2012 Combined Colloquium in Phoenix

By Matthew Drake, Andrew Johnson, Maga Khachatryan and Patrick Noonan

Organizers of the 2012 Combined Colloquium to be held on Oct. 12 and 13 before the INFORMS Annual Meeting in Phoenix, Ariz., are now accepting nominations to the colloquium. As in prior years, the three concurrent colloquia will be the Future Academician Colloquium, Future Practitioner Colloquium and the Teaching Effectiveness Colloquium. The Combined Colloquium will commence on Oct. 12 with a welcome dinner at 6 p.m., and the individual colloquia will be held the entire day of Oct. 13. All participants will be invited to a closing dinner reception on the evening of Oct. 13. Complete nomination packages for all colloquia are due by June 30 to the respective chairs of the individual colloquia.

Due to a traditionally large demand, applicants must be nominated by their academic departments (not by individual professors within the department). Each department may nominate one participant for any of the colloquia for no charge. Beyond that first participant, the second person from a department can attend at a cost of $150, and each additional participant can attend at a cost of $300. All invoicing is done at the department level; no individual invoices will be sent. Please note that the Combined Colloquium is considered one activity for invoicing purposes. For example, if a department nominates one person for each of the three individual colloquia, the department would receive an invoice for $450. Complete details about the nomination process and required information from nominees can be found online at

The Future Academician Colloquium is intended for students who will be on the job market during the 2012-2013 school year. The colloquium will cover a variety of topics including: advice related to the application and interviewing processes, junior faculty workload management issues, publishing, grant writing and teaching issues, along with a variety of other topics. All Ph.D.-granting programs in operations research, management science and related fields are invited to nominate students for participation in the Future Academician Colloquium.

The Future Practitioner Colloquium is organized for students who are interested in practicing O.R. in industry and new practitioners who are within three years of starting their first practice job. This colloquium features sessions that aim helping participants to become successful operations research and management science practitioners. Discussion topics focus on career paths for OR/MS professionals, challenges that new practitioners experience in terms of expected skills, suggestions for a successful job search process, thoughts on differences and similarities of careers in academia and industry, as well as managements’ expectations when they are hiring O.R. employees. A panel discussion on general career tips will be also held at the colloquium.

This year’s Teaching Effectiveness Colloquium (TEC) will once again provide a very full day of important ideas and practical skills for advancing the participants’ understanding and implementation of best practices in the classroom.

TEC Chair Patrick Noonan (Emory) has assembled the following team of presenters and facilitators who have considerable experience as educators in our field, as well as past experience in these colloquia and other INFORMS initiatives around teaching and learning: Peter Bell (University of Western Ontario), Jeff Camm (University of Cincinnati), Donna Llewellyn (Georgia Tech), Jill Hardin Wilson (Northwestern) and Susan Martonosi (Harvey Mudd College). Collectively, this award-winning team spans schools and departments of engineering, mathematics, business, operations research, information systems and even the study of learning itself.

The scheduling and assignment of these experts to the specific workshops is still being finalized, but the day’s agenda will include a look at a number of issues that matter to all of us: What does the research tell us about how learning takes place, and which approaches actually demonstrate superior effectiveness? What are some best practices we can look to for inspiration, how do they work and how can we implement them? How can we help students bridge the thinking work (theories that must be understood) with the doing work (skills and applications required by the world of practice)?

Through an interactive day of lectures, case discussions, demonstrations and hands-on exercises, TEC participants will learn techniques for active learning, case discussion leadership, creating and managing project courses, teaching optimization and bringing “real life” strategic and business issues into the OR/MS classroom.

We hope to receive nomination packets from all interested participants, and we look forward to welcoming you to Phoenix in October for an enriching set of colloquia.

Matthew Drake ( is an associate professor of supply chain management in the Palumbo-Donahue School of Business at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Penn., and chair of the Combined Colloquia. Andrew Johnson ( is an assistant professor of Industrial and Systems Engineering at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas, and chair of the Future Academician Colloquium. Maga Khachatryan ( is an OR/MS practitioner with Anheuser-Busch InBev in St. Louis, Mo., and chair of the Future Practitioner Colloquium. Patrick Noonan ( is an associate professor in the Practice of Decision & Information Analysis in the Goizueta Business School at Emory University in Atlanta and chair of the Teaching Effectiveness Colloquium.