Heinz College Dean Krishnan elected to top spot at INFORMS

Dr. Ramayya Krishnan, Dean of Carnegie Mellon’s Heinz College of Information Systems and Public Policy, was elected as the 25th President of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS) Board of Directors. This move, announced on Oct. 13, means that Dean Krishnan will spend the next two years as president-elect of the INFORMS board of directors before spending a year, starting Jan. 2019, as its President.

INFORMS is a network of more than 12,500 professors and professionals in the world of analytics and operations research. Interim President Farnam Jahanian highlighted the deep connection that exists between Carnegie Mellon University and INFORMS in his statement in a Heinz College and INFORMS joint press release, stating that “this well-deserved honor further strengthens the connections between the university and the INFORMS community, whose past presidents include four other CMU faculty.”

The four past Carnegie Mellon-affiliated presidents, William Cooper, Richard Cyert, Alfred Blumstein, and Michael Trick, only represent a small part of the deep relationship that INFORMS and Carnegie Mellon enjoy. There is an on-campus chapter of INFORMS, which hosts events for students interested in management science and operations research, and a Krishnan-led Heinz College won the INFORMS UPS George D. Smith Prize last year.

When speaking on the award in a Heinz College press release last year, Krishnan referenced former INFORMS Presidents and Carnegie Mellon founding member William Cooper, and brought up the central role that operations research has played, finding that “as the school founded by William W. Cooper, a legendary operations researcher, analytic thinking, appropriate use of technology and a deep interest in societal problem solving are embedded in our DNA.”

Not only is this not the first instance that Carnegie Mellon and INFORMS have intermingled, but it is also the culmination of a long personal involvement on the part of Krishnan with the organization. On top of his position as the W.W. Cooper and Ruth F. Cooper Professor of Management Science and Information Systems at Heinz College and the Department of Engineering and Public Policy, his tenure on the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Data-Driven Development and his continuing work with Governor Tom Wolf’s IT and Operations Advisory Board, Krishnan has been an INFORMS Fellow, won the INFORMS Information Systems Society’s Distinguished Scholar Award, and led the INFORMS Computing Society and the INFORMS Information Systems Society. He has served as the editor of four INFORMS journals, namely, Interfaces, Information Systems Research, Management Science, and the Journal on Computing.

It is clear that his mission as Dean of Heinz College — the “use of technology and a deep interest in societal problem solving” — sees a natural continuity with his goals as president of INFORMS, with Krishnan highlighting in his statement “the work of [his] colleagues has saved lives around the world, helped businesses and governments become more efficient, helped keep people safer, and so much more. Today, our capacity to combine analytic and information technology is enabling our fields to reach new heights, solve new problems, and touch more lives than ever before… this is truly an exciting time, and I look forward to helping INFORMS bring even greater recognition to the amazing contributions of our members.”