T-Man

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Ant-Man is a 2015 American superhero film based on the Marvel Comics characters. It had box office receipts of over $519 million (on a budget of under $170 million).

My (ample) life is indeed a splendid privilege – allowing me to read voraciously, to be impatient with any obligation (hi Montaigne!), to be an anti-thesis to Jamesian regret over a wasted life – and my (playful, if not profound) posts savor it like silk threads on the loom of time. I recognize my good fortune of having constructed a vocation – Portrait of an Academic Capitalist as a Young Man – that provides me considerable independence for self-discovery. The literary types can easily situate me – given my framework of Transcendental Engagement – differently from Nietzsche’s Übermensch (“Meta-Man” or “Over-Man”) and GBS’ “Super-Man” as “T-Man” not entirely withdrawing from this world, aspiring to achieve jiva-mukti (see Paradise Reimagined) in 21st Century America:

Transcendent Man.

Life is a series of surprises exemplified by this wonderful email I received recently (even more startling than the one I received a few years back in Now to Wow):

Dear Professor Tayur, dear Sridhar if I may.

I hope this email finds you and your family well, and my best for the new year.

I was meant to be writing to you for quite some time.

I start with a big thank you; you do not know it, but you have been a huge influence in my life and my academic modus operandi.

Apologies for the lengthy email, but a little walk down memory lane is due: me and my close co-author Aris attending the (I think) 2006 INFORMS in Pittsburgh – rookies first ever INFORMS – me then a non-tenured Assistant Professor in the University of Manchester, and Aris just a step up with tenure in Salford. You give an amazing keynote – not about the science per se (many can do the math at the end of the day- much brighter people out there than us) – but on how we go about in life and academia

Two major highlights that changed everything for me: first the story you said about your first MBA lecture…

The second that had huge influence (especially my very often ‘a Capella’ presentations) is how you presented without slides – for most of that talk – and literally you were drawing a 2×2 graph in the air! And describing over that virtual graph (Minority Report stuff!) talking about…

The main reason I write you today is under my hat as Department Editor of Oxford IMA Journal of Management Mathematics. I would be honored if you would consider writing an article for us on many of your findings that have changed modern math-driven healthcare operations managementwe are looking for a provocative and visionary paper above and beyond what you find in mainstream OR/MS articles from a scholar that helped establish the field. It should be fun!

I really hope this is an interesting proposition for you.

Kostas

Just finished a super-fun zoom with Kostas Nikolopolous and Aris Syntetos discussing our profession and life 😊 and what could be the content for this invited article, and that it could go beyond healthcare, including these five topics that all have received a Best Paper Award from our community:

Overtesting (2012). OrganJet (2015). Liquid Biopsy (2021). Split Liver Transplantation (2022). Combating Child Labor (2022).

It is time for me to write a sequel – continuing to lead a life of intellectual leisure, one additionally of an Academic Philanthropist, as a natural evolution from only being an Academic Capitalist – to my An Essay on Operations Management (2017):

“Leisure, luxury, and the pursuit of newness” has been my mantra for what constitutes a “life of liberty,” and OM has allowed me to operate in the intersection of math, money, and morals. It is in the belief that many colleagues who wish to make an impact on practice— who hope that their final harvest will not just be a sheaf of mathematical formulae—could benefit from my experience and observations that I have written this essay, offering examples that depart from the mainstream, encouraging them to forge their own path. I hope that my cheerful insouciance—an untainted and joyous celebration of our kaleidoscopic choices—while hopping seamlessly from frivolous video games to lifesaving organ transplants, has not concealed my conviction that OM can be a channel for creating significant value in our society while retaining the aesthetic sensibilities that we academics value so much.

I was originally planning to title the post March Madness: I have a Keynote in Miami next Monday, Quantum for Billionaires? (and I need to make the slides soon 😳) and I am back at Harvard mid-March A la recherche de Dieu.😏

 Let me close with my variation of Oscar Wilde:

Life is too precious to be lived conformally.

1 comment

  1. Ha ha, Kostas was close. Your 1st Keynote was not in 2006 Pittsburgh, but 2007 INFORMS Seattle, as you recall. I invited you and chaired it. Yes, it was a fun and very dynamic talk. Just a little history … . Cheers! Kathy

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