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Profiles in Operations Research: Pioneers and Innovators (International Series in Operations Research & Management Science) 2011th Edition

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ISBN-13: 978-1441962805
ISBN-10: 1441962808
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Editorial Reviews

Review

From the reviews:

“Profiles in Operations Research: Pioneers and Innovators, a volume that should be sitting on every operations researcher’s bookshelf, well dog-eared from having been read and reread, is such a book. … beyond reading Profiles in Operations Research for personal pleasure, this book should be standard reading and discussion material in the first doctoral seminar for our graduate students. … So, obtain your copy of this book. It will be well worth your investment.” (Paul Gray, Interfaces, Vol. 42 (1), January-February, 2012)

“This massive volume is a priceless contribution to the history of OR. … will remain a very rich source of information for many years to come. … This book is a significant contribution to the fascinating literature on the history of OR. … Assad and Gass deserve much credit for again offering to the OR community this work on the origins, developments and accomplishments of those who shaped this wonderful applied science called Operations Research.” (Hans W. Ittmann, IFORS Newsletter, Vol. 5 (4), December, 2011)

From the Back Cover

Profiles in Operations Research: Pioneers and Innovators recounts the development of the field of Operations Research (OR), the science of decision making. The book traces the development of OR from its military origins to a mature discipline that is recognized worldwide for its contributions to managerial planning and complex global operations. Over the past six decades, OR analyses have impacted our daily lives: when making an airline or hotel reservation, waiting in line at a bank, getting the correctly blended fuel at the gas station, and ensuring that the book you are holding arrived at its destination on time. OR originated in the late 1930s when British scientists from various disciplines joined Royal Air Force officers to determine the most effective way to employ new radar technology for intercepting enemy aircraft. During World War II, similar applied research groups were formed to study, test, and evaluate military operations on both sides of the Atlantic. Their work resulted in great improvements—OR helped the Allies win the war. The scientific field that emerged from these studies was called operational research in the U.K. and operations research in the U.S. Today, OR provides a broad and powerful science to aid decision making.

Profiles describes the lives and contributions of 43 OR pioneers and innovators and relates how these individuals, with varying backgrounds and diverse interests, were drawn to the nascent field of OR. The profiles also describe how OR techniques and applications expanded considerably beyond the military context to find new domains in business and industry. In addition to their scientific contributions, these profiles capture the life stories of the individuals—interwoven with personal tales, vivid vignettes, family backgrounds, and views of the mission and future of OR. Collectively, the profiles recount the fascinating story of the growth and development of a field enriched by the convergence of different disciplines.

The Editors: Arjang A. Assad is Dean of the School of Management, University at Buffalo, State University of New York. Saul I. Gass is Professor Emeritus, Department of Decision, Operations & Information Technologies, Smith School of Business, University of Maryland, College Park.

From the Reviews

Profiles In Operations Research: Pioneers and Innovators.
Book Review by Nigel Cummings: U.K. OR Society's e-journal, Inside OR., Sept 2011.

"I can thoroughly recommend this book. I found it both enlighteningand undeniably gripping, so much so in fact, you may find it difficultto put it down once you have commenced reading it.

Arjang A. Assad and Saul I. Gass have created a masterwork whichwill serve to immortalise [stet] the pioneers of O.R. for many years to come."

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Product Details

  • Series: International Series in Operations Research & Management Science (Book 147)
  • Hardcover: 867 pages
  • Publisher: Springer; 2011 edition (June 30, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1441962808
  • ISBN-13: 978-1441962805
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.2 x 1.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,101,295 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover
These profiles are of interest not only to the community of operations research but also to the wider public now that there has also appeared Rebecca Goldstein’s work, Plato at the Googleplex. Saul Gass was dedicated to mathematical models as part of the skill advanced by Plato. Moreover, Gilbert Ryle, distinguished scholar at Oxford, contrasted “knowing how” with “knowing that”, to mark “imperatives of skill”, a variety of knowing how, discussed by pioneer C. West Churchman in his work with pioneer Russell Ackoff.

Mathematicians will recognize set theory as fundamental to education in “new math” and fundamental to structured programming as advocated by Harlan Mills for his “Chief Programmers”. Thinking both for persons and machines is enhanced by intuitive skill in mathematics.

Indeed, Bertrand Russell made much of set theory in mathematics and praised the correctness of Karl Weierstrass saying of that work, “Obviousness is always the enemy of correctness.” Edgar Codd did much with set theory in his relational connection of tables to correct management of databases.

Faith in mathematics can be disabused by a surrealist joker like Voltaire who would urge that our world is not the “best of all possible worlds”, but Gilbert Ryle coolly insists that that study of mind is “like trying to catch a jellyfish with a fine hook”. It’s good to keep mathematics at the forefront of your thinking when you are using a spreadsheet to make ends meet as the rent comes around when you are doing the bills. Ladies and gentlemen, keep your pencils sharp!
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