Henk C. Tijms

Henk C. Tijms

Past Awards

Saul Gass Expository Writing Award: Winner(s)

The 2008 INFORMS Expository Writing Award goes to Henk C. Tijms for his exemplary writing on stochastic operations research over more than 30 years. In addition to influential technical articles, he is widely known for his graduate text on stochastic models, a more recent book on elementary probability, and a freely available software package for teaching both operations research and probability at an elementary level.

Henk Tijms's textbooks are models of technical exposition. His book for college seniors and beginning graduate students, the latest version of which is titled A First Course in Stochastic Models, treats now-classical material with a distinctive emphasis on computational methods. The writing is efficient, clear and precise without excessive formality, and is enlivened by practical yet elegant examples. His more elementary book, Understanding Probability, provides an entertaining and insightful introduction to probability concepts, requiring no mathematical background beyond high school algebra. Its explanations are meticulous but also sympathetic to the reader, with intriguing motivational examples and informative historical anecdotes. Henk Tijms is very much a mathematician, but also a splendid storyteller.

Henk Tijms has also made a sustained effort to promote the fields of probability and operations research among mathematics teachers and high school pupils. One product of that effort is an artfully constructed software package, ORSTAT-2000, which is supported by a well written promotional article for mathematics educators. The software introduces students to probability and operations research as examples of meaningful, exciting applications of mathematics.

The publications of Henk Tijms are characterized by a beautiful mixture of precise mathematical writing, lucid probabilistic insight and common sense. The Committee members (Nicholas G. Hall, J. Michael Harrison, and Garrett J. van Ryzin) are proud to designate Henk C. Tijms as the recipient of the 2008 INFORMS Expository Writing Award.