Stephen M. Pollock

ORSA President, 1986

Stephen Pollock was the 35th President of ORSA. After receiving his PhD in physics and OR at MIT, in 1964, he became a member of the technical staff at Arthur D. Little, Inc, and then, in 1965, joined the faculty of the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School. In 1969 he joined the University of Michigan, serving as chair of the IOE Department from 1981 through 1990. In 1992 he was the recipient of the Stephen S. Attwood Award, the highest faculty honor awarded by the Michigan College of Engineering. At the time of his retirement, in 2007, he was Herrick Professor of Manufacturing and Professor of Industrial and Operations Engineering.

 Dr. Pollock authored over 60 technical papers, co-edited two books, and served as a consultant to more than 30 industrial, governmental and service organizations. He served on various advisory boards for the National Science Foundation, was a member of the Committee on Applied and Theoretical Statistics of the National Research Council and the Army Science Board, and chaired and served on many committees of the NRC. He was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2002.

 He applied decision analysis and other operations research methods to understand and influence a variety of operational phenomena, including military search and detection, criminal recidivism, manufacturing process monitoring, reliability, maintenance and the design of radiation treatment plans. His teaching was devoted to passing on to students the importance and beauty of creating and using mathematical models that parsimoniously represent controllable aspects of the world around us.

 In his thirty-five years of active involvement Professor Pollock provided service leadership in virtually every aspect of ORSA and INFORMS. He has served on the Education Committee (Chair), Student Affairs Committee, Nominations Committee, Public Issues Committee, Long Range Planning Committee (Chair) and NSF Liaison Committee. He was IFORS Liaison, Representative to IIASA and ORSA/TIMS/INFORMS Visiting Lecturer. Steve‘s dedication in support of prizes and awards is exemplary; he served on the Lanchester Prize Committee (Chair), ORSA Prize Committee (Chair), Morse Award and Lectureship Committee (Chair), Expository Writing Award Committee and Teaching of Practice Committee.

Professor Pollock also served on the Publications Committees of ORSA and INFORMS, Transportation Science Editor Search Committee and Operations Research Review Committee. He has been Associate Editor and Area Editor of Operations Research and Associate Editor of Management Science. He also served as Secretary of the Military Applications Section, Program Chairman of the 1982 ORSA/TIMS Detroit National Meeting, and ORSA Council Member.

As ORSA President he was instrumental in the early stages of planning for the merger with TIMS. However, he is most proud of using his presidential fund to institute the “Doctoral Colloquium”. This opportunity for senior Ph.D. students to network with their peers while being exposed to the challenges and rewards of life after the PhD is now a standard feature of the yearly national INFORMS meetings.

 B. Eng.Phys, 1957, Cornell; MS (Physics) 1960, and PhD (Physics and Operations Research), 1964, MIT.