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Thursday, 14 Dec 2017
ORinSchools (ORiS)

We’ve had even more requests for volunteers over the next 6 months and would love your help! Whether you've volunteered hundreds of times before (or haven't at all), regardless of if you've been working in your role a year or 10 years, it doesn't matter. We always need volunteers from a wide variety of stages in their careers and from different industries to help out and talk to people about what OR is (and how a great a career in it is).

A full list of current opportunities (sorted in date order) is below. If you would like to know more about any of the opportunities - such as time / exact location etc or to know what a visit involves, please let me know and I can send these on! E-mail us at 

  • Windsor, Maths Workshop - Thursday 11 January 2018
  • West Sussex Maths Workshop - Monday 22 January 2018
  • Northampton, FMSP Maths Workshop - Wednesday 24 January 2018
  • Warwick University, Maths Workshop – Wednesday 31st January 2018
  • Big Bang Hampshire, Exhibitor - Friday 23 February 2018
  • Eastbourne College, Careers Talk – Friday 23rd February 2018
  • Exeter Outreach Day Maths Workshop - Wednesday 28th February 2018
  • Northampton (at Silverstone Circuit), Maths Workshop and Careers Fair - Wednesday 28th February 2018
  • High Wycombe, Careers Fair – Tuesday 6th March 2018
  • Hayes, Greater London, Careers Talk – Wednesday 7th March 2018
  • High Wycombe, Careers Talk - Monday 12th March 2018
  • The Big Bang Fair, Birmingham - Wednesday 14 March until Saturday 17 March – 5+ VOLUNTEERS NEEDED
  • South Wales, Maths Workshop  - Wednesday 18 April 2018
  • The Big Bang Fair, Hampshire – Friday 27th April 2018
  • London Sixth Form, Maths Workshop - Wednesday 2 May 2018
  • The Big Bang Fair, Crawley – Saturday 12th May
  • The Big Bang Fair, Buckinghamshire - Monday 25 June 2018
  • The Big Bang Fair, Yorkshire and Humberside - Tuesday 26 June 2018
  • The Big Bang Fair, London - Monday 2 July 2018 until Friday 6 July 2018 – 5+ VOLUNTEERS NEEDED

Questions or comments? Drop us a line at 

Wednesday, 29 Nov 2017
ORinSchools (ORiS)

The OR in Schools (ORiS) iniativie liaises with teachers, lectures and educators to promote operational research (OR) and highlight potential careers. We have lots of interaction with students and recently, we've had some requests for work experience from those studying maths at Uni. 

If you offer work experience, please get in touch and let me know ( If you have a dedicated webpage or application process for university students (or even an informal process for school students), please send me the relevant details. I can either forward these on, or pop you in touch. 

A lot of students are studying maths or similar and are considering a career in OR. This is a great opportunity for them to learn more about your company and for you to get to know them!!

Thursday, 23 Nov 2017
Amy Patrick

Sir Alan Wilson, CEO of the Alan Turing Institute, was awarded a lifetime honorary membership to the Operational Research Society during its annual Blackett Memorial Lecture held at IET London on 23 November 2017. The award recognises his more than 50 years research and leadership related to operational research (OR), which is the science of making better decisions through the use of logic, mathematical modelling and analytical methods, and welcomes him to the OR community.

Sir Alan Wilson Honorary Membership

Sir Alan was responsible for the introduction of model building techniques which are now commonly used around the world. His body of research covers the use of mathematical modelling in the planning of cities in areas such as transport planning, demography and economic modelling. His current research is on the evolution of cities and the dynamics of global trade, migration, security and development aid. It embodies the OR tradition in its mix of modelling interconnected systems, borrowing methods from other disciplines, and accounting for the human aspects of problem-solving. His leadership of the Alan Turing Institute carries these features through to the developing discipline of data science.

OR Society President Ruth Kaufman said of his award: "This is an excellent moment for us to be recognising Sir Alan's many achievements with honorary membership of the OR Society. His work on urban analytics fits perfectly into the OR philosophy, and his work with the Alan Turing Institute will lead us to work even more closely together in future.” 

Sir Alan Wilson commented: “I am delighted and privileged to be made an honorary member of the Society. I have always believed in the importance of OR and I think this is particularly so in the age of big data, data science and AI. I will look forward to helping the Society in responding to these new challenges and opportunities, not least in my current role in The Alan Turing Institute.”


Notes for editors

1) The OR Society is the professional home of the operational research and analytics community. OR practitioners are people trained and experienced in finding effective approaches to real-world problems by using maths and science. The OR Society promotes the understanding and use of operational research in all areas of life, including industry, business, government, health, and education. The society is a registered charity which offers OR learning, encourages students to engage with STEM subjects, and facilitates pro bono consultancy services. See more at

2) Sir Alan Wilson was formerly Professor of Urban and Regional Systems in the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis at University College London and Chair of the Home Office Science Advisory Council and of the Lead Expert Group for the Government Office for Science Foresight Project on The Future of Cities. He writes the weekly Quaestio blog on research and interdisciplinarity, See full bio at

3) The Alan Turing Institute is the UK’s national institute for data science, which brings together researchers from computer science, mathematics, statistics, engineering and the social sciences to turn data into useful information. Understanding the societal implications of big data is one of The Alan Turing Institute’s key research priorities. See more at

Thursday, 16 Nov 2017
Cara Quinton

Would you like to get involved with REF 2021?

What is the REF?

The REF is the system for assessing the quality and impact of research in UK higher education institutions (HEIs). It was first conducted in 2014, and replaced the Research Assessment Exercise (RAE). The REF will be undertaken by the four UK higher education funding bodies: the Higher Education Funding Council for England, the Scottish Funding Council, the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales, and the Department for the Economy, Northern Ireland.

The REF exercise will be completed in 2021 and the results will be used by the four funding bodies to drive their allocations of research funding to HEIs. It will also provide useful benchmarking information and reputational yardsticks, and provide accountability for public investment in research and demonstrate its benefits.

The REF will be undertaken through a process of expert review. HEIs will be invited to make submissions which will be assessed by 34 subject-based expert sub-panels, working under the guidance of four main panels. Further information can be found here: and

You are also welcome to contact Kevin Glazebrook or Tom Archibald, who have been involved previously and are happy to discuss their experience with anyone seeking further information about serving on the Mathematical Sciences sub-panel ( or the Business and Management sub-panel (

ORS Nominating Main Panel and Sub-Panel Members

The Operational Research Society has been invited to nominate candidates to be panel members. We welcome applications from individuals with expertise in all aspects of operational research. We are seeking candidates from a diverse range of backgrounds, institution types and geographical regions. We particularly welcome candidates from groups previously under-represented on assessment panels, including women, people from black and ethnic minority backgrounds, and disabled people.

We are able to make nominations for the following:

  • Additional main panel members (with expertise in leading, commissioning or making use of interdisciplinary research, leading research internationally, or senior level experience in the commissioning, use or wider benefits of research)
  • Sub-panel members and assessors (including practising researchers, individuals with expertise in commissioning, applying or making use of research, and interdisciplinary advisers)

ORS Nomination Process

If you would like to be considered for nomination, please complete a REF 2021 Panel Nomination Application Formand send it with a short CV of no more than 2 A4 sides to by midday Thursday 30th November 2017. The Operational Research Society’s Selection Panel will then review all applications and submit nominations to the REF bodies. You will be notified of the Operational Research Society’s Selection Panel’s decision about your nomination by 20th December 2017. The REF bodies will then contact successful candidates in early 2018.

We are aware that many practising researchers in the OR area are not members of the Society. Please draw the attention of this call to any of your colleagues who may not otherwise have received it.

Wednesday, 25 Oct 2017
Cara Quinton

The Operational Research Group ( within the School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science, Queen Mary University of London (QMUL), invites applications for a fully-funded PhD studentship to work on a project funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.

The successful candidate will pursue a course of research investigating the application of computational search methods, such as evolutionary computation and meta/hyper-heuristics, to software engineering problems with a focus on real-world applications.

Candidates are expected to have a first class honors degree or Masters in Computer Science, Mathematics, Operations Research or related discipline, from a UK University or an equivalent standard from an overseas university. The successful candidate must have a strong programming background, as well as good analytical and communication skills. An understanding of mathematical optimization techniques, heuristic and hyper-heuristic search is highly desirable although not mandatory. The studentship is for three years, and covers UK/EU student fees as well as a tax-free stipend of around £16,500 per annum.

Informal enquiries can be made by email to Dr. John Drake ( who will supervise the project alongside Dr. John Woodward and Prof. Edmund K. Burke. Informal enquiries are strongly encouraged before a candidate submits an application. This studentship is advertised to start in September 2018, however an earlier start date is possible in the case of excellent candidates. More information is available at:

The closing date for the applications is 12th January 2018.

Interviews are expected to take place shortly after.

Monday, 23 Oct 2017
ORinSchools (ORiS)

ORin Schools have loads of events happening in 2018 and it’s shaping up to be a VERY BUSY year! We will need many volunteers to attend events with us to get the word out about education and careers related to operational research. We’re giving you tons of notice about future events so you can get them in your diary now. We've already booked a mixture of university and school visits, career talks and workshops.

Get in touch at for more information or to let us know if you'll be able to help us at any of these events:

Thursday 11 January 2018
Windsor, Maths Workshop  

Tuesday 16 January 2018
Middlesex University, Careers Talk
Monday 22 January 2018
Event and location to be announced  

Wednesday 24 January 2018
Northampton, FMSP Maths Workshop

Wednesday 31 January 2018
Manchester University, Careers Talk

Friday 23 February 2018
Big Bang Hampshire, Exhibitor

Wednesday 28th February 2018
Exeter Outreach Day

Wednesday 28th February 2018
Northampton (at Silverstone Circuit), Exhibition

Wednesday 14 March until Saturday 17 March
The Big Bang Fair, Birmingham

Wednesday 18 April 2018
South Wales, Maths Workshop  

Wednesday 2 May 2018
London Sixth Form Visit  

Monday 25 June 2018
The Big Bang Fair, Buckinghamshire  

Tuesday 26 June 2018
The Big Bang Fair, Yorkshire and Humberside  

Monday 2 July 2018 until Friday 6 July 2018
The Big Bang Fair, London

The best bit? Volunteering with us is a fun, free way to build your network, develop your skills and enhance your CV. Timings vary, so whether you’ve got just an hour or an entire day to give, we hope you’ll sign up for a volunteer opportunity close to your home or office in the list above.

P.S. Need a reminder of why volunteers like you are so important to the future of operational research? Check out OR in Schools on our website.

Tuesday, 10 Oct 2017
Amy Patrick

The  EURO Winter Institute on Lot Sizing and Related Topics is for 25 advanced PhDs and young Post-Docs to meet and learn from senior experts, to study various special topics in the context of lot sizing, and present relevant papers to peers.

The Institute will be held at the university campus of the European University Viadrina in Frankfurt (Oder), Germany. The closing date for applications is 31st October 2017 and notification of acceptance will be in December 2017.

There is no registration fee. The EURO Winter Institute will cover the accommodation in a single room, meals (breakfast and lunches) and social activities. Travelling expenses are not included. However, Scholarships for travel to (and from) the Institute are available from the OR Society.  Applications for Scholarships are being accepted from now until the deadline of Wednesday 31st January 2018 for any candidates who have already applied or intend to apply to the EURO Winter Institute. Applications should include a detailed CV, names and contact details of two independent referees (who must be members of the Operational Research Society), and a previously unpublished paper written by the candidate and which they intend to present at the Institute. Please send applications to the OR Society’s Research and Publications Officer at

Thursday, 5 Oct 2017
Amy Patrick

EURO is pleased to announce the travel-sponsorship of up to two participants to join the XXII ELAVIO - Latin- American Summer School in Operations Research ( Please find the Call for Participation at Participants must be studying in a EURO member country - see Please note that talks and lectures will be either in English, Spanish or Portuguese (in all the cases with English slides). Candidates selected MUST be proficient in English and either Spanish or Portuguese. Also please note that the deadline for students to apply to their National Society is 30th October 2017.

Friday, 15 Sep 2017
Amy Patrick

This is one article from the September 2017 edition of Inside OR, our monthly periodical available in digital and print formats to current members of the OR Society. ORS Members may sign in to see the full issue.

By Nigel Cummings

On 2 July this year, at the Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia (MERGA) conference, Australia’s Chief Scientist Dr Alan Finkel spoke about Florence Nightingale’s contribution to mathematics.

Florence Nightingale, OM, RRC, DStJ was born in 1820, in Florence, Italy. She was a born mathematician insomuch that, even as a child, her hobby wasbuilding statistical tables in which she captured trends in the vegetable output from the family garden. In later years she requested tutelage in mathematics and studied the subject for two hours every day. She actually became a maths tutor herself, before applying for a position as a superintendent in the British military. Then the career advancement that made her famous occurred: she was deployed to the battlefront as a nurse in charge, a battlefront where she collected extensive data in soldier mortality rates.

@YourLifeTeam via YouTube

Whilst the visits to the soldiers in wards at night were essential to monitor progress and administer additional medical
support, Florence also used these ‘rounds’ to collect statistical data on her hospital patients.

The data she collected formed the basis of an 850 page report that was published in 1858. That report is said to have saved thousands of lives by prompting major reforms in hospital practice. As her nursing career began to wind down she helped to establish the International Statistical Congress, and served as a data consultant in the US Army in the American Civil War.

At the age of 38, Florence Nightingale became the first female member of the Royal Statistical Society and Dr Finkel said that rather than being dubbed the “Lady of the Lamp” she should perhaps be renamed as the “Lady with the Logarithm”, because she saved more lives by her grasp of numbers than by her gift for nursing and she put data at the heart of healthcare as we know it today.

Dr Finkel said, “She should be known as the patron saint of mathematics”. He said Florence Nightingale “understood the incentives that led students in the study of maths… She understood the reality of maths from an early age and did not consider herself to be naturally gifted in maths, but she did believe she had the capacity to learn, and so she refused to settle for the level of maths education thought fitting for girls of her time. Instead she demanded from her parents the support to raise herself to something higher, something that would make it possible to participate fully in public life.”

Nightingale was not alone in her passion for numbers though. By the time Queen Victoria came to the throne in 1837, even politicians were using statistics to floor their opponents. What was unusual in these times was that a woman would enter the field of mathematics and produce work that could actually make a difference!

Everyone knew that in a war soldiers get shot. Everyone knew that people who were shot tended to die. What they didn’t know was that the vast majority of deaths in the Crimean War weren’t caused by wounds at all – they were caused by diseases like cholera and typhus. Regrettably military leaders didn’t implement the basic sanitary precautions in field hospitals and military barracks that would save lives by stopping the spread of disease.

With her medical skills, analytical mind, knowledge of mathematics and statistical derivation Florence Nightingale saw the problem but she needed her own ‘ammunition’ to prove her theories. She manufactured it in the form of data which she was then able to present graphically to her male ‘superiors’ and prove her case – she used the polar area diagram method to display her statistics she had so painstakingly gathered.

Her work delivered credible insight and clear, compelling displays of the causes of death, and the opportunities afforded to reduce mortalities. Suddenly the problem was no longer too abstract to be ignored. Those who saw her work and the graphical displays she produced became able to understand that the problems of mortality in field hospitals were fixable, lives could be saved.

Dr Finkel went on to say, “That is how a woman – a nurse – took on the top brass of the British military and won.” It was all done with mathematics and, what is more, perhaps the next time we think of Florence Nightingale it should be as a mathematician rather than solely a nurse.

“Evidence can give decisionmakers in all these communities the impetus and confidence to act. But it can only do so if we present it in an actionable form. It cannot be just a statement of problems. It cannot be just a statement of demands. It has to be written, and read, as a statement of opportunities.

“In many respects the redoubtable Ms Nightingale could be regarded as an early Operational Researcher, like her, we operate and provide solutions by delivering evidence which we derive from data utilising a vast array of tools at our disposal. Like her we present our evidence to stake holders and decision makers. Like her we make a difference!”

Read more about Florence Nightingale at: and

Tuesday, 12 Sep 2017
ORinSchools (ORiS)

 Think O.R. and Maths is important but not sure how you could promote it?

 Volunteers are a fundamental part of the outreach work we do - whether that's giving a career talk, attending a university job fair or running a workshop at a local school, an O.R. professional has the ability to enthuse, motivate and inspire younger students. 


The OR in Schools (ORiS) initiative, set up 10 years ago, promotes O.R. to young people and their teachers. It was created after a review highlighted a lack of awareness around O.R. and in a bid to fulfil the Society’s vision that “every school child knows what O.R. is”. ORiS connects with schools, colleges, and universities across the UK with the aim to engage and encourage young people to actively participate in Maths and O.R. techniques. ORiS want students to better understand where and why maths and O.R. might be used (and hopefully even consider it as a career).

Volunteers are an essential part of this – and we need even more members to share their expertise. Through an educational visit, young people are given the opportunity to actively engage with O.R. techniques and to better understand where and why they might be used. This can make all the difference - and set a student on the path to becoming an O.R. member themself!

We’re running three training sessions for volunteers so you have all the information they need to get involved. The training will include an overview of what the OR in Schools (ORiS) initiative is all about, the type of visits you could get involved in and practical tips to get started. You'll get the chance to take part in fun activities (such as playing with lego or board games) and of course the opportunity to network with others. We promise it will be lots of fun, and will equip you with the skills you need to run these workshops.

No prior experience is necessary - just enthusiasm to show young people how important maths and O.R. is!


1. Bristol – Monday 9th October 2017  (16:00 – 18:00)

Sign up here:


2. South Wales – Wednesday 25th October 2017 (14:00 – 16:00)

Sign up here:


3. Brighton – Thurs 2nd November 2017 (15:00 – 18:00)

Sign up here:


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