Richard C. Larson

INFORMS President, 2005; ORSA President, 1993

Dick Larson was the 11th President of INFORMS and the 42nd President of ORSA. At MIT he served as Co-Director of the Operations Research Center for fifteen years. He is Professor of Electrical Engineering and Director of MIT's Center for Advanced Educational Services. Throughout his career Dick Larson made major contributions to operations research, ORSA, and INFORMS, and was instrumental in bringing the accomplishments and potential of operations research to the attention of a wide audience outside the profession.

Professor Larson was a pioneer in applying operations research to solve urban problems. This innovative work included analysis of police patrols and ambulance deployment, as well as important related contributions on the behavior of queues and networks. His work on the President's Crime Commission, with the New York City police, fire, sanitation, and ambulance services; and his work on 911 dispatching undoubtedly saved lives, reduced suffering and saved urban budgets millions of dollars. He is one of the youngest recipients of the Lanchester Prize (1972). He served as Philip M. Morse Lecturer (1997-1999), and the Omega Rho Lecturer (1999). In addition, he is one of a highly select group of those within the operations research community who have been elected to the National Academy of Engineering.

Professor Larson was the next to the last president of ORSA. With his strong support and leadership, the merger of ORSA and TIMS into INFORMS was approved during his term by the OR/MS Board (combined Councils of ORSA and TIMS) and by the memberships of both societies. His many other activities for INFORMS and ORSA included being Chair of the Philip M. Morse Lectureship Selection Committee, the Public Information Committee, the ORSA Prize Committee, and the Lanchester Prize Committee, General Chair of the TIMS/ORSA Boston '85 National Meeting, Area Editor for Operations Research and for Interfaces, lecturer in the Visiting Lecturers Program in Operations Research, and member of the INFORMS Board of Directors and the ORSA Council. He is a Fellow of INFORMS and was selected for the Kimball Medal in 2002. He was a finalist in the Franz Edelman competition.

In his roles as consultant, professor, and administrator, Dick Larson is an eloquent spokesperson for operations research. He is quoted frequently by the press, and his work has been the subject of major national-network TV. Through many invited presentations around the world, coverage of his work and views in the media, and his outreach activities on behalf of INFORMS, Professor Larson continues to play a major role in spreading the message of the power and importance of operations research.

SB, 1965, SM, 1967, and PhD 1969, MIT.

Richard C. Larson's Awards