Cynthia Barnhart

INFORMS President, 2008

Cynthia Barnhart was the 14th President of INFORMS. She is the Interim Dean of Engineering in the School of Engineering, a Professor in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department and the Engineering Systems Division, and the Director of the Transportation@MIT Initiative at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She has twice served as the co-Director of the MIT Operations Research Center, from 1999-2002 and from 2006-2010, and served from 1999-2002 as the co-Director of the MIT Center for Transportation and Logistics.

 In addition to having been President of INFORMS, she was the President of the INFORMS Transportation Science and Logistics Society in 2006, and the President of the INFORMS Women in Operations Research/Management Science Forum in 1996-1997. In 2008, she founded the INFORMS Doing Good with Good Operations Research Student Competition. She has been area or associate editor for various INFORMS journals, including Operations Research, Transportation Science and Management Science.

Professor Barnhart was awarded the INFORMS award for the Advancement of Women in Operations Research and Management Science, the Franz Edelman Award for Achievement in Operations Research and the Management Sciences (2nd prize), and the INFORMS First Prize Award for Best Paper in Transportation Science & Logistics. She was recognized with the National Science Foundation’s Presidential Young Investigator Award and is a member of the National Academy of Engineering.

Highlights during Professor Barnhart’s tenure as INFORMS President include recognition by the Financial Times of 5 INFORMS journals as being among the 40 most prestigious academic publications in business; initiation of the Industry Studies Association (ISA)-INFORMS joint effort, resulting in a large grant from the Sloan Foundation; founding of the "Doing Good with Good OR" student competition and establishment of this theme for the 2008 INFORMS Annual Meeting, the largest annual meeting (with over 4,600 attendees) in INFORMS history.

Professor Barnhart’s research and teaching activities have focused on the development of optimization models and methods for designing, planning and operating transportation systems.

BS, 1981, Vermont; SM, (1985), PhD (1985), MIT.

Cynthia Barnhart's Awards