INFORMS NEWS: Saul Gass Expository Writing Award

Committee Chair Rob Shumsky (l) presents Saul Gass Expository Writing Award to Martin Lariviere.

Committee Chair Rob Shumsky (l) presents Saul Gass Expository Writing Award to Martin Lariviere.

Martin Lariviere of Northwestern University was named the 2015 recipient of the Saul Gass Expository Writing Prize in recognition of his published research on supply chain management and service operations. Committee Chair Rob Shumsky presented the award at the INFORMS Annual Meeting in Philadelphia.

Named in honor of the late Saul Gass, an O.R. pioneer and an extraordinary and prolific writer, the prize recognizes an operations researcher/management scientist whose publications demonstrate a consistently high standard of expository writing.

The citation read in part:

[Professor Lariviere’s] work explores the impact of decentralized decision-making on operational performance and design. His most significant papers include: “Contracting to Assure Supply: How to Share Demand Forecasts in a Supply Chain,” “Supply Chain Coordination with Revenue-Sharing Contracts: Strengths and Limitations,” “Selling to the Newsvendor: An Analysis of Price-Only Contracts” and “Strategically Seeking Service: How Competition Can Generate Poisson Arrivals.”

In these and many other papers, Professor Lariviere formulates parsimonious models that provide important insights. His research has been foundational, creating a prominent new area of research in operations management.

The influence of Professor Lariviere’s work has been significantly enhanced by the force and clarity of his writing. His papers provide a sense of direction and purpose as models are developed and explored. The results from the models are often dizzyingly complex, but the lucid explanations make the complex seem simple. His papers communicate clearly and precisely the intellectual contribution of his work. In each paper, Professor Lariviere carefully constructs a narrative as to why his results are surprising, insightful and worthy of attention.

While Professor Lariviere’s journal publications have had a dramatic influence on his academic colleagues, he also had a broad impact on both academia and industry as the primary contributor to The Operations Room, a blog that focuses on topics related to operations management and operations research. Since 2009, Professor Lariviere has written more than 700 posts on topics from wearable devices to port strikes to the history of elevator music. The blog has thousands of readers and subscribers through email, Twitter and other social media. Many of Professor Lariviere’s posts link phenomena from our daily lives to fundamental concepts in operations management. Others translate complex research ideas to make them accessible for a broad audience. The writing is informative and true to scholarship while engaging and entertaining.

Through the blog, Professor Lariviere has become one of our greatest ambassadors for the fields of operations management and operations research.