a new school year begins

I am getting ready for my first class on Monday, a course on statistics that is primarily taken by engineers.  It’s a fun course to teach, and I have been trying to transition myself out of summer research mode so that I can effectively engage the students and get them excited about statistics. It can be tough to teach to students outside of my department, since they always need more to buy into the course.  I’m up to the challenge. It’s hard for me not to get excited about using mathematical techniques to solve problems, especially if I get to talk about my research.

One of my sinister goals every semester is to try to recruit new students to the field of operations research through my courses. I’ve had various degrees of success.  Every semester, I show Sheldon Jacobson’s videos about operations research, which always make a good impression.  I may try the IBM Analytics YouTube video, too.  The INFORMS podcast is a good resource to share with my students, as are the many OR blogs that now exist.  What else am I missing?

On a related note, both Decidedly the Dwaffler and OR and Work ponder how to use OR more frequently at work, particularly for strategic decisions.  By exposing more students to OR techniques in the classroom, hopefully my students will retain that knowledge and know when to use OR at work a few years from now.  It will take me some time to become the kind of teacher that Peter C. Bell writes about in the new issue of OR/MS Today, but I am trying to do my part.

Thanks to INFORMS eNews for highlighting my blog!  I am touched that my blog posts about women receive positive feedback.

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