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  • 24 April 2024 08:44 | Bazyli Szymanski (Administrator)

    AGIFORS is now welcoming applications for the 2024 Anna Valicek Award Competition and Ken Wang Scholars Program!

    The two programs recognize students and recent graduates, whose interests or previous academic work is related to solving problems in the airline industry using operations research as well as other quantitative methods. We are welcoming applicants from all around the world, and we strongly encourage applications from those whose background is historically under-represented at AGIFORS. The deadline to apply is June 1, 2024.

    For details on the two programs, refer to the Anna Valicek and Ken Wang Scholars page.

  • 13 March 2024 13:18 | Bazyli Szymanski (Administrator)

    We regret to inform that AGIFORS Fellow, Professor Ellis Johnson has passed on February 20, 2024. A Celebration of Life will be held Saturday, March 23, 2024, at 10:00 a.m. in the Sugar Creek Chapel at Hundred Acre Farm, followed by a reception in the Red Barn.

    With the permission of Mixed Integer Programming Society at mixedinteger.org, we are reposting the obituary:

    Ellis L. Johnson, renowned professor and mathematician, died on February 20, 2024, at his home near Madison, Georgia. He was a distinguished figure in the fields of operations research, mathematical programming, and industrial engineering. He made significant contributions throughout his career, leaving a lasting impact on the academic community and the airline industry.

    Born on July 26, 1938 to Glenn Irvin and Edna Volberg Johnson, he grew up on a farm outside Athens, Georgia. He graduated from Georgia Tech with a B.S. degree in Applied Mathematics in 1960. He obtained a Ph.D. in Operations Research in 1965 from the University of California at Berkeley, where he studied under George Dantzig, one of the founding fathers of Operations Research. He began his professional career teaching at Yale University for three years, then joined the IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, where he worked for 26 years. In 1982, he founded the Optimization Center and served as its manager until 1990, when he was named an IBM Corporate Fellow, the highest honor a scientist, engineer, or programmer at IBM can achieve. From that year until 1995 he taught and conducted research at Georgia Tech, while also serving as an IBM Fellow. In 1995 he retired from IBM and became the Coca-Cola Chaired Professor in the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISyE) at Ga. Tech. With Professor George Nemhauser he co-established and co- directed the university’s Logistics Engineering Center, which would form what is now the Supply Chain and Logistics Institute. He was also instrumental in the creation and early development of the elite Algorithms, Combinatorics and Optimization PhD program.

    Throughout his career, he held visiting and part-time positions at several universities. These included the National University of Singapore; State University of New York, Stony Brook; University of Pisa; New York University; Columbia University; IBM Paris Scientific Center; University of Florida; University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada; and Swiss Federal Institute of Technology. During his professional life, he received many honors. In 1980-1981, he was at the University of Bonn, Germany, as recipient of the Alexander Von Humboldt Senior Scientist Award. In 1983 a paper he wrote with Mandred Padberg and Harlan Crowder on solving large-scale zero-one linear programming was published in the journal Operations Research and won the Frederick W. Lanchester Prize. In 1985, he received the George B. Dantzig Award for his research in mathematical programming. The Dantzig Prize is awarded every three years for original research which by its originality, breadth, and depth has a major impact on the field of mathematical optimization. It is awarded jointly by the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM) and the Mathematical Optimization Society (MOS). In 1988 he was elected a member of the National Academy of Engineering for his “fundamental contributions to discrete optimization and software design, and its practical applications to distribution and manufacturing systems.” In 2000 he was co- recipient of the John von Neumann Theory Prize in recognition of his fundamental contributions to integer programming and combinatorial optimization. In 2002 he received the Daniel H. Wagner Prize for Excellence in Operations Research Practice, and was named a fellow of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS). Also in 2002, his work with Delta Airlines on qualification training for airplane pilots earned him a finalist position for that year’s Daniel H. Wagner Prize, awarded annually for quality and coherence of analysis used in practice. In 2009 he was named a Fellow in the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematicians (SIAM). He was also a fellow of the Airline Group of the International Federation of Operations Research Societies.

    Dr. Johnson’s contributions to the airline industry were particularly noteworthy. His research in crew scheduling, fleet assignment and routing, disruption management, and integrated planning and operations made him the leading academic researcher in the world on these airline problems. His work in this field has had a profound impact on the efficiency and optimization of airline operations.

    Beyond his academic achievements, Johnson was known for his passion for teaching and mentoring. He was highly regarded for his intellect, patience, and ability to lead by example. His dedication to his students and colleagues left a lasting impression on those who had the privilege of working with him.

    After he retired from Georgia Tech in June 2012, he dedicated himself to his 100-acre farm in Madison, Georgia, known as the Hundred Acre Farm in memory of where he and his siblings grew up. He established The Farmhouse Inn at Hundred Acre Farm, the bed and breakfast he established on the property, has become one of the top ten bird-watching B&Bs in the country.

    Ellis Johnson’s passing is a great loss to the academic community and the fields of operations research and industrial engineering. His contributions will continue to shape the way we approach optimization and mathematical programming. He will be remembered for his groundbreaking research, his dedication to teaching, and his commitment to preserving Georgia's natural beauty. He leaves behind a lasting impact on the land, his family, and on the world of academia, and the airline industry. He is survived by his wife Crystal Du Johnson; two brothers, Fred and Allen Johnson, also graduates of Georgia Tech; his sister, Janet Tanksley; two sons, Michael and Fred Johnson; a daughter, Catherine Robison; and four grandchildren.

  • 08 February 2024 09:14 | David Foster (Administrator)

    I am pleased to announce that Daniel Fry from Alaska Airlines and Michael Wittman from Amadeus have taken on leadership of the Revenue Management and Distribution Study Group. Both have been active participants in the study group and should be well known by all. In addition, Michael was an Anna Valicek finalist in 2016.

    I also want to thank Virginie Lurkin and Dennis Buitendijk for their leadership these past few years and organizing successful meetings virtually during the pandemic and then back in person in Helsinki last year. Virginie stepped down to focus on gaining tenure and we wish her all the best. Dennis has joined the Council as an appointed member and will be leading the Ken Wang Scholar program. Both intend to remain active in the RM study group.

  • 22 October 2023 21:13 | David Foster (Administrator)

    Every three years we elect a new council to govern the organization. This year’s Symposium was the last one for the current council and at its conclusion a new council took over. The 2023-2026 Council consists of:

    • David Foster, Delta Air Lines, President
    • Richard Cleaz-Savoyen, Air Canada, Vice President
    • Laurie Garrow, Georgia Institute of Technology, Past President
    • Eric Ruhlin, United Airlines, Treasurer
    • Lisa Noell, Boeing, Secretary
    • Semi Gabteni, Groupe ADP, Symposium Co-Chair
    • Tim Niznik, American Airlines, Symposium Co-Chair
    • Sergey Shebalov, Sabre, Sponsorship Coordinator

  • 12 October 2023 09:57 | David Foster (Administrator)

    At the 63rd Symposium in Montreal last week, we were pleased to introduce 5 new Ken Wang Scholars.

    • Abdul Ahad Khan, Indian Institute of Technology - Kanpur
    • Haochen Wu, University of Michigan
    • Jenny Tonka, HEC Liège - University of Liège
    • Mohand Ryad Chelbani, Polytechnique Montréal
    • Xiyitao Zhu, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

    The Ken Wang Scholars program recognizes students who are in the early stages of their careers and are engaging in airline operations research. Details are on our Ken Wang Scholar webpage.

  • 09 October 2023 16:05 | David Foster (Administrator)

    Silver: Thomas Hagspihl, from the Technical University of Munich, Germany, has been recognized by AGIFORS as Winner of the 2023 Anna Valicek Award and was presented with the Silver Anna Valicek Medal for the paper “Apron Layout Planning - Optimal Positioning of Aircraft Stands”.

    Bronze: Jan-Rasmus Künnen, from WHU Otto Beisheim School of Management, Vallendar, Germany, has been recognized by AGIFORS as Second Place Winner of the 2023 Anna Valicek Award and was presented with the Bronze Anna Valicek Medal for the paper “The value of flexible flight-to-route assignments in pre-tactical air traffic management”.

  • 27 August 2023 16:17 | David Foster (Administrator)

    Our 63rd Annual Symposium in Montreal, hosted by Air Canada, is just over a month away on October 2–5, 2023 and it is shaping up to be a good one.

    The Technical Abstracts are now available on the Technical Program Abstracts page.

    There is still time to register using the link at 63rd Annual Symposium.

  • 14 August 2023 12:02 | David Foster (Administrator)

    We still have a few slots open for the Technical Program at this year's Symposium. We will fill them on a first-come, first-served basis, so don't delay submitting to avoid disappointment!

    The Technical Program provides a unique platform for airline experts and decision makers to come together and exchange ideas on key industry challenges. The Symposium will feature recent advancements of analytical solutions in revenue management, disruption management, schedule recovery, crew recovery, workforce planning, and predictive maintenance.  Many of these features will feature advanced analytics methods, including machine learning and AI.  Experts come from airlines, air transport associations, universities, industrial research labs, consulting firms, and vendors.

    Those interested in giving a technical presentation, please complete the online submission form HERE. If you have any questions please contact Lavanya Marla and Semi Gabteni (technical program co-chairs) at technical_chair@agifors.org

  • 10 August 2023 08:38 | David Foster (Administrator)

    In preparation for the Symposium, we are glad to announce the selection of the 2 finalists for the 2023 Anna Valicek Award competition:

    • Jan-Rasmus Künnen, WHU Otto Beisheim School of Management, Vallendar, Germany: The value of flexible flight-to-route assignments in pre-tactical air traffic management
    • Thomas Hagspihl, Technical University of Munich, Germany: Apron Layout Planning - Optimal Positioning of Aircraft Stands

    For the attendees interested in reading them ahead of the Symposium, the papers are accessible on the Anna Valicek Award page.

  • 21 July 2023 09:31 | David Foster (Administrator)

    We are delighted to welcome you to Montreal this October when (with a bit of luck) the full fall colors of the Canadian forest will be on display! In addition to 3+ days of technical presentations, we will be recognizing our student Anna Valicek finalists and Ken Wang scholars. The conference will be held at The Fairmont Queen Elizabeth, centered in a spacious conference room on the top floor with sweeping views of Quebec’s most populous city. There will be several networking events, including a Welcome reception on Monday evening, a sponsored dinner on Tuesday, and a networking event and Gala banquet on Wednesday. Sponsor booths will provide ample opportunities for interacting one-on-one with participants and showcasing products.

    The AGIFORS Symposium’s Technical Program provides a platform for airline experts and decision makers to come together and exchange ideas on key industry challenges. The Symposium will feature recent advancements in revenue management, disruption management, schedule recovery, crew recovery, workforce planning, and predictive maintenance. Many of these features will feature advanced analytics methods, including machine learning and AI. Experts come from airlines, air transport associations, universities, industrial research labs, consulting firms, and vendors.

    Event details can be found here.

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