INFORMS NEWS: UBC program wins UPS Prize

Harish Krishnan (fifth from right), director of UBC’s Business School’s Centre for Operations Excellence, accepts the UPS Prize.

Harish Krishnan (fifth from right), director of UBC’s Business School’s Centre for Operations Excellence, accepts the UPS Prize.

INFORMS awarded its prestigious UPS George D. Smith Prize to the Centre for Operations Excellence at the University of British Columbia Sauder School of Business. The prize competition was held at the 2015 INFORMS Conference on Business Analytics & Operations Research in Huntington Beach, Calif.

The UPS George D. Smith Prize is awarded to an academic department or program for effective and innovative preparation of students to be good practitioners of operations research. A $10,000 cash award accompanies the award.

INFORMS, the INFORMS College for the Practice of Management Science (CPMS), and UPS collaborated to establish the award to emphasize the importance of operations research practice and to encourage operations research/analytics programs around the world to focus on preparing students for operations research practice. In the four years since its inception, the prize has gained international stature, and has been attracting applications from highly recognized academic programs in the United States and Canada.

The Centre for Operations Excellence at the University of British Columbia Sauder School Of Business administers the Masters of Management in Operations Research program, which provides rigorous practical training in the quantitative analysis of business problems. The goal of the 16-month professional master’s program is competency in operations research practice. After eight months of coursework, students are immersed in full-time work on a five-month industry project in which they act as consultants to a company facing a significant operational challenge.

The other finalists for 2015 were:

  • The Lehigh University Enterprise System Center and Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering
  • Carnegie Mellon University H. John Heinz III College

The UPS George D. Smith Prize is named in honor of the late UPS chief executive officer who was a patron of operations researchers at the Fortune 500 corporation.