RAS (Railway Applications Section), a subdivision of INFORMS (Institute for Operations Research and Management Sciences), is sponsoring a student research paper contest on analytics and fact-based decision making in railway applications.
Operations Research (OR) and the Management Sciences (MS) are professional disciplines that deal with the application of information technology for informed decision making. OR/MS professionals aim to provide rational bases for decision making by seeking to understand and structure complex situations and to use this understanding to predict system behavior and improve system performance. Much of this work is done using analytical and numerical techniques to develop and manipulate mathematical and computer models of organizational systems composed of people, machines, and procedures. RAS provides a forum for bringing together practitioners, consultants, and academics interested in applying OR/MS techniques to the railroad industry. RAS activities include roundtables, paper sessions at INFORMS national meetings, workshops, and focus groups. Roundtables provide attendees with a unique opportunity to explore, in-depth, topics ranging from eBusiness to simulation to network modeling together with a panel of experts. Paper sessions feature the latest in OR/MS research pertaining to the rail industry.