Edward Kaplan

December 16, 1955

Brief Biography

Kaplan Presidential Gallery Portrait

Edward H. Kaplan is the William N. and Marie A. Beach Professor of Operations Research, Public Health, and Engineering at Yale University’s School of Management. He joined the Yale faculty in 1987.  An expert in operations research, mathematical modeling and statistics, Kaplan has co-authored more than 135 academic papers.  He was elected to the National Academy of Engineering and the Institute of Medicine (now the National Academy of Medicine), and is an INFORMS Fellow. His research in HIV prevention and counterterrorism has been recognized with the Edelman Award, Lanchester Prize, Centers for Disease Control’s Charles C. Shepard Science Award, INFORMS President’s Award, the Philip McCord Morse Lectureship, three Koopman Prizes, and numerous other awards. Kaplan was the Lady Davis Visiting Professor of medicine and of statistics at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and also served as a visiting professor to the Faculty of Industrial Engineering and Management at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, the Survey Research Center at UC Berkeley, Columbia’s Graduate School of Business, MIT’s Sloan School of Management, and Stanford’s Graduate School of Business.  For more information about Kaplan and his research, visit http://faculty.som.yale.edu/EdKaplan/.


During Kaplan’s presidential term at INFORMS, he preferred to use the title “Member-in-Chief” to reinforce leadership by example.  His tenure saw the adoption of a new strategic plan that reiterated the INFORMS mission to promote best practices and advances in operations research, management science and analyt­ics to improve operational processes, deci­sion-making and outcomes. The plan also featured four strategic goals, which are: 

  1. INFORMS will identify, recognize, and promote the work of our members to show the value their science and practice brings to society. 
  2. Decision-makers will have access to, and use, innovative technologies and methodologies to transform visions, tasks or responsibilities into better choices, services and products to achieve better outcome. 
  3. Organizations will identify operations research and analytics as core components of success and institutionalize their input as part of their decision-making processes. 
  4. Society: Operations research and analytics will advance society and make the world a better place.


Throughout his term, Kaplan encouraged members to actively pursue these goals using the slogan “Let’s do stuff!”


Academic Affiliations

Oral Histories

Ed Kaplan (2018) Interview by Jim Cochran, November 5, 2018, Phoenix, AZ

NOTE:  The video chapter transcripts below are searchable, with search results displayed as marks on the time bar above the search box.  Click a mark to jump to the search word or phrase in the video and transcript, or click on any word in the transcript to jump to that point in the video.

Jump to Chapters

Chapter 1: Introduction
Chapter 2: Early Life
Chapter 3: Geography and City Planning
Chapter 4: Graduate School at MIT
Chapter 5: UMass Boston
Chapter 6: Arrival at Yale and Research on HIV and AIDS Policy
Chapter 7: Response to Needle Exchange Proposals
Chapter 8: Counterterrorism
Chapter 9: Sports
Chapter 10: Risky Research
Chapter 11: Travel