This grant provides funding for underrepresented minority graduate students to attend the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS) annual meetings for years 2011, 2012, and 2013. The students supported by this grant will either be engaged in the doctoral colloquium of the education forum of INFORMS or presenting a technical talk at the conference. Hence, the students will acquire necessary professional development skills to become an integral part of the operations research and management science profession. In addition, the experience gained through the professional development, the presentation of research, and the interaction with senior professionals in the field will positively affect the students' persistence to obtain a doctoral degree and practice in the field.
If successful, the efforts supported by this grant will increase the number and diversity of operations research professionals. Also, the interaction of the students with known professionals in the field along with other students will assist in developing a network of colleagues to provide guidance to further their careers. The primary goal of this work is to increase the exposure of underrepresented minority graduate students to researchers in operations research and vice versa, broadening the perception of both. The secondary goal is to foster these individuals into positions within the professoriate.