people with trophy
Friday, October 8, 2021

(Photo cutline: Attending the UPS George D. Smith Prize trophy presentation ceremony Friday were, from left to right, Ann Campbell, departmental executive officer, Department of Business Analytics, Tippie College of Business; Nick Street, associate dean for research and PhD programs, Tippie College of Business; Amy Kristof-Brown, dean, Tippie College of Business; Elena Gerstmann, executive director, INFORMS; Ranganath Nuggehalli, chief scientist, UPS. Photo: Miranda Meyer)

The Tippie College of Business at the University of Iowa was honored in ceremonies on Friday as one of the top colleges in the world for preparing students for careers in the fast-growing field of business analytics.

The college’s Department of Business Analytics was presented with the UPS George D. Smith Prize, which recognizes the leading university in the world for excellence in preparing students to practice in the areas of analytics or operations research. 

"We are honored to receive the UPS George D. Smith Prize from INFORMS,” said Ann Campbell, executive officer of the Department of Business Analytics and Henry B. Tippie Research Fellow. “It's a tribute to our mission of developing storytellers with data. This award is also a strong recognition of our faculty research and exceptional industry partnerships." 

Campbell said American businesses are continually increasing their analytics operations as they seek new and innovative ways to use data to improve efficiency. As they hire more and more graduates with analytics degrees, Tippie has filled the need by adding new programs and expanding existing offerings for students. The Business Analytics and Information Systems (BAIS) undergraduate major was reorganized and expanded; new certificate and master’s-level programs in business analytics were added for full- and part-time students; and the analytics doctoral program was strengthened.

As a result, enrollment growth in the undergraduate program grew from just 100 students in 2013-14 to 358 currently.

The master’s and certificate programs have seen similar enrollment trends.

Named in honor of the late UPS chief executive officer – a champion of operations researchers – the UPS George D. Smith Prize was created to strengthen 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.

The prize is awarded by the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS), the largest international association of analytics and operations research professionals.