Alumni Return to ORIE for Reunion Breakfast
Academic pioneers, presidents and directors from prominent firms, and recent graduates joined with nearly a dozen current faculty members for a couple of hours of reminiscing and fellowship at breakfast in the Weiss Lounge in Rhodes Hall during reunion weekend.
|Art Geoffrion and Bill Maxwell.|
Three alumni at the breakfast, Arthur Geoffrion, William L. Maxwell and John P. Evans, were already part of ORIE in the 1950's. All three hold B.S. degrees in Mechanical Engineering (home of ORIE's predecessor activity) at Cornell, and all became academics. Geoffrion and Maxwell are members of the National Academy of Engineering and are Fellows of INFORMS, the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences. Evans served nearly 10 years as the Dean of Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina (UNC).
Geoffrion, a member of the undergraduate class of 1959, got a Masters of Industrial Engineering from ORIE in 1961. He went on to get a Ph.D. in Operations Research from Stanford University and is James A. Collins Chair in Management (emeritus) at UCLA's Anderson School of Management. He has been very active in INFORMS, founding what is now the INFORMS Roundtable, an organization composed of the leaders of operations research groups in 50-60 companies. He is the author of about 60 published works, with his initial interest in mathematical programming and its applications later turning to issues in modeling and computer-based modeling environments and then to the implications of the Internet and digital economy for management and management science.
Maxwell, a member of the Cornell class of 1957, received his Ph.D. from ORIE in 1961 and joined the faculty. He is Andrew Schultz Jr. Professor of Industrial Engineering (emeritus), having retired in 1998. His research has been focused on real time production planning and scheduling issues, computer simulation, and computer languages. He was co-developer of early instructional and list-based computer languages used at Cornell in the 1960's and is coauthor of the seminal "Theory of Scheduling" published by Addison-Wesley in 1967 and still in print as a Dover paperback.
|Evans with ORIE Professor Paat Rusmevichientong.|
Evans is a member of the Cornell class of 1959 and received his M.S. in 1962 and Ph.D. in 1968. Between his M.S. and Ph.D. he served in the U.S. Army, and notes that Andrew W. Schultz, Jr. (ORIE Director and Engineering Dean) helped him get a duty assignment in the Army that "made a return to ORIE for a Ph.D. more likely." He is the Phillip Hettleman Professor of Operations, Technology and Innovation Management at UNC's Kenan-Flagler Business School. He served as president of American Assembly of Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) and chaired a two-year project to redesign its accreditation process for business schools. Evans has also been active in the NCAA academic reform effort as UNC's faculty athletics representative. He found the Cornell reunion to be "a fun opportunity to reconnect with people whom I hadn't seen in years, even decades, and in some cases, not since completing undergraduate work."
|Shirk with ORIE Professor Robert Bland.|
Three breakfast attendees, Carolyn Fredericks, Brian Howard and Jennifer Shirk, represented the class of 2004. Shirk, who is a senior consultant at Deloitte Consulting in Boston, commented that "getting up early on Saturday for the ORIE reunion breakfast was completely worth it. I am continually impressed by what my classmates are doing post-graduation and honored to call myself an ORIE graduate." Shirk serves on the Board of Directors of the Cornell Engineering Alumni Association, and heads the student liaison committee of the association.
|Fredericks and Howard with Professor David Shmoys.|
Fredericks reported that "I use my OR textbooks on a regular basis" in her work as Operations Research Analyst at Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) in Greenwood Village, Colorado. She works with math, optimization, simulation and statistical software packages to develop mathematical models for SAIC clients. "It was great to see so many members of the ORIE faculty at the breakfast," she said.
Howard is an operations strategy consultant at PRTM, of which Jeff Berg '79, another breakfast attendee, is Director Emeritus. "I use ORIE-type thinking and skills on a daily basis," he said, "though I'm not sure if I could apply the Simplex Algorithm off the top of my head any more!" He added that even "more important than developing 'modeling' skills, the program taught me to approach operational challenges from multiple perspectives and to avoid seeking 'local optima.'" Howard begins studies towards an MBA at MIT Sloan School of Management in the fall.
|Berg and Bryar with ORIE Professsor Jack Muckstadt. Stone is in the background.|
Colin Bryar received his ORIE BS in 1989 and M.Eng. in 1990. He is a Vice President at Amazon.com and Amazon's Internet Movie Database (IMDb) subsidiary. Previously he was Amazon's director of the Web Services and Associates Program.
|Lindburg and Mason.|
James Mason, Enterprise Resource Planning Director at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida, and Peter Lindburg, President and CEO of Elder Living Source, Inc., represented the class of 1984 at the breakfast.
Lindburg started his professional career at Boeing, where he wrote simulation programs. "That job was basically the ORIE simulation course, with the only exception that I got to sleep earlier at night during my years at Boeing." After Boeing he joined Mentor Graphics and then supercomputer maker Silicon Graphics. More recently he has been involved with internet marketing firms, the latest focused on helping firms involved with senior housing and senior care to market their activities in a more cost-effective manner. "My ORIE background enabled me to span these different industries because I had a good general understanding of the problems clients were trying to solve and the methods to solve them," he said, adding with respect to his current job that "Internet advertising is all about optimization."
|Schell-Lambert with ORIE Professor Bruce Turnbull.|
The Cornell class of 1979 was represented at the breakfast by Jeff Berg, Jordan Schell-Lambert, Larry Stone and Elissa Picozzi Sterry. Berg was President of the class until stepping down from that role after ten years of service. He also completed a four year term on the Cornell Board of Trustees in June. He continues to be involved in a number of Cornell activities, including eCornell, Alumni Affairs and Development, and as advisor to the Solar Decathalon Team.
|Stone and his wife Maggie Jongleux.|
Stone is a Senior Operations Analyst for United Airlines. He was one of the Chairs of the Class of 1979 reunion. Schell-Lambert is an information technology consultant, and served as Registrar for the reunion. Sterry is Vice President of ExxonMobil Chemical Company. Schell-Lambert, Sterry and Berg all completed M.Eng. degrees following their undergraduate work.