Thomas M. Cook

Thomas M. Cook

Past Awards

Impact Prize : Awardee(s)
2016 - Awardee(s)

The 2016 INFORMS IMPACT PRIZE is awarded to Peter Belobaba, E. Andrew Boyd, Tom Cook, Guillermo Gallego, Robert Phillips, Barry C. Smith, Kalyan Talluri and Garrett van Ryzin for contributions in revenue management.

Revenue management is the theory and practice of dynamically managing the price and availability of a portfolio of products or services to maximize profitability. Revenue Management was famously first developed to enable airlines to manage the prices and availability of their seat inventory following deregulation in 1978. During the 1980’s it spread from the airlines to other capacity-constrained service industries such as hotels, rental cars, and cruise lines. From the 1990’s through today it has become a mainstream business practice across a wide range of industries including not only airlines and hotels but also freight transportation, media, retailing, entertainment, consumer finance, and manufacturing. As the internet and the information economy has grown, revenue management has become even more critical to many businesses including Amazon, Airbnb, Google, Microsoft and UBER.

From its earliest days, the field of revenue management has been characterized by an active interchange between industry and academia. Revenue management has proven to be a deep and enduring topic for research. There are two specialty journals devoted the field of revenue management, as well as a Pricing and Revenue Management Section of INFORMS and an INFORMS Revenue Management and Pricing Conference which is attended by more than 100 practitioners and academics each year. Furthermore, academic research has resulted in approaches and algorithms that are routinely used to improve revenue-management systems used in industry that deliver additional revenues to companies while enabling access of scarce resources to customers.

For their pivotal role in the creation and wide-spread adoption of revenue management, INFORMS is pleased to award the 2016 Impact Prize to Peter Belobaba, E. Andrew Boyd, Tom Cook, Guillermo Gallego, Robert Phillips, Barry C. Smith, Kalyan Talluri, and Garrett van Ryzin.

George E. Kimball Medal: Awardee(s)

Thomas M. Cook’s distinguished career as a practitioner and a consultant in aviation is complimented by his extraordinary service to the profession. He has been president of INFORMS, The Institute of Management Sciences, and the Airline Group of the International Federation of Operations Research Societies, (AGIFORS). He is one of a very small group who has been President of both INFORMS and one of its predecessor societies. While INFORMS President, he initiated and led The Science of Better, the campaign to make the O.R. field better understood by its constituencies.

Tom Cook received a Ph.D. in operations research from The University of Texas at Austin, an MBA from Southern Methodist University, and a bachelor’s in mathematics from Grinnell College. Early in his career, Dr. Cook developed large information systems at Ling, Temco, Vought. He taught at The University of Tulsa, The University of Texas at Austin, and Boston University in operations research, statistics, and computer science. He is the coauthor of two books and the author of numerous journal articles.

The major portion of Tom Cook’s career was spent at American Airlines. Here, he took a small group of OR specialists and continually expanded it until it became a major division of the airline, and was spun off as the legendary SABRE. SABRE for many years contained the largest OR group in the world. After leaving SABRE, he joined McKinsey and later became CEO of two OR based firms, CALEB and TCI.

Dr. Cook was inducted into The National Academy of Engineering in 1995. He was cited for his "leadership in advancing operations research and decision-support technologies within the transportation industry." He became a Fellow of INFORMS in 2002.

Initiating and nurturing The Science of Better concept is one of Dr. Cook’s major achievements for INFORMS. As a long-time practitioner, he recognized that O.R.’s unique problem-solving capabilities were little known or appreciated and hence under utilized in business. To reverse these trends, Dr. Cook proposed to identify and implement changes to existing INFORMS programs that would increase the impact of the discipline by creating demand. To unlock the latent demand for Operations Research, he worked with the Board of Directors and a select committee to obtain the necessary funds and to initiate and manage The Science of Better information campaign.

Tom Cook served the Society in many capacities. He was associate editor of Operations Research, Transportation Science, and Interfaces. He was co-founder of the Academic Practitioner Committee and founding chair of the Marketing the Profession Committee. He has been a member of the Awards and Recognition Committee, Education Committee, the Edelman Prize Gala Committee, and several Nominating Committees among others. He spoke extensively, both inside and outside the profession, on the importance and value of the field.

Tom Cook’s achievements and contributions are truly exceptional. For his distinguished service to the profession and its societies, the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences awards him the 2007 George E. Kimball Medal.

INFORMS Elected Fellows: Awardee(s)