Riches to RAGS (and Tayur 17!)

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RAGS – the first initial of our first names – is our family’s charitable foundation, and is the vehicle through which we make gifts.

On March 13, I enjoyed the Inaugural Kedia-Tayur Distinguished Lecture in South Asian American History, hosted by Nico Slate, Head of CMU History Department, delivered by Seema Sohi (see La Femme Nikki? for some background and for her companion article):

Archives of Anticolonialism, Surveillance, and Solidarities

Tracing Early South Asian American Histories of Activism

During the talk, Ganesh Mani had sent me a private chat message alerting me to the book Streets of Gold, which I purchased (and received the very next day, thanks to Amazon Prime), and it was a pretty good read. I would echo Al Roth’s blurb on the back of the book:

Fascinating and hard-to-put down history of American immigration, based on new sources of data, and conveyed by powerful story telling.

Chapter 4 is subtitled The Rags-to-Riches Myth, which is what triggered the first part of the title of this post.

This week, I received annual communication from several recipients thanking us for our gifts, including from IIT-Madras (RAGS Family Foundation Institute Chair, held by an OM Professor), CMU (we also contribute to funds that provide MBA student scholarships) and Cornell (including a fellowship that I named after my PhD advisor Robin Roundy, recall Portrait of an Academic Capitalist as a Young Man, that supports ORIE PhD students).

Of course, these have been made possible, in no small part, due to SmartOps (see Trillion Dollars of Inventory):

Academic Capitalism  facilitates Academic Philanthropy.

On March 15th, I received an email from Sri Talluri who is the EIC of Decision Sciences that Implementing Innovations in US Transplantation System has been accepted for publication. This is my Seventh 😳 invited paper (see Six Invited Pieces) and the acceptance timing (thanks Sri!) was perfect because earlier today, March 17th  was my invited lecture at the HKS-WEF Schwab Social Entrepreneur Leadership Program (38 participants from 18 countries) and I wanted to leave this paper as the post-talk reference material. Thinking about Seven:

Seven Samurai (Japanese: 七人の侍, Hepburn: Shichinin no Samurai) is a 1954 Japanese epic samurai action film co-written, edited, and directed by Akira KurosawaSeven Samurai is regarded as one of the greatest and most influential films in cinema history. It is regarded as one of the most “remade, reworked, and referenced” films in cinema.

The Magnificent Seven is a 1960 American Western film directed by John Sturges. The screenplay, credited to William Roberts, is a remake – in an Old West-style – of Akira Kurosawa’s 1954 Japanese film Seven Samurai (itself initially released in the United States as The Magnificent Seven).

The Magnificent Seven is a 2016 American Western action film directed by Antoine Fuqua and written by Nic Pizzolatto and Richard Wenk. It is a remake of the 1960 film of the same name, which itself was a remake of Akira Kurosawa’s 1954 film Seven Samurai.

Seven (often stylized as Se7en) is a 1995 American crime thriller film. It stars Brad PittMorgan FreemanGwyneth Paltrow, and grossed over $320 million (on a budget of about $34 million).

At dinner last night – at Julie Battilana’s wonderful home, thank you and Romain so much, along with Jacques (of WEF) and Brittany (HKS) – we discussed a variety of things (on-going scandals at Harvard 😏for instance), including that the OrganJet Case has been used in a variety of leadership programs  serving as a noteworthy example of how an outsider to the system parlayed his strengths – in spite of his weaknesses –  to make some worthwhile contributions (OrganJet, Nudge Videos).

I have lost count – see Back to School – but I believe this is my 17th invited talk at Harvard (here are my posts from 2023, 2022 and, skipping the COVID years, 2019), the number reminding of a movie that I saw at IIT-Madras in my undergraduate years (1982-86):

Stalag 17 is a 1953 American war film which tells the story of a group of American airmen confined with 40,000 prisoners in a World War II German prisoner-of-war camp “somewhere on the Danube”. The film was directed and produced by Billy Wilder, who with Edwin Blum adapted the screenplay from the Broadway play of the same name. The film stars William Holden in an Oscar-winning performance.

PS. Morning of March 18th, I woke up to this email about our paper Dynamic Exception Points for Fair Liver Allocation:


Decision: Accept

Dear Authors (this is to ensure anonymity):

Thank you for revising your paper and making it more impactful. I am delighted to accept your paper for publication in Service Science. Your work makes a simple, but powerful recommendation while being supported by a rigorous approach. In this sense, your work illustrates well the new strategic direction I want to pursue for Service Science. I hope your study will receive the impact it deserves—both practical and follow-up work.

Guillaume Roels



  1. I love those 4 Seven movies.

  2. Excellent!

  3. Speaking of Stalag 17 and Boston, have you seen Masters of the Air? I’ve found the history quite compelling and the series fantastic. And Harry Crosby was later a BU/Harvard Prof who lived in Newton until his death in 2010(?). Talk about managing operations with “usage-based loss”…

    1. I have not seen it, but will! Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

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