In November 2011, BYU mathematics professor Robin Roundy was inducted as a fellow in the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS). The institute inducted Roundy for his research accomplishments in operations research and management sciences.
INFORMS is a distinguished operations research society devoted to applying scientific methods to advance operations and management functions. This area of study focuses on applying advanced analytical methods and mathematics to help organizations make beneficial decisions.
Roundy was specifically recognized for his innovative research in supply chain optimization and for his teaching and contributions to the field of operations research.
“It’s a very nice thing,” Roundy said. “In addition to being a nice thing, it opens doors for you and makes it easier to accomplish things that you want to accomplish.”
Roundy’s research has focused on supply chains and converting raw materials into finished goods. He has addressed such areas as forecasting demand, planning production, transporting materials and sequencing manufacturing operations in factories.
Roundy’s excitement for operations research revolves around his ability to see real-life applications of mathematics to the business community. Even though operations research is a relatively new field, its influence continues to expand.
By becoming a fellow with INFORMS, Roundy will positively impact the Mathematics Department and its scope.
“Whether this has a big impact on the math department, it will certainly increase the visibility of the Math Department,” Roundy said. “It will increase the profile of the Math Department in the INFORMS community.”
Roundy graduated from BYU with both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in mathematics. He later earned his PhD in operations research at Stanford University, before becoming a professor at Cornell University. Roundy also served as a mission president before coming to BYU.
He is teaching optimization and linear algebra classes during the winter semester, while continuing his research.
“This career has given me the opportunity to do a lot of things that I really enjoy. I love research,” Roundy said. “I love working with students in different contexts — both teaching and working with students on research. I also really enjoy working with companies, and this has given me the opportunity to do all of those things.”