Looking Back at the Origins of O.R.

In this episode, we will be taking a look back, way back actually, to the first time the term Operations Research was employed, and some of the earliest applications of O.R. during World War II, when it helped the Allied forces in Europe achieve victory over Germany. I am joined by Gerald Brown, Emeritus Distinguished Professor of operations research at the Naval Postgraduate School and an INFORMS Fellow, to discuss these earliest applications, their impact, and how O.R. has grown since then. 

Interviewed this episode:

Gerald Brown

Naval Postgraduate School

Gerald G. Brown, Ph.D., is a Distinguished Professor of Operations Research at the Naval Postgraduate School, where he has taught and conducted research in optimization and optimization-based decision support since 1973, earning awards for both outstanding teaching and research. His military research has been applied by every uniformed service, in areas ranging from strategic nuclear targeting to capital planning. He has been awarded the Barchi, Mennekin, Rist, and Thomas prizes for military operations research, is credited with guiding investments of more than a trillion dollars, and has earned the Informs President and Steinhardt Prizes for lifetime achievements. He has designed and implemented decision support software used by the majority of the Fortune 50, in areas ranging from vehicle routing to supply chain optimization. His research has earned patents and appears in scores of open-literature publications and classified reports, some of which are seminal references. Brown is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, a recipient of two US Navy Distinguished Civilian Service Medals, and an INFORMS Fellow.