Charles J. McCallum, Jr.

ORSA President, 1991

Chuck McCallum, the 40th President of ORSA, has been active in operations research since learning of the discipline while a mathematics undergraduate student at MIT. He earned his PhD in OR in 1970. For the next 28 years, he was involved in O.R. research, application, and management at Bell Labs in Holmdel, NJ. During that time, his department produced top-notch O.R. applications in such areas as network design, manufacturing, logistics planning, workforce optimization, and credit risk management. He retired in 1998 while holding the title of Operations Research Director. He then joined First USA Bank in Wilmington, DE, where he was Senior Vice President, Optimization, for two years. Since his second retirement, he taught in the Operations Research Program at the University of Delaware and has continued to teach part-time in the Department of Mathematical Sciences at Villanova University.

Chuck joined both ORSA and TIMS while in graduate school and began his society service with committee involvement on Long Range Planning, Education, and Student Affairs. He brought practitioner credibility to NSF support initiatives, e.g., contributing to the famed CONDOR (Committee on the Next Decade in Operations Research) workshop in the mid to late1980s. He was elected ORSA Treasurer from 1986-1989 where he strengthened and publicized ORSA finances and initiated new levels of cooperation in ORSA/TIMS financial partnering. His tenure as President was marked by the increased role of Council members as liaisons to society committees and by ever closer cooperation with TIMS, moving (cautiously) toward eventual merger. His year of past presidential service was extended into an initial year on the INFORMS Board of Directors in 1995.

Throughout his career, Chuck has always been concerned with the academic/practitioner interface, co-founding and co-chairing the Academic/Practitioner Interface Committee from 1990-1996. The Committee often generated ideas and then partnered with other society entities (Education Committee, Professional Recognition Committee) to get things done. For example, the Dantzig Dissertation Award and the Teaching of OR/MS Practice Prize were both born here and many national meeting sessions on teaching practice and/or case studies were sponsored. He also participated in the INFORMS Speakers’ Program (previously Visiting Lecturer Program) and represented practitioners in three Doctoral Colloquia. He served for over 15 years as an active representative on the (first, Management Science, and then INFORMS) Roundtable, also serving on its Membership and Executive Committees. He was an early Edelman Competition Finalist (1977). He became an inaugural INFORMS Fellow in 2002 and was awarded the Kimball Medal in 2006.

Other society service included multiple Nominating Committees, the Lanchester Prize Committee, the Teaching of OR/MS Practice Prize Committee, the Fellows Selection Committee, and the Kimball Medal Selection Committee.

A significant distinguishing feature of Chuck’s professional career has been its focus on practice, coupled with substantial interaction with academics. In the last few years, he’s been able to share his practice experience with a new generation of students though adjunct teaching where real-world industrial experience seems greatly appreciated.

SB (Mathematics), 1965, MIT, MS (Statistics), 1967, Stanford, PhD (Operations Research), Stanford, 1970.