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New prize honours late Smith professor Jeff McGill

Posted on November 25, 2019
Jeff McGill, late professor emeritus at Smith.
Jeff McGill, late professor emeritus at Smith.

Kingston, Ont. – For Smith professor Jeff McGill, recognition from the Revenue Management and Pricing (RMP) Section of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS) was a special highlight. In 2008, McGill won the Historical Research Prize. In 2013, he won the Practice Prize (with Smith colleagues Yuri Levin and Mikhail Nediak).

Now, a year after his death, McGill is being recognized again – this time with a prize in his honour. 

The Jeff McGill Student Paper Prize will be awarded each year for an outstanding revenue management and pricing paper written primarily by a student. It will carry US$1,000 in prize money from Smith School of Business. 

The naming of the prize was announced last month at the RMP Section business meeting at the INFORMS annual conference in Seattle. The prize pays tribute to McGill’s significant contributions to operations research and analytics and his passion for educating young researchers and practitioners.

Smith professors Mikhail Nediak and Anton Ovchinnikov, as well as McGill’s long-term collaborator and one of the field’s most impactful researchers, Garrett van Ryzin, professor at Cornell Tech, gave short tributes. Van Ryzin praised McGill’s never-ending curiosity and “true Canadian modesty,” highlighting also that it was, in fact, McGill’s work that drew him to the revenue management and pricing research that defined his career. 

This year the prize was awarded to Duke PhD student Chen Chen for his paper, “Dynamic Pricing of Relocating Resources in Large Networks.” 

A longtime Smith faculty member and professor emeritus, Jeff McGill studied dynamic pricing and revenue management. His work was recognized by peers many times and he was an early expert in the area of transportation and airline pricing. McGill passed away in August 2018. He was 68.

INFORMS is the leading international association for professionals in operations research and analytics, and the RMP Section is its subdivision bringing together academics and industry practitioners interested in studying how to better match the supply of a good or service with its demand through data-driven analytical pricing.