Erhan Erkut

Erhan Erkut

Past Awards

Prize for the Teaching of the OR/MS Practice: Winner(s)

The 2004 INFORMS AWARD for the TEACHING of OR/MS PRACTICE is awarded to Erhan Erkut for his outstanding leadership in the field of OR/MS education and practice. Professor Erkut was the founding President of the INFORMS Forum on Education and is the founding Editor-in-Chief of INFORMS Transactions on Education. Through these initiatives he has been instrumental in creating many opportunities for the exchange of ideas and best practice in teaching and the practice and application of Operations Research and Management Science.

Erhan is the holder of the Vargo Teaching Chair and a Francis Winspear Senior Fellowship in the School of Business at the University of Alberta. In these roles, Erhan has revitalized the teaching of OR/MS and created one of the most popular courses in the Business School. This has been achieved by shifting the emphasis from methods and tools to applications and real-world practice. His innovative and inspirational approach has ranged from High School problem solving competitions to the development of a range of undergraduate and graduate courses and a growing PhD program focused on applications. The success of these initiatives is clearly evident in the dramatic increase in enrollments in the OR/MS major from a negligible number before 1997 to more than 60 in 2003.

In his teaching Erhan brings practical insights from his consulting and project supervision into his lectures, computer laboratories and discussions. His students are encouraged to participate in applied OR projects working with business and industry. These practical projects have led in turn to the development of case studies for use in teaching. But more importantly his students have won many Practice Prize awards for their project work. In the words of one of his students “Erhan is easily the most dynamic, passionate and thought-provoking professor that I have ever met”. From another “His passion and commitment to OR/MS was what steered me towards the field” and from yet another “He is an incredible teacher who truly loves his job, loves OR/MS and cares about his students”.

Many of Erhan’s former students are now practitioners in industry. They all acknowledge the enormous influence and impact that he has had on their lives and their careers. As one of his graduates says “His teaching has influenced how I perform my job today. The skills I learned have helped me structure and break down problems. The techniques have allowed me to create solutions that are never mediocre and are often beyond the expectations of my clients”.

During the past decade, Erhan has given many invited presentations on topics related to effective OR/MS Teaching and he has received many awards which attest to the excellence of his contributions in both teaching and practice. It is therefore especially appropriate for INFORMS to award Erhan Erkut the 2004 Prize for the Teaching of Operations Research/Management Science Practice.

Moving Spirit Award for Forums: Awardee(s)

In Appreciation of Outstanding Service to the The Forum On Education (INFORM-ED)