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INFORMS, the leading international association for operations research and analytics professionals, has awarded UT’s Haslam College of Business the 2018 UPS George D. Smith Prize for its business analytics program.

The Haslam College of Business was the first business school in the country to launch a master’s degree in analytics. The innovative curriculum, taught by award-winning faculty in the context of a true business environment that prepares students to become effective practitioners, focuses on the soft skills graduates need to excel. It has placed 100 percent of students in jobs within three months of graduation every year since its inception.

Stephen L. Mangum, dean of UT's Haslam College of Business.
Stephen L. Mangum, dean of UT’s Haslam College of Business.

“This award recognizes what truly makes business analytics here so impactful, with balanced programs that give our students experiential learning opportunities to apply their knowledge and the opportunities to connect with industry in a meaningful way,” said Stephen Mangum, dean of the college and Stokely Foundation Leadership Chair. “We appreciate having our faculty and the entire Department of Business Analytics and Statistics honored in this way.”

The college hosts an annual two-day Business Analytics Forum, which brings together more than 200 industry practitioners and students to share best practices, expand industry knowledge, and enable students to learn about current issues from industry partners. The program culminates in a capstone experience during which student teams partner with corporate clients—most of them Fortune 500 companies—on a challenging analytics project. Upon completion of the project, the teams present recommendations to executives from the client companies.

Named in honor of the late UPS chief executive officer—a champion of operations researchers—the UPS George D. Smith Prize is created in the spirit of strengthening ties between industry and the schools of higher education that graduate young practitioners of operations research. The prize is awarded to an academic department or program for effective and innovative preparation of students to be good practitioners of operations research or analytics.

“By combining a well-rounded curriculum with exposure to real-world problems in an actual business setting, the University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s Haslam College of Business MSBA is ensuring that its graduates will have a unique experience that sets them apart from other young talent entering the field,” said Melissa Moore, executive director of INFORMS.

The award was presented yesterday evening at the 2018 INFORMS Conference on Business Analytics and Operations Research, an annual event that draws more than 1,000 leading international professionals in analytics and operations research in the world. INFORMS is the world’s largest association of business analytics and operations research professionals, with more than 10,000 members.

Past recipients of the award include the US Air Force Academy; the H. John Heinz III College of Information Systems and Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University; the Centre for Operations Excellence in the Sauder School of Business at the University of British Columbia; MIT Leaders for Global Operations (LGO); the Naval Postgraduate School; and the Tauber Institute for Global Operations at the University of Michigan.


Katie Williams (865-974-3589,

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