Robert M. Freund, professor of operations research and management science at the Sloan School, has been appointed co-director of the Operations Research Center (ORC).
He has been serving as interim co-director of the ORC since the previous co-director, Professor Richard Larson of electrical engineering and computer science, became director of the Center for Advanced Educational Services. Professor Thomas L. Magnanti, Eastman Professor of Management Science, served as co-director along with Professor Larson and will continue in that role with Professor Freund.
In announcing the appointment, Professor David Litster, vice president for research and dean for graduate education, said, "When I sought faculty views on the procedure to follow in searching for someone to replace Dick Larson, I encountered the widely held and strongly expressed view that we should search no farther. Robert Freund was the person to get. I am grateful to Rob that he has agreed to serve and I know the ORC will continue to be ably led. I am also grateful to Dick for his years of service and wish him success as director of CAES."
"Rob Freund has been a mainstay of the ORC since he first arrived at MIT, contributing constantly and generously to the Center's intellectual life and the strong sense of community that it enjoys," Professor Magnanti said. "He has the deep respect of faculty and students and has done a marvelous job as the Center's acting co-director for the past two years."
Professor Freund received the bachelor's degree in mathematics from Princeton University and the MS and PhD in operations research from Stanford. He has been on the MIT faculty since 1983 and has twice won the Graduate Student Council teaching award for the Sloan School, as well as the 1995 Sloan School Award for Excellence in Management Education. His research interests concern the mathematics of constrained optimization problems that arise in engineering, applied science and management.
The ORC was founded more than 40 years ago by Professor Philip Morse of physics. It provides educational and research opportunities for faculty and students interested in the interdisciplinary application of ideas from engineering, management, mathematics and psychology to decision-making. It also serves as a focal point for much of MIT's activities in the field of statistics.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on September 18, 1996.