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Smith School of Business receives prestigious operations research and analytics teaching award

INFORMS, the leading international association for professionals in operations research and analytics, has awarded Smith School of Business at Queen’s University the 2020 UPS George D. Smith Prize. The award recognizes excellence in preparing students to become practitioners of operations research and analytics.

Smith submitted its world-class analytics ecosystem to the competition, which it has been building over the last decade. In 2013 the school launched its first degree program in management analytics, designed in response to a growing demand for managers who could interpret valuable business insights from data. Since then Smith has enriched its management analytics area with corporate and industry partnerships, including the Scotiabank Centre for Customer Analytics, established at Smith, and the Vector Institute. 

“We are honoured to receive the George D. Smith Prize from INFORMS. It’s a tribute to our global leadership in teaching the management of data analytics and AI, and a strong recognition of our faculty research and exceptional industry partnerships,” says Brenda Brouwer, Dean of Smith School of Business at Queen’s University.

Following the success of its Master of Management Analytics (MMA) program, Smith continued to graduate technically skilled managers with two more programs designed for working professionals: North America’s first management degree in artificial intelligence (MMAI) and a new analytics program delivered globally (GMMA). 

“What is unique at Smith is that analytics is included in not just one or two dedicated programs, but rather it is integrated throughout an entire ecosystem of connected, mutually reinforcing programs,” says Anton Ovchinnikov, Distinguished Professor of Management Analytics and a Scotiabank Scholar for Customer Analytics, who led the submission for Smith. 

A key component of the ecosystem’s success is interdisciplinary collaboration. Together with with Professor Samuel Dahan’s team at Queen’s Faculty of Law, Smith recently launched the Conflict Analytics Lab, which aims to advance global knowledge of how artificial intelligence intersects with the legal industry, specifically disputes and resolution. 

The Smith team has also created a suite of executive education programs, including a Trusted Data and AI course developed in conjunction with IEEE, the world’s largest technical professional organization, to ensure the ethical and responsible use of advanced analytics technologies.

“It would not have been possible to grow Smith’s analytics and AI ecosystem without the incredible support and early buy-in from the faculty at Smith, the school’s advisory board, former dean David Saunders and, of course, our amazing alumni who help us move from strength to strength by mentoring – and hiring – our students,” says Yuri Levin, executive director, analytics and AI, at Smith School of Business, Queen’s University.