Richard C. Larson

Richard C. Larson

Past Awards

Best Article Award: Honorable Mention
Winning material: “Engineering Effective Responses to Influenza Outbreaks”

INFORMS President's Award: Awardee(s)

Dr. Richard Larson has distinguished himself during his career by excelling in research, teaching innovation and the practical application of Operations Research. He was one of the youngest winners of the Lanchester Prize, was the Philip M. Morse Lecturer, and a recipient of the George E. Kimball Medal. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, a former president of ORSA, an INFORMS fellow, and a finalist in the Franz Edelman competition.

The President’s Award is given to recognize work that advances the welfare of society. Dr. Larson’s work on the President’s Crime Commission; his work with the New York City police, fire, sanitation, and ambulance service; and his work on 911 dispatching, has undoubtedly saved lives, reduced suffering and saved urban budgets millions of dollars.

For his contributions to solving a wide-range of important urban problems, INFORMS is proud to present its President’s Award for 2003 to Dr. Richard C. Larson.

- Thomas M. Cook, INFORMS President 2003 (presenting the award in October 2003)

George E. Kimball Medal: Awardee(s)

Richard Larson earned his PhD, as well as SB and SM degrees, in Electrical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he served as Co-Director of the Operations Research Center for fifteen years. He is now Professor of Electrical Engineering and Director of MIT’s Center for Advanced Educational Services. Throughout his career Professor 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. He is a recipient of the Lanchester Prize (1972), the Philip M. Morse Lectureship (1997-1999), and the Omega Rho Lectureship (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 last full-term 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 service as 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.

In his roles as consultant, professor, and administrator, Professor 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.

For his outstanding contributions to INFORMS, ORSA, and the field of operations research, and for his unique contributions to the public awareness of operations research, the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences expresses its sincere appreciation by awarding the 2002 George E. Kimball Medal to Richard C. Larson.

Awards presented by Randy Robinson, Committee Chair, and Michael Trick, President, November 18, 2002.

INFORMS Elected Fellows: Awardee(s)

Philip McCord Morse Lectureship Award: Winner(s)

Frederick W. Lanchester Prize: Winner(s)

The book Urban Police Patrol Analysis, authored by Professor Richard C. Larson of MIT and published by the MIT Press, is this year's winner.

This book describes the application of a number of operations research methods to the problems of planning and operating police patrols, but the techniques are applicable to other emergency services. Proof of applicability comes from documented use of the methods in the police departments of Boston and New York, and from the enthusiastic confirmation of utility by police officers, administrators, and managers in other police departments and in the Law Enforcement Assistance Administration.

The book is addressed to two communities: the police administrator and the O.R. analyst. The author demonstrates a bilingual skill in talking with them, tells why the problems call for his methods, and how to adapt them so they respond to unexpected situations. His book represents the culmination of 7 years of research and experimentation.