UPS George D. Smith Prize

U.S. Air Force Academy O.R. Program Wins the 2017 UPS George D. Smith Prize 

U.S. Air Force Academy, Operations Research Program

They presented their program at the 2017 INFORMS Conference on Business Analytics and Operations Research in Las Vegas, NV. The winner was announced at the Edelman Gala on April 3, 2017.


The Operations Research Program at the United States Air Force Academy embodies the true intent of the UPS George D. Smith Prize in its distinctive approach to preparing students to become frontline operations research practitioners. The unique transdisciplinary undergraduate program is designed to develop students who can apply fundamental operations research techniques, work within multidisciplinary teams, and deftly communicate ideas and recommendations that frame and solve ill-defined technical, social, political and economic problems. Rotating military faculty between analyst and teaching assignments creates a rich environment for learning and practice while actively advancing the Academy’s core mission “to educate, train, and inspire men and women to become officers of character motivated to lead the United States Air Force in service to our nation.” The continued security of our nation and the outstanding accomplishments of the alumni across diverse sectors of the economy are a testimony to the program’s sustained effectiveness.

By awarding the 2017 UPS George D. Smith Prize to the Operations Research Program, INFORMS salutes the United States Air Force Academy program and its graduates for their outstanding contributions to the society and the profession at large.

Purpose of the Award

George D. Smith Prize

Strengthening Ties Between Academia and Industry

2017-2018 Committee Chair

The UPS George D. Smith Prize is created in the spirit of strengthening ties between industry and the schools of higher education that graduate young practitioners of operations research. INFORMS, with the help of the INFORMS Practice Section, will award the prize to an academic department or program for effective and innovative preparation of students to be good practitioners of operations research, management science, or analytics.

The UPS George D. Smith Prize is named in honor of the late UPS Chief Executive Officer who was a champion of operations researchers at a leading Fortune 500 corporation. UPS has generously underwritten the award in his memory.

The prize will be awarded to an academic program or department. It will include a trophy and a $10,000 cash award. 

Application Process

Nomination deadline: October 31, 2017

Application Process & Procedures

About the Award/Namesake

George Smith

“As we grow in size, our problems increase geometrically. Without operational research, we would be analyzing our problems intuitively only, and we would miss many opportunities to get maximum efficiency out of our operation.” –George D. Smith: Our Partnership Legacy