As VP of meetings, ISE professor will oversee conferences for leading association of operations research and analytics professionals

Dr. Tamás Terlaky, a professor of industrial and systems engineering at Lehigh University, has been elected vice president of meetings of INFORMS, the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences.

In his two-year appointment to the INFORMS board of directors, Terlaky, who is the George N. and Soteria Kledaras '87 Endowed Chair professor at the P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science, will oversee and enrich INFORM’s portfolio of conferences and workshops aimed at expanding professional skills and increasing societal impact.

“I am honored to serve the INFORMS community at this exciting time, with the analytics movement, the exploding world of Big Data, and the ever-growing need for data-driven decisions and scientifically well-founded decision-making,” says Terlaky. “Meetings are such an important venue for education and idea generation and they are often where the seeds of collaboration are planted.”

INFORMS is the premier association for professionals in operations research and analytics, with more than 12,500 members across the globe. The institute promotes best practices, publicizes advances, and provides opportunities for networking and professional development. Its annual meeting, held each fall, is the world's largest operations research and analytics conference.

“Tamás is highly recognized in the operations research community, and INFORMS will no doubt benefit from his leadership and organizational skills,” says Dr. Luis Nunes Vicente, the Timothy J. Wilmott Endowed Chair Professor and department chair of industrial and systems engineering at the Rossin College. “His election adds to a growing list of remarkable accomplishments.”

Continued Leadership and Innovation in Optimization

Terlaky’s further recent achievements include winning the 2017 INFORMS Wagner Prize for Excellence in Operations Research Practice. INFORMS gives the prize annually to recognize the application of “strong mathematics…to practical problems supported by clear and intelligible writing, the quality and coherence of analysis, [and] good writing, strong analytical content and verifiable practice successes.”

Terlaky, who is also affiliated with Lehigh’s new Institute for Data, Intelligent Systems, and Computation (I-DISC), was among a group of industrial and systems engineering faculty and students who received the prestigious award for inventing the Inmate Assignment Decision Support System (IADSS). This optimization model, developed in collaboration with Pennsylvania’s Department of Corrections (PADOC), streamlines the assignment of inmates to the state’s 25 correctional institutions and has been credited with saving Pennsylvania taxpayers millions of dollars.

In addition, Terlaky has been honored by the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM), which elected him as a fellow in July 2018. SIAM, an international organization with more than 14,500 individual members, fosters the development of applied mathematical and computational methodologies to solve real-world problems.

SIAM recognized Terlaky for his fundamental contributions to the theory and practice of optimization and his exemplary service to the optimization community. He is an active member of the organization and currently serves as chair of the SIAM Optimization subdivision and co-chair of the tri-annual 2020 SIAM Optimization Conference in Hong Kong. He has also collaborated with colleagues on a new textbook on optimization and engineering, published by SIAM and the Mathematical Optimization Society (MOS).

About Dr. Tamás Terlaky

Prior to his appointment at Lehigh University, where he served as department chair of Industrial Systems and Engineering from 2008 to 2017, Dr. Tamás Terlaky taught at Eötvös University in Budapest, Hungary; Delft University of Technology in Delft, Netherlands, and McMaster University in Ontario, Canada. At McMaster, he also served as the founding director of the School of Computational Engineering and Science.

Terlaky has published four books, edited more than 10 books and journal special issues, and published over 180 research papers. Topics include theoretical and algorithmic foundations of mathematical optimization (for example, invention of the criss-cross method and its generalizations to oriented matroid programming), design and analysis of large classes of interior point methods, computational optimization, worst case examples of the central path, duality theory, sensitivity analysis, nuclear reactor core reloading optimization, oil refinery and VLSI design optimization, robust radiation therapy treatment optimization and inmate assignment optimization.

Terlaky is founding Honorary Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Optimization and Engineering. He has served as associate editor of 10 journals and has served as conference chair, conference organizer and distinguished invited speaker at conferences throughout the world. He was general Chair of the INFORMS 2015 Annual Meeting, a former Chair of INFORMS' Optimization Society and Chair of the ICCOPT Steering Committee of the MOS. He is a Fellow of the Fields Institute, INFORMS, and SIAM. He received the MITACS Mentorship Award for his distinguished graduate student supervisory record and the Award of Merit of the Canadian Operations Research Society. In November 2017, he received the Wagner Prize of INFORMS and the Egerváry Award of the Hungarian Operations Research Society.

Terlaky’s research interests include high performance optimization algorithms and optimization modeling and its applications.

Dr. Tamás Terlaky, a professor of industrial and systems engineering at Lehigh University

Dr. Tamás Terlaky, a professor of industrial and systems engineering, will serve as vice president of meetings of INFORMS, the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences.