INFORMS News: People

Brenda Dietrich

Brenda Dietrich

Brenda Dietrich, a Fellow and past president of INFORMS, has joined Cornell University as the Arthur and Helen Geoffrion Professor of Practice in the School of Operations Research following a 33-year career at IBM. At IBM, Dietrich and teams she managed applied data and computation to business decision processes throughout IBM and for IBM clients. For over a decade Dietrich led the Mathematical Sciences function in the IBM Research division where she was responsible for both basic research on computational mathematics and for the development of novel applications of mathematics for both IBM and its clients. In addition, she has been the chief technology officer and strategist for IBM’s Business Analytics group, and led Emerging Technologies in the IBM Watson Group.

Dietrich was appointed IBM Fellow in 2007 and vice president in 2008. She holds several honors from INFORMS including the Kimball Medal for service (2011), Distinguished Lecturer (2012) and the Impact Prize (2014).

John D. C. Little

John D. C. Little

John D. C. Little, a pillar of the operations research community for more than 60 years and a member of the first class of INFORMS Fellows, celebrated his 90th birthday on Feb. 1. An Institute Professor Emeritus at MIT’s Sloan School, Professor Little is perhaps best known for his proof of the queueing formula (l = lw), commonly referred to as Little’s Law. He was a founder of the field of marketing science.

Little served as president of both the Operations Research Society of America (ORSA) and The Institute of Management Sciences (TIMS), which merged in 1995 to create INFORMS, after which he became the first president of INFORMS. Studying with O.R. pioneer Philip Morse at MIT, Little earned the first Ph.D. in operations research in 1955. Elected to the National Academy of Engineering, Little received the Kimball Medal from ORSA and the Distinguished Service Medal from TIMS.

Richard C. Larson

Richard C. Larson

Richard C. Larson, a past president of INFORMS, an INFORMS Founding Fellow and the Mitsui Professor of Data, Systems and Society at MIT, was awarded the first-ever Daniel Berg Lifetime Achievement Medal by the International Academy of Information Technology and Quantitative Management (IAITQM). The presentation was made at a recent IAITQM conference in New Delhi, India, where Professor Larson delivered a keynote address. IAITQM created the medal in Daniel Berg’s name to honor his distinguished achievements in technology and service systems.

The award citation noted that Larson has made significant contributions in both public and private sector services. His public-sector work includes urban emergency services, public health, technology-enabled education, postal services, urban sanitation, criminal justice and disaster management. His private sector research includes industrial gas distribution, home energy management and quality of customer service. An expert on queues and widely known as “Dr. Queue,” he is a past president of ORSA and a member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering.