INFORMS News: Hillier, Labe receive Kimball Medals for distinguished service

Kimball Medal presenter Rina Schneur (center) congratulates recipients Russell Labe (left) and Fred Hillier (right).

Kimball Medal presenter Rina Schneur (center) congratulates recipients Russell Labe (left) and Fred Hillier (right).

Frederick S. Hillier, INFORMS Fellow and professor emeritus of operations research at Stanford University, and Russell Labe, CAP, of RPL Analytics Consulting, an active member and volunteer with INFORMS and its predecessor TIMS for more than 35 years and also an INFORMS Fellow, received the 2017 George E. Kimball Medal for distinguished service to INFORMS and the O.R. profession. The medals were presented at the 2017 INFORMS Annual Meeting in Houston. Committee chair Rina Schneur made the presentations.

The citations read in part:

Frederick S. Hillier: Professor Hillier … spent his career on the Stanford faculty after obtaining his undergraduate and graduate degrees there. His research has extended into various areas, including integer programming, statistical quality control, operations management, queueing theory and risk analysis for capital budgeting. Two of his six books are in the latter two areas.

Fred is especially known for his classic, award-winning textbook, “Introduction to Operations Research,” co-authored with the late Gerald J. Lieberman. It was first published in 1967, exactly 50 years ago, and is now in its 10th edition (with plans for an 11th edition). This book has been used by hundreds of thousands of students worldwide, including through translations into multiple languages. The book has received much credit for both raising the visibility of our field and attracting numerous individuals to enter the field. Its 6th edition was awarded honorable mention for the 1995 INFORMS Lanchester Prize, and Fred received the 2004 INFORMS Expository Writing Award for its 8th edition.

Fred is also the co-author of another popular textbook, “Introduction to Management Science: A Modeling and Case Studies Approach with Spreadsheets” (co-authored with his son, Mark S. Hillier). First published in 1999, its 6th edition will appear in January 2018. The book has received a substantial international audience and has been translated into four other languages.

Fred has further enriched the literature of our field by being the founding series editor of a book series, the International Series in Operations Research and Management Science, that he started in 1993 and developed into an exceptionally prominent Springer book series. When Fred retired from the series in 2013 on the 20th anniversary of its founding, 200 books that he brought into the series had been published with several dozen more under contract for future publication.

Since becoming a member of ORSA and TIMS in 1960, Fred has taken on many leadership roles in INFORMS and these predecessor societies. He has served as the ORSA treasurer, the TIMS vice president for meetings and the co-general chairman of a TIMS international meeting. He also has been the chairman of the following committees: TIMS Publication Committee, the ORSA Search Committee for Editor of Operations Research, the ORSA Resources Planning Committee, the ORSA/TIMS Combined Meetings Committee and the INFORMS Selection Committee for the John von Neumann Theory Prize.

Fred was elected an INFORMS Fellow in 2004.

Russell Labe: Russell Labe has been a practitioner of operations research for 38 years. He started his career working for eight years at RCA Operations Research Group and spent the following 28 years at Merrill Lynch, where he helped establish the first management science group on Wall Street in 1986. Russ was director of the group for 10 years and retired in 2015 from the Bank of America as the director of Merrill Lynch Analytics & Modeling, leading a group of five departments and 50 analysts.

In retirement, he established his own consulting firm, RPL Analytics Consulting.

Russ received his BA in mathematics from Lebanon Valley College and his MEng in operations research from Cornell University.

During his career, Russ focused on applying operations research and analytic methodologies to industry problems in the areas of product pricing, liquidity risk, revenue forecasting, client attrition, product propensity, investment asset allocation, marketing effectiveness and sales force compensation. Projects completed by the Merrill Lynch team provided documented benefits of $100M+ in annual revenue enhancement and cost reduction. During his tenure, Russ helped Merrill Lynch win three major INFORMS practice prizes: the INFORMS Prize in 1997, the Edelman Prize in 2001 and the Wagner Prize in 2004. He was a co-author of several articles published in Interfaces and the Journal of Product Innovation Management.

Russ has been a member of INFORMS and its predecessor TIMS since 1981. He served on the INFORMS Board for two years as VP of Practice. He was elected an INFORMS Fellow in 2014. He was heavily active in the Practice Section (formerly CPMS) where he served as chair for four years and council member for 25+ years. He was the Merrill Lynch company representative on the Roundtable for 12 years and served as secretary of the Roundtable Executive Committee for four years.

Russ chaired the Edelman Prize Committee for two years and served as a coach and judge numerous times. He also served as a judge for the INFORMS Prize, the Wagner Prize and the UPS Prize. He served as chair of the Edelman Gala Committee for two years and was a member of the Investment Committee for eight years.