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Honors and Awards 2008-2009

We are delighted to report on a large number of honors and awards received by the MIT operations research community


Dimitris Bertsimas received the Farkas Prize in October 2008.  The Farkas Prize is awarded for the most significant contribution to the field of optimization by a researcher, or a team of researchers.

Richard De Neufville received the Francis X. McKelvey Award from the Transportation Research Board for contributions to Airports and Aviation.

Jeremie Gallien was nominated Edelman Laureate earlier this year after being selected as a Finalist in the 2009 Franz Edelman Competition of INFORMS for his team’s entry “Zara Uses Operations Research to Reengineer its Global Distribution Process.”

Michel Goemans became an ACM Fellow.

Richard Larson was invited to serve on two public forums: the Institute of Medicine, Standing Committee on Medical Readiness and the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, Review Panel for the Science and Technology/Engineering Curriculum Framework of K-12 Education.

Retsef Levi was awarded the Optimization Prize for Young Researchers.  This prize is given to one (or more) young researchers for the most outstanding paper in optimization that is submitted to or published in a refereed professional journal (paper coauthored with Ganesh Janakiraman and Mahesh Nagarajan, “A 2-Approximation Algorithm for Stochastic Inventory Control Models with Lost Sales.”)

James Orlin was a co-winner of the INFORMS 2008 Koopman Prize, named after Bernard Koopman, and awarded by the Military Application Society for the outstanding publication in military operations research. The award was for the paper "Exact and Heuristic Algorithms for the Weapon-Target Assignment Problem", and was joint with Ravi Ahuja, Arvind Kumar and Krishna Jha, October 2008.

Andreas S. Schulz, his former student Nicolas E. Stier Moses, and their coauthors received the 2008 Best Paper Award of the Transportation Science & Logistics Society of INFORMS for their paper "System-Optimal Routing of Traffic Flows with User Constraints in Networks with Congestion" (Operations Research 53 (2005), 600-616).  This award is given every year to an outstanding paper in the field of transportation science and logistics. The paper must have been published in a refereed journal and must present innovative approaches for solving complex problems in transportation and/or logistics, with an emphasis on operations research and quantitative methods.

Devavrat Shah was the recipient of the 2008 ACM Sigmetrics/Performance Rising Star.  In addition, Dev and his student, Srikanth Jagabathula, received the 2008 NIPS Best Student Paper Award.

Yossi Sheffi was awarded the Eccles Medal. This award recognizes outstanding achievements in the development of logistics education. In addition, Professor Sheffi accepted the Aragón International Prize award on behalf of MIT for his instrumental role in the development of the Zaragoza Logistics Center (ZLC).  This award is one of the most prestigious awards granted annually by the Government of Aragón in Spain, and was created to recognize ongoing efforts in culture, science, technology, or human values that provide significant benefit for the community or a noteworthy example for the Aragónese society.

John Tsitsiklis received a Doctor honoris causa from the Universite Catholique de Louvain (Belgium), October 2008.


Pavithra Harsha , received Honorable mention in INFORMS Aviation Applications Dissertation Prize (INFORMS 2009) and Honorable mention in INFORMS Transportation Science & Logistics Society Dissertation Prize (INFORMS 2009) for her thesis titled: Mitigating Airport Congestion: Market Mechanisms and Airline Response Models.

Dan Iancu , was awarded the INFORMS Optimization Society Student Paper Prize. The Student Paper Prize recognizes the most outstanding paper in optimization that is submitted to and received by, or published in a refereed professional journal no more than three years before the closing date of the nomination. Dan is jointly supervised by Prof. Dimitris Bertsimas and Prof. Pablo Parrilo. (2008). 

Doug Fearing, an ORC doctoral candidate, received the UPS PhD Fellowship for AY 2009/2010.  Doug was also honored for his excellent teaching skills with the Graduate Student Council Teaching Award (May 2009) and the Sloan Outstanding TA Award (May 2009). 

Dmitriy Katz-Rogozhnikov and Tri-Dung Nguyen were finalists in the INFORMS George Nicholson Student Paper Competition, October 2008. 



Margaret Brandeau was awarded the INFORMS President's Award.  The purpose of this award is to recognize, and thereby encourage, important contributions to the welfare of society by members of our profession at the local, national, or global level.

S. Raghavan and R. Day received the INFORMS Computing Society Prize for their paper on "Fair Payments for Efficient Allocations in Public Sector Combinatorial Auctions."  This  award is for best English language paper or group of related papers on the OR/CS interface.

Sean P. Willems and John J. Neale received the Wagner Prize for Excellence in Operations Research Practice for their paper on "Managing Inventory in Supply Chains with  Non-Stationary Demand."  This prize emphasizes the quality and coherence of the analysis used in practice. Dr. Wagner strove for strong mathematics applied to practical problems, supported by clear and intelligible writing. This prize recognizes those principles by emphasizing good writing, strong analytical content, and verifiable practice successes.