Recently, Melissa Moore, Executive Director of INFORMS sent me an interesting paragraph from the TIMS/ORSA Action Minutes-Joint Council Meeting, April 22, 1974. It is from the proposal for a Journal of Mathematical Operations Research and was discovered when doing research for the obituary for Kenneth Arrow.
“Some feel operations research is an applied discipline and that the attention of its journals should be restricted to problems of immediate practical interest. While we recognize the importance of practical applications, we also think it is essential to the long run vitality of operations research that support be given to high level innovative mathematical work in the field on difficult and important problems. A deeper understanding of the complexity of decision making in large organizations requires new and sophisticated mathematical ideas. Indeed it is from the insights gained in such work that the applications of tomorrow are likely to draw.”
How times have changed! The top journals in operations research most definitely focus on new and sophisticated mathematical ideas. In fact, Mathematics of Operations Research exclusively publishes theory foundational studies with significant mathematical content and relevance to operations research and management science.
You can read about a few of the important contributions made in these journals in these blog posts: