Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences
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The Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS) is an international society for practitioners in the fields of operations research (O.R.), management science, and analytics. It was established in 1995 with the merger of the Operations Research Society of America (ORSA) and The Institute of Management Sciences (TIMS). The 2018 president of the institute is Professor Nicholas G. Hall of Ohio State University.
According to INFORMS' constitution, the Institute's purpose is to improve operational processes, decision-making, and management by individuals and organizations through operations research, the management sciences, analytics and related scientific methods. The constitution provides that the mission of INFORMS is to lead in the development, dissemination and implementation of knowledge, basic and applied research and technologies in operations research, the management sciences, analytics and related methods of improving operational processes, decision-making, and management.
- Legal Status
INFORMS is organized, and must operate, exclusively for scientific or educational purposes as a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization. The Institute serves the scientific and professional needs of operations research managements science, and analytics educators, investigators, scientists, students, managers, and consultants, as well as the organizations they serve.
INFORMS promotes greater public awareness, interest, and understanding about the benefits of operations research (O.R.) and analytics and provides a variety of programs and services that support lifelong learning and networking for O.R. and analytics professionals.
This includes publishing 16 peer-reviewed journals, hosting numerous conferences and meetings, providing continuing education courses and professional certification, and administering dozens of special-interest communities that help professionals network and collaborate with colleagues from around the world.
INFORMS is a member of the International Federation of Operational Research Societies and the host of the open-source initiative for operations research, COIN-OR.
INFORMS is governed by a board of directors which includes a president, past president, president-elect, secretary, treasurer, executive director, and vice presidents for chapters and fora, education, information technology, international activities, meetings, membership and professional recognition, practice, publications, sections and societies, and marketing and outreach.
INFORMS members are operations researchers and analytics professionals who work for universities, corporations, consulting groups, military, the government, and health care. Many are academics who teach operations research, management science, analytics, and the quantitative sciences in engineering and business schools. INFORMS members come from nearly 90 countries throughout the world. INFORMS includes masters- and Ph.D.-level members, as well as students working toward their degrees: Membership levels are regular member, student member, and retired member.
The INFORMS Roundtable includes institutional members from operations research departments at major organizations.
Members of INFORMS specialize in operations research and analytics sub-fields such as applied probability, artificial intelligence, decision analysis, financial engineering, information systems, linear programming, logistics, non-linear programming, optimization, simulation, stochastic programming, and yield management.
The list of INFORMS journals includes:
- Decision Analysis
- Information Systems Research
- INFORMS Journal on Computing
- Management Science
- Manufacturing & Service Operations Management (M&SOM)
- Operations Research
- Organization Science
- Transportation Science
- Service Science
- Mathematics of Operations Research
- Marketing Science
- INFORMS Transactions on Education
- Strategy Science
- Stochastic Systems
All INFORMS scholarly journals are peer-reviewed.
INFORMS bestows many prizes to recognize superior achievements in practice, publishing, and teaching, and to acknowledge those who have made outstanding contributions to the profession. Prizes include:
- INFORMS Fellow "Fellows are examples of outstanding lifetime achievement in operations research and the management sciences. They have demonstrated exceptional accomplishments and made significant contributions to the advancement of OR/MS over a period of time".
- Decision Analysis Publication Award
- Frank P. Ramsey Medal, the highest award of the Decision Analysis Society
- Franz Edelman Award for Achievement in Operations Research and the Management Sciences, which recognizes outstanding high-level O.R. and advanced analytics practice
- The Daniel H. Wagner Prize for Excellence in Operations Research Practice
- Frederick W. Lanchester Prize for the best contribution to O.R. published in English
- George B. Dantzig Dissertation Award
- George E. Kimball Medal for distinguished service
- George E. Nicholson Student Paper Competition
- Saul Gass Expository Writing Award
- INFORMS Impact Prize for contributions that have had a broad impact on the field
- INFORMS President's Award to an individual for important contributions to INFORMS and the profession
- INFORMS Prize, for effective integration of operations research into an organization
- INFORMS Prize for the Teaching of OR/MS Practice
- John von Neumann Theory Prize
- INFORMS Computing Society Prize
- Philip McCord Morse Lectureship Award
- Seth Bonder Scholarship for Applied Operations Research in Military Applications 
- Seth Bonder Scholarship for Applied Operations Research in Health Services
- The Omega Rho Distinguished Lecture Series
INFORMS communities/subdivisions also honor members, with over 35 prizes and awards.
INFORMS offers analytics certification to help advance the use of analytics by setting agreed upon standards for the profession and promoting continued competency for practitioners.
INFORMS has a Career Center that matches employers and members who are job seekers. The yearly highlight takes place at the society’s Annual Meeting, where employers have the opportunity to meet job candidates and members are able to advance their careers.
INFORMS sponsors many educational and training programs, including the podcasts and videos, INFORMS Forum on Education, Junior Faculty Interest Group Forum, case and teaching materials, multimedia resources, a Speakers Program, a listing of O.R. graduate and undergraduate programs, and a teacher training program for high school math teachers.
- INFORMS Communities
Also known as subdivisions - are important, independent bodies that unite members into local regional groups, focus on special technical interests, and provide the backbone for the organization. Many members belong to more than one group. Communities sponsor conferences, regular meetings, sessions at annual meetings, educational programs, and awards; some provide professional journals and resource publications. INFORMS communities include societies, special interest sections, local and student chapters, forums, a special student honors society, and a Round Table whose members are representatives of O.R. departments at major organizations.
Meetings provide scholars and practitioners with the opportunity to exchange information, ideas, and perspectives with their colleagues. INFORMS offers an annual meeting, a conference on the practice of analytics and operations research, international meetings, and special interest group meetings.
- INFORMS Board of Directors
- INFORMS Roundtable
- INFORMS Publications
- INFORMS Transactions on Education
- OR/MS Today,
- OR/MS Tomorrow
- INFORMS: The Institute For Operations Research and The Management Sciences
- Franz Edelman Award
- "Seth Bonder Scholarship for Applied Operations Research in Military Applications". The Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences.
- Bucher, Amanda (21 August 2013). "Industrial engineering doctoral student receives Bonder Scholarship". Penn State News. Retrieved 2 December 2015.
Additional references are:
- Occupational Outlook Handbook, U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics
- O*Net Online, U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration
- BNet What is Operations Research?
- "Operation Everything: It Stocks Your Grocery Store, Schedules Your Favorite Team's Games, and Helps Plan Your Vacation. The Most Influential Academic Discipline You've Never Heard Of." Boston Globe, June 27, 2004
- "Optimal Results: IT-powered advances in operations research can enhance business processes and boost the corporate bottom line." Computerworld, November 20, 2000