing the group of mathematicians and mathematical physicists closer together and in promoting a spirit of cooperation.

"This increase of the solidarity of the mathematical group and its closer relationship to the physics group was definitely in mind in the planning of the common room a sort of club room and lounge for mathematicians and physicists, with a small kitchenette nearby. There is also another room of this sort reserved for professors. This is on the principle...that in all forms of social intercourse the provisions for privacy are as important as those for proximity."

 

When the Princeton mathematics department moved to a new Fine Hall in the 1960's, the old Fine Hall was renamed Jones Hall.  it now houses the East Asian Studies department. (source: The Veblen House, accessed June 20, 2017)