James J. Cochran

James J. Cochran

Past Awards

Innovative Applications in Analytics Award: Second Place
Winning material: Analytical Pipeline for Identifying Potential Sex Trafficking Victims in Commercial Sex Ad Data

Innovative Applications in Analytics Award: Third Place
Winning material: Using Analytics for Urban Blight Remediation

Innovative Applications in Analytics Award: Finalist
Winning material: Using Analytics to Understand and Improve Provider Accessibility for a State Medicaid Agency

INFORMS President's Award: Awardee(s)
2018 - Awardee(s)

James J. Cochran, Professor and Associate Dean for Research at the Culverhouse College of Business, University of Alabama, has led a distinguished career as an educator and researcher for more than 20 years. During this period, he has developed several valuable initiatives for improving the quality of education in operations research, analytics, and statistics, and encouraging practitioners and students to use these disciplines to address societal issues. He has developed and leads a Teaching Effectiveness Colloquium series, which introduced teachers in 14 developing nations to state-of-the-art educational methods, including distance learning, collaborative learning, active learning, and project based learning. Prof. Cochran is also the founding editor-in-chief of the Wiley Encyclopedia of Operations Research and Management Science, which is a 6000+ page reference containing over 600 articles written by eminent scholars, and is available for free online access in developing nations. The articles published in the Encyclopedia are frequently used in classrooms, to address applications, and as reference sources for research articles and literature surveys. Prof. Cochran also served two terms as editor-in-chief of INFORMS Transactions on Education, which publishes open access teaching materials, including cases. During his tenure as editor-in-chief, teaching materials were provided to instructors from over 100 countries. Prof. Cochran has coordinated these three initiatives so that they provide instructors in developing nations with free course content, classroom support material, and access to discussions about teaching methods. As a result, many more students have entered these fields, programs in developing nations have grown, and more societal problems have been effectively addressed.

INFORMS is proud to recognize Prof. Cochran with its 2018 President’s Award, for his high impact initiatives that have improved the global education of operations research, analytics, and statistics.

INFORMS Elected Fellows: Awardee(s)

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

The 2008 INFORMS Prize for the Teaching of OR/MS Practice is awarded to James J. Cochran.

James Cochran has been teaching Operations Research for twenty-four years. He works to emphasize the practical application of OR/MS and Statistics through the use of original cases and projects, active learning exercises, case-based exams, and online classrooms.

Jim’s teaching approach has been motivated by his experiences in private industry. When he found that relatively few people with whom he worked were adequately equipped to be effective practitioners or users of OR/MS, he set to creating classroom environments that would foster both the appreciation and power of OR/MS and the development of skills necessary to overcome the practical difficulties and the technical challenges of effectively using the tools of OR/MS.

All indications are that he is being successful in this life’s work. His nominator took a class during his MBA studies two decades ago and yet still recalls that “Professor Cochran sees his role as an enabler. He possesses the knowledge, and he does whatever he can, using every resource at his disposal, to provide his students with the tools to achieve understanding.”

Jim Cochran has taught over 5000 students in over 100 classes during the past twenty four years. That is a lot of people who now understand the power of OR/MS and its tools and are ready to use those tools to solve real problems. We are delighted to recognize his efforts through the award of the 2008 INFORMS Prize for the Teaching of the Practice of OR/MS.

INFORMS Case Competition: Finalist
Winning material: All of Britain Must Be Stoned!