John R. Birge

INFORMS President, 2000

John R. Birge was the 6th President of Informs. He is currently the Jerry W. and Carol Lee Levin Professor of Operations Management at the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business. Previously, he was Dean of the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science and Professor of Industrial Engineering and Management Sciences at Northwestern University (1999-2004) He also served as Professor and Chair of Industrial and Operations Engineering and chair and founder of the Financial Engineering Program at the University of Michigan (1993-99).

Professor Birge's work considers the design and analysis of practical systems in which outcomes are not completely known before decisions must be made. He has developed computational methods for stochastic programming models of these systems, approximation procedures for representing values with defined error bounds, efficient procedures for exploiting special structure in specific problem instances, and analyses of the interdependence between operational and financial decisions in firms. He has applied his research to decisions including optimal asset and liability allocations over time, efficient periodic scheduling of workers and machines, productive power and energy distribution, and effective allocation of public services. He has consulted for many companies on these applications in the manufacturing, transportation, energy, healthcare, education, and financial sectors and is a co-founder and principal of Quantstar Corporation, a financial engineering and business analytics company. Among his honors, he was selected as an Office of Naval Research Young Investigator, received the Medallion Award from the Institute of Industrial Engineers, the INFORMS Fellows Award, the Best Paper Award from the Japan Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, The 2008 Kimball Award from INFORMS, and the 2008 Kuhn Prize from the Naval Research Logistics journal.

For INFORMS and its predecessor organizations, Professor Birge has served as Vice-President of the Southeastern Michigan Chapter, chair of the Fora Subcommittee, chair of the Lanchester Prize Committee, chair of the Speakers Program, chair of the Association of Chairs of Operations Research Departments (ACORD), member of the Operations Research Editor Search and Practice Committees, Vice President of Subdivisions, and President of INFORMS. He is currently chair of the Optimization Society, and a member of the Subdivision Council, the Manufacturing and Service Operations Management Editor Search Committee, and Nicholson Prize Committee. On behalf of INFORMS and the profession, he is particularly proud of his efforts to establish new communities, such as the Minority Issues Forum and Quality, Statistics, and Reliability Section, and to broaden the reach of INFORMS to academics and practitioners outside of customary disciplinary boundaries. He was editor-in-chief of Mathematical Programming, Series B (1994 -1999) and Associate Editor for six professional journals including Operations Research, Management Science, and Interfaces.

AB (Mathematics), 1977, Princeton; MS (Operations Research), 1979, Stanford; PhD. (Operations Research), 1980, Stanford.

John R. Birge's Awards