IFORS Education Resources:About

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The Education Resources Committee of IFORS is addressing the challenge of providing access to OR/MS educational materials worldwide. The impetus of the effort is the need for examples and ideas by faculty in Developing Countries. Often these faculty are “lone practitioners” or small groups of people with scant resources, and are particularly in need of access to materials — not only to what is usable on the Web (such as that indexed on most sites), but also what materials might be available through snail mail for free or for a small fee. This effort is not intended to compete with any existing effort, especially not with the INFORM-ED effort in the United States, the tutOR project in Australia, or the effort by people such as Valerie Belton and John Beasley in Europe, and Theo Stewart in South Africa (just to name a few). Rather, the Committee intends to identify the needs of the world community and to bring together the work of individuals across the world, and build upon their work to provide a value-added contribution.

Are YOU Creating OR/MS Educational Materials? We would like to know!

A few years ago, the IFORS Educational Resources Initiative was launched to catalog materials from across the globe so that all faculties could have the benefit of an international perspective, and of the creativity of colleagues world-wide, when teaching OR/MS. Although some materials have been cataloged, the list is significantly biased toward materials available in English, and available in North America. While they are great resources for anyone to use, they do not fulfill the mission of the committee which was to provide an international catalog that crosses the barriers of language, application and country of origin.

Clearly we are already aware of some people who are creating, cataloging and supporting OR/MS educational materials worldwide. However, we suspect we are not aware of even a fraction of the materials that are available. In particular, we know we are ignorant of materials that do not appear in English, or which have a particular national focus.

For example, one resource of which we have only recently become aware is the Portugese-English Dictionary created by APDIO (http://www.apdio.pt/DicIO/), which contains translations of over 1500 OR/MS terms. Clearly this is a wonderful resource that needs to be included in our catalog, but which we would not have found without the help of the Portugese Operational Research Society.

Another example is the work in Community Operational Research (originally an ORS initiative) housed at the Lincoln School of Management which highlights OR/MS practice, and some work undertaken by students under supervision of OR/MS faculty. Publicity of such an initiative can encourage other faculty to begin similar efforts, and may even motivate capable students. We would not have found this without help of people at Lincoln School of Management.

This makes us wonder what other wonderful resources might be available, but of which we are not aware. So, the Committee is requesting YOUR help! Please share your secrets with us.

Do you use materials in your classes about which we might not be aware?

We REALLY want to know about the resources available for faculty and students. If you know of resources, please send us a list of them and how they might be acquired (URL for web materials; email or snail mail address for other materials). If you know of people involved in the creation of materials, please tell us who they are. Of course, if you are interested in working on this project, we welcome you!

We would be grateful for a response from you at your earliest convenience. You can send information to me via email at webmaster@ifors.org.

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