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.


INFORMS has awarded the U.S. Air Force Academy its 2017 UPS George D. Smith Prize for its operations research (O.R.) program, which prepares its graduates to become frontline O.R. practitioners as analysts in the Air Force.

The Air Force Academy’s O.R. program exposes more than 50 percent of cadets to at least one O.R. course and provides cadets the opportunity to graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree in O.R. A year-long applied senior capstone serves as the apex of the program, during which teams of cadets consult for military, corporate, local government, and nonprofit organizations to address real-world problems. Organizations that have teamed with the program in the past include DARPA, the Missile Defense Agency, Lockheed Martin, Walmart, and the Healing Warriors Program.

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