INFORMS News: Phoenix to Host 2012 INFORMS Annual Meeting

INFORMS annual meeting

By Ron Askin

The 2012 INFORMS Annual Meeting will be held Oct. 14-17 at the Phoenix Convention Center in the heart of downtown Phoenix. The Convention Center was recently expanded with the surrounding Sonoran Desert serving as its architectural inspiration from colors to textures to materials. Two major conference hotels, the Hyatt Regency and Wyndham, are just steps away.

Within walking distance attendees will find numerous restaurants and attractions including the home venues of the Arizona Diamondbacks baseball team, Phoenix Suns basketball team, Arizona Theatre Company (the Tony award winning musical “Next to Normal” will be playing during the conference), Phoenix Opera Company, Phoenix Symphony and the Orpheum Theatre.

The Orpheum’s Spanish Baroque Revival design dates back to vaudeville and has earned it a place on the National Register of Historic Places. The internationally renowned Heard Museum, just a short ride from downtown on the Light Rail will be presenting “Beyond Geronimo: the Apache Experience” for those interested in learning the truth about the Apache culture and heritage.

The Organizing Committee has several exciting events planned for the conference. The general reception will draw on the theme of Route 66 to explore the wonders of traveling cross country and the splendor of Northern Arizona that inspired numerous artists from Ansel Adams’s photographs to Zane Grey’s and Tony Hillerman’s novels to the lyrics of the Eagles (remember that “corner in Winslow, Ariz.”?).

The Society for Medical Decision Making is holding its annual meeting at the same location from Oct. 17-20, and Oct. 17 will have several overlapping sessions open to registrants from both conferences. In keeping with that theme, a conference tour will be available to visit the Mayo Clinic physical simulation center.

INFORMS annual meeting

The meeting will offer an exciting blend of networking and educational opportunities. As in the recent past, the INFORMS membership meeting will be held on Saturday (Oct. 13), a welcome reception on Sunday (Oct. 14) and subdivision meetings on Monday and Tuesday (Oct. 15 and 16) followed by the general reception on Tuesday evening (Oct. 16).

A stimulating list of plenary and keynote speakers from academia, government and industry will share their knowledge and perspectives. Planned speakers will cover OR/MS contributions, opportunities and challenges in a variety of areas including intelligence and defense, healthcare, homeland security, manufacturing, logistics and the future of computing in our increasingly networked world. And, of course, the Edelman award reprise and Wagner Prize presentations will be included in the program.
For the most current information, visit Information on the Phoenix area is available at

The Organizing Committee welcomes you to Phoenix. We hope you will take this opportunity to explore the wonders that our city and state have to offer while also advancing your professional development. Outsiders know us as the Grand Canyon State, but for those of us that live here, we know it as a multi-faceted Mecca for the arts, culture, education and recreation.

Ron Askin ( is the general chair of the 2011 INFORMS Annual Meeting.