INFORMS NEWS: Carnegie Mellon schools receives UPS George D. Smith Prize

CMU faculty members Al Blumstein (front, center, holding trophy), Ramayya Krishnan (second from right) and others celebrate the UPS Prize.

CMU faculty members Al Blumstein (front, center, holding trophy), Ramayya Krishnan (second from right) and others celebrate the UPS Prize.

The School of Information Systems & Management and the School of Public Policy and Management at the H. John Heinz III College, Carnegie Mellon University, received the 2016 UPS George D. Smith Prize from INFORMS. The award recognizes excellence in preparing students to become practitioners of analytics and operations research.

The award was presented at the 2016 INFORMS Conference on Business Analytics & Operations Research held April 10-12 in Orlando, Fla.

The other finalists included the Institute for Advanced Analytics at North Carolina State University and the Operations Research Program at the U.S. Air Force Academy.
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, management science or analytics. Established in 2011, the award is named in memory of the late UPS chief executive officer who was a patron of operations researchers at the Fortune 500 company.

“We are proud of the work this year’s INFORMS George D. Smith Prize recipient, Heinz College at Carnegie Mellon University, is doing to develop the next generation of operations research and analytics practitioners,” said Chuck Holland, UPS vice president of engineering. “At a time when world leaders are struggling to find answers to complex problems – global trade, emerging markets, poverty, and hunger among many others, Operations research is a discipline they should turn to for solutions. These O.R. and analytics students are the key to a better future.”

Heinz College’s unique and effective analytical education, experiential learning activities and successful collaboration between students and partner organizations for capstone projects played an important role in its winning this award. Those collaborations allow students to put skills into practice. Through experiential learning opportunities like capstone projects, internships and apprenticeships, Heinz students help to research and develop solutions to some of society’s most pressing challenges.

“We are honored and excited to receive this prestigious award,” said Heinz College Dean Ramayya Krishnan. “As the School founded by William W. Cooper, a legendary operations researcher, analytic thinking, appropriate use of technology and a deep interest in societal problem-solving are embedded in our DNA.”

“INFORMS has a long and rich tradition of honoring the very best in operations research and analytics through an array of awards, conferences and publications,” said Melissa Moore, INFORMS executive director. “The Smith Prize is a key part of those awards. We congratulate Carnegie Mellon University’s Heinz College for winning the 2016 Smith Prize.”

The UPS George D. Smith Prize includes a $10,000 cash award.