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Air Force, Walt Disney Co. receive operations research award

WASHINGTON (AFNS) -- Members of the Air Force Studies, Analysis and Assessments directorate joined leaders of the Walt Disney Company as co-awardees of the INFORMS Prize at a gala in Las Vegas, Nevada, April 3, 2017, for their pioneering and enduring integration of operations research and analytics programs.

The award is given each year by The Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS).

The goal of operations research, according to the INFORMS mission statement, is to turn complex challenges into substantial opportunities by transforming data into information, and information into insights for making better decisions and improving results.

Kevin Williams, the director of Air Force studies, analyses and assessments, accepted the award on behalf of the service and gave remarks.

“The Air Force’s commitment to operations research was forged 75 years ago in the urgency of World War II and continues today,” Williams said. “These efforts sharpen the warfighters edge. They help identify and call attention to emerging national security challenges and they provide the analytic basis for critical decisions by senior Air Force leaders.”

The award is given to organizations that have repeatedly applied the principles of operations research in pioneering, carried, novel and lasting ways. Past recipients of the award include General Motors, Intel, UPS, HP, IBM, Ford, Procter & Gamble and GE Research.

“Each year, INFORMS recognizes organizations that have leveraged (operations research) and analytics to improve nearly every facet of their decision-making process,” said Melissa Moore, the executive director of INFORMS. “This year, we are proud to honor both the U.S. Air Force and the Walt Disney Company for their shared recognition of (operations research) and analytics as core components of their success, as well as a commitment to furthering their use within each organization.”