One way to improve your writing skills is to read the best writers in your field.

Who are the best writers of OR?

Also, do you know of any journal articles or books that are especially well-written?

asked 23 Nov '11, 18:20

Hugh%20Medal's gravatar image

Hugh Medal
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retagged 06 Dec '11, 09:22

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fbahr ♦

Yea, who are the rockstars of OR? :) Any links to good presentations?

(24 Nov '11, 04:14) Geoffrey De ... ♦

Don't think there's much rock star glamour about nerdy OR.. :-)

(24 Nov '11, 04:21) Bo Jensen ♦

Two (kinda) obvious "places" to start with:


answered 24 Nov '11, 07:43

fbahr's gravatar image

fbahr ♦
accept rate: 13%

edited 24 Nov '11, 07:45

Indeed, O.R. is way too broad for a simple answer to that question.

Personaly, I enjoyed a lot two articles authored by John N. Hooker that I think should be mandatory for any O.R. professional:

Testing Heuristics: We Have It All Wrong

Good and Bad Futures for Constraint Programming (and Operations Research)

As for specific topics, I would point the following authors for their effort on writting review papers/books or developing general-purpose models:

  • Mathematical programming: Christodoulos Floudas
  • Planning and scheduling: Ignacio Grossmann
  • Constraint programming: Roman Barták
  • Combinatorial optimization: Alexander Schrijver

In what comes to my topic of research (mainly CP), I think that Bart Selman and Carla Gomes have been doing great research for the past decade or two.


answered 24 Nov '11, 07:35

Thiago%20Serra's gravatar image

Thiago Serra
accept rate: 1%

edited 24 Nov '11, 07:49

Gerald Brown's opinion on this subject can be found in the report, "How to Write About Operations Research"


answered 27 Nov '11, 19:12

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I personally like OResearchers that really can transfer their knowledge through their writings, beacuse listing technical details and research findings is the easiest thing to do. They usually offer simple tips derived from their experience and explain briefly -yet completely- complicated ideas.

The first name that comes to mind is Michel Gendreau.

His chapter about "Tabu Search" (co-writer Jean-Yves Potvin) in "Handbook of Metaheuristics" (2010) follows exactly the writing style I am talking about.

He explains TS principles in a very concise way and as for the small tips pointing important concepts, here are some examples:

"Thus, choosing a search space and a neighborhood structure is by far the most critical step in the design of any TS heuristic. It is at this step that one must make the best use of the understanding and knowledge he/she has of the problem at hand."

"Before closing this section, we would like to stress that ensuring proper search diversification is possibly the most critical issue in the design of TS heuristics. It should be addressed with extreme care fairly early in the design phase and revisited if the results obtained are not up to expectations."

In the same chapter there is also a section that focuses on this tutorial fashion writing:

2.7 Tricks of the Trade

Newcomers to TS trying to apply the method to a problem that they wish to solve are often confused about what they need to do to come up with a s uccessful imple-mentation. This section is aimed at providing s ome help in this regard.



answered 29 Nov '11, 15:38

Florents%20Tselai's gravatar image

Florents Tselai
accept rate: 7%

Peter Norvig and Sebastian Thrun are A.I. experts which partially covers OR related techniques.

Their A.I. book and online A.I. class is very good.


answered 24 Nov '11, 04:15

Geoffrey%20De%20Smet's gravatar image

Geoffrey De ... ♦
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answered 24 Nov '11, 04:59

jkr's gravatar image

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Your question is too broad, there are so many clever people writing good stuff, I don't think you will get a decent answer unless you specify a sub-area.


answered 23 Nov '11, 18:35

Bo%20Jensen's gravatar image

Bo Jensen ♦
accept rate: 14%

The "rockstars" in any field (like OR or Java), are usually the ones that can explain the broad basic stuff in a very detailed yet simple to understand manner. Examples of this in the Java community are Josh Bloch, Brian Goetz, Uncle Bob, ...: brilliant speakers who are able to teach you stuff on basic things you've been doing for years.

The specialist of a specific sub-area get much less love, just because their audience is much smaller and most of their audience haven't even got their feet wet that sub-area.

(24 Nov '11, 04:13) Geoffrey De ... ♦
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Asked: 23 Nov '11, 18:20

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Last updated: 06 Dec '11, 09:22

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