All the news that fits

Much has happened in our corner of the O.R. world since our last issue, including:

Magazine makeover: “They” say a camel is a horse designed by a committee, so it was with some trepidation that “we” (INFORMS and Lionheart Publishing, producers of OR/MS Today) set out to refresh/redesign the magazine several months ago by first soliciting input and ideas from a committee comprised of members of the OR/MS Today Committee along with staff members of INFORMS and Lionheart. The goal: make the magazine more “open,” “cleaner” and “modern.”

While we can debate what “open,” “cleaner” and “modern” mean in this context, as editor, I was interested in making the magazine more “readable.”

In any case, the committee members shared their different ideas and opinions, and Lioneart art director Alan Brubaker did his best to reconcile the ideas in the redesign. After a few more rounds of conference calls, e-mails and re-redesigns, Alan, working closely with INFORMS staffer Mary Leszczynski, came up with the new-look magazine you’re now reading. While no one (certainly not Alan) is anxious to repeat this exercise any time soon, as a reader feel free to weigh in and send me your comments.

Edelman honors: The office of the Dutch Delta Program Commissioner won the prestigious 2013 Edelman Award, presented in April in San Antonio, Texas, in conjunction with the INFORMS Conference on Business Analytics & Operations Research. The money-saving and potentially country-saving project marked the third time in four years that an entry from the Netherlands won the Edelman competition, widely considered the “Super Bowl of O.R.”

The 2013 winning team, a consortium of Dutch organizations, used O.R. to develop and implement a new method for calculating the most efficient levels of flood protection for the Netherlands. By identifying which dikes to fortify and to what extent, the massive project considerably improved the system of dikes that protects the Netherlands in an era of rising seas and sinking land while simultaneously saving the nation €7.8 billion in unnecessary expenditures.

For more on the story, see page 20.

CAP™ launch: The San Antonio conference also served as the site of the first administration of the INFORMS Certified Analytics Professional exam. Thirty-eight individuals comprised the inaugural cohort to earn their CAP™ stripes. For a review of the CAP™ program, from the planning stages to the successful launch, as well as a list of the new CAP™ designees and future plans, see Gary Bennett and Jack Levis’ article on page 30.

Linear Programming: This issue includes our 12th biennial survey of linear programming software, along with a directory of LP vendors, a side-by-side comparison of more than 50 LP products and an introductory article by Robert Fourer that highlights some new features and facilities that enable LP to address a broader variety of applications (page 40).

Salute to Saul II: When O.R. pioneer, researcher and educator Saul Gass passed away on March 17, I immediately began hearing from friends and colleagues of Saul’s who wanted to share their remembrances of this remarkable man. Thanks to Saul’s good friend and colleague Arjang Assad, we were able to publish a tribute on short notice in the April issue of OR/MS Today.

In the ensuing weeks, Arjang, Michael Fu and I compiled a list of anecdotes from a handful of the countless number of people who had the good fortune to know Saul and benefit from his knowledge and wisdom. Their captivating insights into the man and his legacy begin on page 24.

Change of address: INFORMS is on the move … literally. INFORMS is moving to a new office. The Institute’s new address
as of July 1 will be: INFORMS, 5521 Research Park Dr., Suite 200, Catonsville, MD 21228. The local telephone number will remain the same: 443-757-3500.

— Peter Horner,