Former Treasury Secretery O'Neill will urge scientists in Pittsburgh to speed social change

Productivity is rising at a rapid pace in the U.S. economy. The combination of systems analysis "a kissing cousin to operations research" and the implementation of ideas that produce continuous learning and continuous improvement is a major contributing factor.

At the same time, important sectors of our society such as medical care and primary and secondary education have been left behind. Much systems analysis of these sectors has been done but actual implementation of proven beneficial change has been painfully slow.

Secretary O'Neill says, "The challenge for operations researchers is to turn their talents to understanding why change has been so slow to come in these critical sectors and to devise ways to accelerate progress."

EVENT: Systems Analysis and Social Action: The Basis of Hope for a Better Future
DATE: Monday, November 6, 2006
TIME: 3:10 - 4 PM
PLACE: David L. Lawrence Convention Center, Ballroom B, Pittsburgh, PA

Paul H. O'Neill was the 72nd Secretary of the U.S. Treasury, serving from 2001-2002. He was chairman and CEO of Alcoa from 1987 to 1999, and retired as chairman at the end of 2000. Prior to joining Alcoa, O'Neill was president of International Paper Company from 1985 to 1987, where he was vice president from 1977 to 1985. He worked as a computer systems analyst with the U.S. Veterans Administration from 1961 to 1966 and served on the staff of the U.S. Office of Management and Budget from 1967 to 1977. He was deputy director of OMB from 1974 to 1977. Secretary O'Neill is the subject of the #1 New York Times bestseller by Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Ron Susskind, "The Price of Loyalty: George W. Bush, the White House, and the Education of Paul O'Neill."

Over 3,000 operations researchers are expected to attend the INFORMS Annual Meeting November 5-8 in Pittsburgh. The meeting's theme is Celebrate the Renaissance of Operations Research. Information about the annual meeting is at Additional plenary speakers include IBM Vice President William Pulleyblank, Patrick Harker, Dean of the Wharton School, and Sheldon Jacobson, author of a recent study linking obesity to Americans' gas consumption.


The Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS®) is an international scientific society with 10,000 members, including Nobel Prize laureates, dedicated to applying scientific methods to help improve decision-making, management, and operations. Members of INFORMS work in business, government, and academia. They are represented in fields as diverse as airlines, health care, law enforcement, the military, financial engineering, and telecommunications. The INFORMS website is More information about operations research is at

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 30 Apr 2016
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