The Audacity of BOPE: An American Scholar

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The American Scholar” was a speech given by Ralph Waldo Emerson on August 31, 1837, to the Phi Beta Kappa Society of Harvard College at the First Parish in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

A copy of his speech is here.

As I mentioned in T-Man, I have been invited to write an article:

..we 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!

Mission Possible!

Mission: Impossible is a multimedia franchise based on a fictional secret espionage agency known as the Impossible Missions Force (IMF). It inspired a series of theatrical motion pictures starring Tom Cruise beginning in 1996.

Of course, I went to see the latest movie – Dead Reckoning: Part One – in the theater (Cinemark XD) on its opening weekend. It was entertaining! (See Top Fun from last year.)

Anyhoo, I took the writing opportunity to pay homage to Emerson, be playful with Obama and counter G.H. Hardy, all at once!

BOPE, an acronym that I just coined, stands for Business Optimizing Professor-Entrepreneur.

Back to Emerson (in 1837):

The so-called ‘practical men’ sneer at speculative men, as if, because they speculate or see, they could do nothing… Action is with a scholar subordinate, but it is essential. Without it, he is not yet man. Without it, thought can never ripen into truth. It is the raw material out of which the intellect moulds her splendid products… Thinking is the function. Living is the functionary… This time, like all times, is a very good one, if we but know what to do with it.

Here is my abstract:

Mathematical research (from a business school professor) that is published (in academic journals) can also substantially improve actual industrial practice in global supply chains? (Several Global 2000 companies have implemented his recommendations? SAP acquired his software startup?) Business mathematics can help improve fairness in access to organ transplants? (A US President  has invited him to the White House and a Nobel-winning economist has blogged  about his work? He is invited annually by WEF?) Can B-school mathematics facilitate the development of new types of quantum hardware? (NASA is using his lectures in their Feynman Academy and DARPA is funding his research?) I have three main messages in this unapologetic essay: (1) Free yourself from self-imposed constraints and explore a wider range of (new) problems and (arcane) mathematics; (2) Be bold and imaginative in developing (novel) solutions; and (3) Implement your ideas in practice, and scale them with a channel partner.

Looking forward to Oppenheimer (Fission Possible 😏) next week.

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