Indianapolis 50

1979 0

No, it is not a typo, but just the fact that the time the Hawker 400XP was in the air, between Wheels Up (in Pittsburgh) and Wheels Down (in Indianapolis) was 50 minutes.


As the jet started on the runway, for fun, I clocked its 0-200 mph to see if I can match it, just the 0-100 mph part, on my Lucid tomorrow! (See Risky Business and The Sound of Silence.)

It was a wonderful October morning, clear blue sky above the clouds, rays of sunshine streaming through the windows, reminding me of:

October Sky is a 1999 American biographical drama film starring Jake GyllenhaalChris CooperChris Owen, and Laura DernOctober Sky is an anagram of Rocket Boys, the title of the 1998 memoir upon which the film is based. It tells the true story of Homer H. Hickam Jr., a coal miner’s son who was inspired by the launch of Sputnik 1 in 1957 to take up rocketry against his father’s wishes and eventually became a NASA engineer.

There is no direct commercial flight from Pittsburgh to Indianapolis, the drive is 5 hours, and I was scheduled to give a tutorial on Quantum Information Science via Semi-definite Programming. (See Śrīdhara Brāhmaṇa: QSD via SDP.) Thank you Doug Shier and Mabel Chou.

Dear Sridhar,

Many thanks for the excellent talk today. I was amazed how you made complicated concepts so easy to understand. I also picked up some teaching skills other than the research vision and attitude you showed us! I am sure all the audience benefited a lot from your talk too. Thank you!

Best Regards,
I called up my trusted sources – folks that routinely use for OrganJet – and they delivered a round trip, not only at short notice, which they are generally known for, but also, because of me giving them a lot of business for over a decade, at a remarkably affordable price! I have said this many, many times, including in my interview in 2010 about SmartOps, one of the most important things that is emblematic of my professional career is:

Long-term Relationships.

I am not a transactional person. I play the long game.

It was great to see so many folks in person, at 2022 INFORMS Annual Meeting, some after many years (and others after a few months), some for the first time (after many zooms or emails):

Dimitris Bertsimas. John Birge. Sridhar Seshadri. Peter Jackson. Christine Yu. Garrett Van Ryzin. Hemant Bhargava. David Simchi-Levi. Radhika Kulkarni. Gerard Cachon. Daniela Saban. Ozalp Ozer. Kamalini Ramdas. Sarang Deo. Mark Lewis. Robin Brown. Stefanus Jasin. Ozlem Ergun. Soroush Saghafian. Rene Caldentey. Jan Fransoo. Dan Iancu. Nikos Trichakis. Saif Benjafaar. Phil Kaminski. Sheldon Jacobson. Hamsa Bastani. Laurens Debo. Diwakar Gupta. Morvarid Rahmani. 

Tinglong Dai. Jay Swaminathan. Roman Kapuscinski. Tamminh Tran. Srinivas Bollapragada. Feryal Erhun. Vince Slaugh. David Bernal. Franco Berbeglia. Kyra Gan. Su Jia.

It was my INFORMS since 2012 (when I was made INFORMS Fellow), and, the first OM conference since MSOM in 2017 (when I was made MSOM Fellow). Of course, in the meantime, I attend other conferences – AQC at NASA Ames in 2018, APS in Boston and AQC in Innsbruck, both in 2019 –  but they were on quantum. At the MSOM Business Meeting today, it was (re-)announced that MSOM Best Paper Award went to our work (see True. No Lies!):

Combating Child Labor: Incentives and Information Disclosure in Global Supply Chains

As I landed back in Pittsburgh, it was just a day trip – the return was even shorter, 44 minutes! – I received this email:

Hi Prof. Tayur,

Our paper won first place in the DEI student paper award.

Thanks again for offering critical advice during my practice talk and for attending today’s talk! When I say “offering critical advice during my practice talk” I meant that I greatly appreciate your extremely helpful advice! Your advice significantly helped me improve.



I was about to post this when I received another email with the subject

 Re: George Nicholson Prize and Dantzig Prize both go to CMU!

Hi all,

Amazing news!  Ziv Scully and Isaac Grosof just won the INFORMS 2022 George Nicholson prize for the best student-led paper in all of Operations Research.

Also, Su Jia from CMU just won the INFORMS 2022 Dantzig Award for the Best Dissertation in Operations Research.  Congratulations to Su Jia and his advisor R. Ravi.

Best wishes,


In 1996, Jay Swaminathan won the Nicholson Prize (as did Bertrand Guenin in 1999),  and in 2012, John Turner won the Dantzig Prize. All Tepper PhD students. Today was just the first day of the conference. Will more prizes be won by CMU students (and faculty) over the next couple of days?

The last time I was in Indianapolis was about 20 years ago, invited by Eli Lilly to keynote a supply chain event. You may recall from Looking Back: October 7, 2017 (occasion of being inducted into the NAE) that GSK was SmartOps’ first customer; other Pharma companies that operate their global supply chains, optimizing their inventories, using our EIO software (now part of SAP) include:

Wyeth,  Pfizer, J&J.

Update (Monday October 17, 2022, 8.49am):

Subject: Best paper winner for PSOR competition!

Hi Prof. Scheller-Wolf and Prof. Tayur,

This is unbelievable but we won the PSOR award ☺️

PSOR stands for Public Sector Operations Research. The paper is on Split Liver Transplantation (see To Split, or not to Split?).

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