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The role of the tutorials is to provide a platform for a more intensive scientific exchange amongst researchers interested in a particular topic and as a meeting point for the community. Tutorials complement the depth-oriented technical sessions by providing participants with broad overviews of emerging fields. A tutorial can be scheduled for 1.5 or 3 hours.


“The State of Operations Research: A 75th Anniversary Perspective”


Greg H. Parlier
GH Parlier Consulting
United States
Brief Bio
A West Point graduate and retired US Army Colonel, Greg is currently President, GH Parlier Consulting. A combat veteran with 5 operational deployments and service in over 20 foreign nations on 12 named operations, he was a paratroop commander in the 82nd Airborne Division for 8 years, air-ground battle staff officer, joint operations planner, and Army strategist. When he retired he was the Army's senior, most experienced Operations Research officer with assignments spanning land warfare analyses, manpower and personnel, program analysis and evaluation, and logistics. He was assistant then associate professor of Operations Research at West Point. For 12 years after retiring, he served on the research staff at the Institute for Defense Analyses where he was an advisor to several foreign governments and senior OR analyst supporting the multi-national forces command in Iraq. He is a distinguished graduate of the US Marine Corps Command and Staff College, National Defense Fellow at MIT, Army War College graduate, and recently was adjunct Professor of Operations Research at NC State University. Dr. Parlier holds advanced degrees in engineering, Operations Research, and international security, a certificate in political philosophy from Oxford, and was among the first to complete MIT Sloan's executive program in Management, Innovation, and Technology. He is past president of the Military Applications Society of INFORMS, was vice president for the Military Operations Research Society, fellow of the Inter-University Seminar on Armed Forces and Society, elected to the International Institute of Strategic Studies, and previously served as program co-chair for ICORES.

Tutorial Abstract:

Early during World War II, a new multi-disciplinary approach for solving complex military problems was pioneered by the British during the Battle of Britain. Combining civilian scientific talent with operational staffs, initially within Fighter Command to operationalize newly invented radar, “Operational Research” rapidly gained credibility within the Royal Air Force and quickly spread to support the US Army, both ground and air forces, as well as British and US naval forces.

Now, 75 years later on this diamond anniversary of the marriage between the art of warfare and the application of the scientific method, Operations Research (OR) appears to be at a crossroads. The current trajectory of this unique professional discipline must be realigned to adequately address ongoing challenges, including the unraveling geopolitical landscape, precarious financial predicaments, and worrisome socio-demographic patterns. Indeed, emerging conditions now warrant a comprehensive assessment of the current state of OR. This tutorial provides a framework for such a review and addresses past, present, and future practice. Enduring principles are derived and opportunities for applying advanced analytics to present challenges are described.

Future directions are suggested which leverage traditional technology innovation, both physics-based and information (IT), along with new management “engines for innovation” to guide transformational endeavors during a period of inevitably disruptive change. Logically structured using descriptive, prescriptive, and predictive analytics within an enterprise systems framework, the new concept of “management innovation as a strategic technology” (MIST) is introduced. Cutting-edge theory, powerful analytical methods, and innovative strategic planning and management concepts are applied to persistent and seemingly intractable challenges. This tutorial simplifies very complex, “large-scale” enterprise systems to enable clarity, provide insight, and guide understanding through rigorous analysis, synthesis (integration), design and evaluation, and change management. In order to fully capitalize on advances in information technology (IT) and rapidly growing “big data” challenges, the complementary power of operations research, advanced analytics, and management innovation for dramatic performance improvement is demonstrated, including cost savings on the order of many billions of dollars.

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