Feb 2 2022

In memory of Christopher Langford (1941- 2022)

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LSE is deeply saddened by the news of the passing of Christopher Langford, who died aged 80 on 20 January 2022.

Chris was an emeritus reader in Demography in the department of Social Policy at the LSE. He started working here in 1967 until he retired in 2001. Retirement was just in name as he was keen to come to the LSE to work and could be seen in the research lab until a few years ago.

His first work at the LSE was to take charge of the implementation, data preparation and analysis of the 1967-68 Population Investigation Committee survey of fertility and contraceptive practice in Great Britain, and wrote the final report (C.M. Langford, Birth Control Practice and Marital Fertility in Great Britain, 1976). His first stream of work mainly focussed on contraception and abortion in the UK. Subsequently he worked on the demography of Sri Lanka being one of the first scholars to explore the richness of its registration and census data.

During his retirement his focus was mainly around famine and influenza including again focussing on Sri Lanka, then China and London. Interest in Sri Lanka included learning Sinhalese and immersing himself in local culture rather than analysing remote survey data. One of Chris’ major contributions was arguably in teaching. He taught a course on demographic methods that had over 200 students at one stage. His major achievement was in the establishment and leadership of the MSc in Demography at LSE, which provided well-trained cohorts of students who have made a substantial contribution to the subject’s skill base around the World. Chris always put his students at the heart of his work and will be remembered fondly for his empathy and attention to detail.
He loved talking to colleagues and students alike whether while in the research lab in social policy or down the pub over a pint of Black Sheep (on which he had shares). Chris will be remembered by colleagues and students that have met him for his ability to make everyone feel at ease, tell a demographic tale in the most interesting way and engage in a conversation about historical pandemic facts. He was a firm believer in the importance and power of regular informal meetings with colleagues, and junior colleagues benefitted from his weekly coffee meetings in the 4th Floor restaurant – where he dispensed advice and coffee in equal measure.

His annual trips to the pantomime at the Theatre Royal in Stratford were legendary – organised so that international students saw a slice of idiosyncratic British culture – were a firm favourite of his students, long before “The Student Experience” became a core element of university practice. Chris was infamous for his waste-not-want-not approach, notably his ability to use pencil stubs and 1970s computer punch cards in lieu of notebooks.

He leaves a huge legacy of affection and respect from over his three decades at LSE.

Posted by: Posted on by Stahley,J

Jan 27 2022

In memory of Adrian Hall (1949-2021)

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It is with great sadness that LSE learned of the death of Adrian Hall, who died aged 71 on 13 December 2021.

Adrian spent his entire working life in higher education. After serving as President of the Students’ Union at Royal Holloway, his first post was at the Committee of Vice Chancellors and Principals. After this he moved to the London School of Economics and Political Science where he met his wife, Sarah.

Adrian worked at LSE for 40 years, completing his career as the Head of Administration. Described as a force of nature, his range of experience, his phenomenal capacity for hard work, his innovative approach and sense of humour in difficult situations were all very much valued and made him a dedicated LSE servant.
Mark Thomson, Academic Registrar, remembers Adrian as his first boss at LSE.

“I’d made it to the second round of interviews for a role in what was then known as the Secretariat. Adrian was on the panel this time and it was utterly nerve-wracking. Amidst the standard questions of “Can you give an example of a time you…”, he blindsided me with “How do you know something’s finished?” Not a question for which I had prepared. But I discovered that by providing half a competent answer, followed by a pause, Adrian was ready to step in and answer his own question. I made a mental note of this stalling technique and used it for years afterwards, learning about successful and steely administration from a master practitioner.

“Adrian was a skilled strategist and canny political operator, with a network whose tendrils reached into every nook and cranny of LSE. He was a fleet-footed administrator who could nudge the wheel of LSE’s governance machinery with a gossamer touch or with fearsome firepower – whatever was required.

“Working with him in those early years was often not less nerve-wracking than that initial interview, but I certainly owe him a debt of gratitude for influencing my development as a neophyte administrator. He showed me how to see the big picture.”

Adrian will be missed by so many across our LSE community, and beyond. Members and friends of our School are invited to share their own memories and reflections of Adrian in the comments below.

Posted by: Posted on by Stahley,J

Jan 24 2022

In memory of Paul Myners (1948-2022)

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LSE is deeply saddened by the death of Paul Myners, Lord Myners, who died aged 73 on January 16.

The former Marks and Spencer chairman and City minister in Gordon Brown’s government, joined LSE in 2015 as Chair of the Court of Governors and Council. He used his business and financial skills to ensure that the School remained financially robust and to underpin its strategic aims. In particular, he supported the School’s ambitious campus development, including the Centre Building and the Marshall Building. He also oversaw a review of School governance and management structures to reinforce effective management and oversight.

A bold and colourful character from humble beginnings, he was committed to the role of education in facilitating social mobility. He supported the vision of the school to engage, to modernise, to attract the best students and academics, and to compete internationally with the world’s top universities.

In an interview with the Financial Times published in 2016, Lord Myners said he found his work with LSE very fulfilling and that he enjoyed interacting with students on campus. He explained how he relished going to the School’s Garrick restaurant to speak with them to find out how their experiences could be further improved.

He combined his posts at LSE with several financial roles, including positions at RIT Capital Partners, Autonomous Research and Cevian Capital, and at Edelman, the PR firm.

His distinguished and varied career began with short stints as a teacher and a journalist. He moved into the financial sector in 1974 as a junior portfolio manager at N M Rothschild & Sons and was appointed to the board just three years later. He then became CEO of the pension fund manager Gartmore in 1985 and its Chair in 1987, spending the majority of his City career there until 2001. He was awarded a CBE in 2001.

From 2004 to 2008 he chaired the Tate, presiding over a period of considerable development in both the collection and the fabric of the galleries themselves. He was the Chair of Marks and Spencer from 2004-06. Other past chairmanships include the Guardian Media Group, Land Securities and the Low Pay Commission. He was also a member of the Court of the Bank of England from 2004-2008. These chairmanships were relinquished when he was created a Life Peer in 2008 and became Gordon Brown’s City minister, responsible for overseeing the financial services sector during the global financial crisis, including leading the historic bank rescue package. He sat in the House of Lords as a Labour peer until 2014, resigning to become a non-affiliated member before joining the crossbench group in 2015. In 2016, he became University Chancellor of the University of Exeter.

Outside business and public service, he was a passionate supporter of Chelsea Football Club.

Gordon Brown led tributes to Lord Myners: “After a successful career in finance, he was persuaded in 2008 to enter public service and was a tower of strength, helping nationalise key banks and producing a plan to overcome the global financial crisis. His charitable work in his native Cornwall will be long remembered.”

Written by Alan Elias JP, former Vice Chair and Acting Chair of Court and Council.

Posted by: Posted on by Stahley,J

Jan 13 2022

In memory of Athar Hussain (1943-2021)

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It is with great sadness that we announce the death of Athar Hussain. Athar died peacefully in hospital in October 2021 after a long illness. His wife Jill Hodges and their daughter Lalla were at his bedside. He had been a devoted and prolific Research Fellow at LSE for almost three decades,  funded by commissions and grants. He was a member of the India Observatory and Head of the LSE South Asia Research Centre.

His fields of research were development economics, alongside welfare and public policy – richly comparative because the areas of his research included not only his native Pakistan but also India, China, and more recently Vietnam. Before these more empirical policy studies he was engaged in more theoretical expositions and critiques. Throughout he was a congenial collaborative researcher and co-author.

Professor Nick Stern recalls an outstanding intellectual with an extraordinary range of interests and skills (plus a mastery of a range of languages including Chinese):

“We met first as graduate students in 1968 in Oxford and I learned from him continually over a friendship of over more than half a century. In our early days we discussed a lot of economic theory, planning, and public policy. He appeared to have read everything from serious philosophy to the most mathematical of modelling. It was as a scholar of China that he was probably the best known and so many of us would look to him for guidance.

“He could discern not only the big picture and the arc of history but also the details of what was actually happening. I remember him at a joint meeting of the British Academy and the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences carefully explaining the functions and difficulties of the Hukou, or household registration system, in a way that was really helpful to many China scholars. He was also an immensely kind person always ready to help including, in my case, lending a splendid ‘flying pigeon’ bicycle for me to use in Beijing. He contributed to LSE including for an extended period as head of the South Asia Research Centre.

“Athar brought many Chinese students to the school, some of whom worked closely with us in STICERD. One of them, Wang Limin, has written that the many waves of young Chinese officials taught by Athar received economics training and were helped to connect research directly with policy-making, and many of them are now working in high places in China.”

Professor Stephan Feuchtwang recalls an intellectual, a work comrade and a friend:

“He was an important part of my life. We had each read Marx’s main works carefully. He and I shared a network of critical Marxists. He co-authored with Keith Tribe studies of Marxism and the agrarian question, with Paul Hirst and others a study of Marx’s Capital and capitalism today, with Mark Cousins a study of the thought of Michel Foucault, and with me studies of the Chinese economy in the nineteen eighties. More recently he did me the favour of asking me to join him in a team of researchers to study urbanisation in China, in this century.

“As a personal friend I fondly remember his acquisitiveness of languages, not just Chinese but Italian. One vivid memory is of us walking up a mountain in the Apuan Alps, he plugged in to a taped Italian lesson. Then he acquired a capacity to read Chinese economic and demographic statistics, having learned the characters for their categories, so as not to rely on their translation into English. From there amazingly he learned through friendship with Chinese colleagues to speak and collect from them idioms and colloquialisms. I had spent university years learning to read Chinese and many months in China to speak. He put me to shame. My parental language is German, and my second language, after English is French. Athar could speak and read German and French better than me, and now threatened to better me in Chinese, though not in Italian.

“I am indebted to his analyses of Chinese economies in many ways. When we organised the seminars that resulted in our volumes on the Chinese Economic Reforms in the Eighties, he was indispensable not only for his study of the Chinese economy, but also in providing comparisons with the Hungarian and other “post-socialist” economic reforms. In the core course of the master’s degree I designed at LSE on China in comparative perspective, his papers on post-socialist “transition” and on the financial sector in the new Chinese economy were indispensable.

“I am grateful in particular for two key contributions. One is the measure of excess deaths that can be gathered from Chinese official statistics as a measure of the Great Leap Famine, 1959-61. The other is that the post-Mao economic reforms should not be judged merely in terms of orthodox economic notions of efficiency, but to see the creation of labour-intensive industrial units as increasing employment and the spread of income.

“We both treasure our times and our work together with him. We will miss him.”

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Oct 18 2021

In memory of Professor George Philip (1951- 2021)

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The Department of Government is deeply saddened by the death, on 13 October, of George Philip, Emeritus Professor of Comparative and Latin American Politics at the LSE.  Born in London in 1951, George Philip received his doctorate from Oxford University and joined the Department of Government in 1976. In a distinguished academic career that spanned over 40 years, he became one of the leading Latin Americanists of his generation.

George Philip’s academic writings addressed key issues of Latin American politics and political economy.  His early works focussed on oil and politics in Latin America (Oil and Politics in Latin America: Nationalist Movements and State Companies), a topic on which he wrote extensively throughout his career. But his work was not defined by narrow specialisms (he defined himself as fox rather than a hedgehog in Isaiah Berlin’s terms). He covered, among others, questions about military power (The Military in South American Politics) the condition of democracy in the region (Democracy in Latin America: Surviving Conflict and Crisis?) and the region’s turn to the left in the early 21st Century (The Triumph of Politics. The Return of the Left in Venezuela, Bolivia, and Ecuador). George Philip had a special interest in Mexico, a country in which he had an extensive network of academic and political contacts and from where many of his doctoral students came from. His 1992 book, The Presidency in Mexican Politics, became one the most authoritative works on Mexico’s political institutions of the time.

George Philip introduced several generations of both undergraduate and postgraduate students to the politics of Latin America. He had the talent to make the complex politics of the region understandable and compelling for an audience that may have no previous knowledge of it.  His graduate seminars often adjourned to one of the LSE pubs, where discussions about politics continued and mixed with debates about culture and, of course, his beloved football.  He tutored a large number of PhD students, many of whom went to have important positions in public life in their home countries and made a point of visiting him when back in London.  He was a generous mentor for both postgraduate students and junior colleagues.  Behind the façade of an Oxford-educated English academic, he had a great sense of humour and was easily approachable.

George Philip occupied positions of responsibility in the Department and in the School. He was Convenor (Head of Department) between 2004 and 2007. At School-level he served as Vice Chancellor (Academic) and in several School committees.  Those who worked with him knew his quality. George Philip will be remembered as a top academic, a kind and decent man a generous mentor, and a proud Professor in the Department. He is survived by his wife, Carol.

Contribution by Professor Francisco Panizza 
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Aug 18 2021

In memory of David Marsden

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It is with great sadness that we inform you of the passing of Professor David Marsden, who died unexpectedly on Tuesday 10 August 2021 following complications of cancer treatment. Our deepest sympathies are with David’s wife, Professor Alice Lam, and his son, Antony Lam-Marsden.

David joined LSE as a Lecturer in the Department of Industrial Relations in 1980. He had a long and distinguished career at LSE, first in the Department of Industrial Relations where he was promoted to Professor, and subsequently in the Department of Management. As his wife Alice has said, David ‘was ultimately an LSE man and totally dedicated to his work.’  This commitment shone through in his scholarship, his teaching and generous collegiality. As David’s close colleague Jonathan Booth put it, ‘David was not only a colleague, he was a friend, mentor, and champion for junior faculty and supportive to many others – from students at all levels to professional services staff.’

David was an original and creative scholar. A talented linguist, David excelled at cross-national comparison and thought deeply about the origins and durability of institutional diversity. In his influential book, A Theory of Employment Systems: Micro-Foundations of Societal Diversity (1999, Oxford University Press), David developed a novel theory of how institutions shaped work organisation and employment relations within firms. He had wide interests in employment relations, publishing important studies on youth employment and training, performance related pay, performance management and individual employee voice. David also made significant policy contributions, authoring numerous reports and acting as an adviser to the European Commission, the International Labour Organisation, the OECD, the World Bank, and to various UK trade unions. Throughout his work, David was concerned to improve conditions for ordinary people, in the workplace and society.

Not only did David publish in all the major industrial relations journals, he also founded two journals. David was a founding editor of Industrielle Beziehungen (the German Journal of Industrial Relations), and, together with Alex Hicks, he also founded Socio-Economic Review (SER), acting as editor from 2001-2006. Establishing journals is a rare accomplishment; these thriving journals stand as a lasting tribute to David’s intellectual enthusiasm and creativity. In addition, David served as an editor of Travail et Emploi (a research journal published by the French ministry of labour), was co-editor of the International Public Management Journal between 2005 and 2011, and served as general editor of the British Journal of Industrial Relations from 2012 until his death. His support for interdisciplinary work was expressed by his long-standing relationship with the Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics (SASE), serving as SASE President in 2002-2003 and acting as organiser for the network on “Labour Markets, Education, and Human Resources” over several decades, where he welcomed generations of young international scholars into SASE.

David was a dedicated teacher, who enjoyed taking students on an intellectual journey. For many years he taught Comparative Employment Relations and later Comparative Human Resource Management, sharing his sophisticated understanding of cross-national diversity with students. Most recently, David taught Negotiation Analysis, a labour of love which was deeply appreciated by students. He was rightly proud of his successful leadership of this course, for which he received an LSE ‘Excellence in Education Award’ in 2018.

David was also an active citizen of the Department and LSE. Among his many roles, he served as a Member of Council 2008-2013 and Vice-Chair of the Academic Board 2010-2013. He was also Head of the Department of Industrial Relations 2001-2004, and Faculty Group Lead of ER-HR from 2015.

David was hugely appreciated by colleagues not only as a scholar, but for his kindness, warmth and generosity. He was unfailingly considerate and thoughtful, fostering a culture of mutual respect and support. He nurtured and encouraged many young scholars. It was a privilege to work with David; he will be greatly missed.

In David we have lost an inspiring scholar, colleague and friend, who will be long remembered at LSE and across the scholarly community.

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Jun 15 2021

In memory of Lucien Paul Foldes (1930-2021)

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Lucien Foldes on the right in conversation with a female colleague. The image is black and white, and the two are in a library.Lucien Paul Foldes (1930-2021) is remembered as a much respected pioneering innovator of mathematical finance, mediating between the fledgling theory of mathematicians and established economic theory, with martingale utility-gradient methods his legacy. Engaging and collegial, quiet but sharp-witted, impeccable in both style and mathematics, he was a true gentleman of the old order – born in Vienna of Austrian-French-Hungarian parentage. Orphaned (in 1935) by the loss of his father, he emigrated to England in summer 1938 with his mother, ordained by an employment-bound visa to a post as cook to Professor Morris Ginsberg (LSE Sociology). At their hosts’ instigation, he attended Bunce Court School in Faversham, Kent (1938-1945) and Monkton Wyld School in Charmouth, Dorset (1945-1947), both progressive, then as a second-year entrant into LSE (from Regent Street Polytechnic) he read for the B. Com. (Industry and Trade), Professor Sir Arnold Plant being his tutor. In 1950 he gained First Class Honours and in 1952 an MSc. (Econ.) in Business Administration. Appointed in 1951-52 Assistant in Economics at LSE, then in 1954, on returning from compulsory National Service, Assistant Lecturer, he was promoted to Lecturer in 1955, Reader in 1961 and Professor in 1979, he retired in 1996 as Emeritus Professor of Economics, remaining throughout a member of the Financial Markets Group and the Systemic Risk Centre.

Earliest research focussed on theoretical problems of costs, capital, welfare and uncertainty, alongside `applied’ questions of pricing policy, financial control and regulation of industry. In the 1950s his thesis-led research concentrated on delegation in budgeting and control of public enterprise. During the 1960s he turned to microeconomics and welfare (investment, redistribution, monopoly) then to quantitative decision models, with focus risk and uncertainty. Deeper immersion into mathematics (analysis and probability theory – self-taught) produced a foundational contribution on expected utility and then a slew of papers in stochastic analysis of risk in investment decisions.

Among the first to use martingale methods in financial theory as optimality conditions, he was first to model price processes with general semimartingales and to introduce random measures into investment modelling. As recognised expert, he lectured on Semimartingale Calculus in Portfolio Theory at the 1992 Oberwolfach Conference on Mathematical Finance.

Foldes first considered optimal saving and consumption planning in continuous time for risky returns to capital, establishing existence of an optimal plan, characterised via martingale properties of shadow prices and finite welfare conditions.

Later he extended this framework to the Ramsey-style, Arrow-Kurz growth model encompassing a production function whereby capital (and population, the supplier of labour) determines output, introducing Brownian uncertainty into the various components. Here his martingale condition reduces to a pair of first-order nonlinear ODEs. These connect `average propensity to consume out of capital’ and `elasticity of consumption with respect to capital’. Phase-plane arguments  for economically significant parameters establish uniqueness of a trajectory through the unique pair of stable and unstable asymptotic nodes of the system (as capital tends to high or low levels) yielding the optimal consumption function. His geometric approach draws in novel tools from stable manifold theory, indicating the impact of perturbing economically significant parameters. This bears `on important classical questions of economic theory [whose resolution] should supersede various scattered results in the literature…[despite not being] related directly to statistical data…’ (Foldes).

His continued investigations were slowed by the poor condition of his heart, and his passing was precipitated by an accidental fall. He leaves widowed Carol Foldes, his constant mainstay and devoted wife (one may add also his tex-amanuensis) in a partnership of over 50 years, also forged within the LSE community.

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May 25 2021

In memory Professor Ailsa Land (1927-2021)

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Black and white image of Ailsa Land with short hair and a dark jacket, against a white backgroundAilsa H. Land (nee Dicken) died on 16 May, aged almost 94. She was born in West Bromwich, Staffordshire in 1927 and grew up in the West Midlands. In early 1939, in the face of the coming war, she and her mother travelled to Canada.  She remained there for the next five years, finishing school, and in 1943 enrolling with her mother in the Canadian Women’s Army Corps, requiring her to pretend she was older than her actual age. She ended her military service in 1944 in Ottawa at the National Defence Headquarters. She and her mother then returned to the UK to re-join her father who had been in the RAF. She came to LSE in 1946 as a student on the BSc(Econ). LSE was to be the home for her professional life thereafter.

Graduating in 1950, Ailsa became a Research Assistant in the Economics Research Division at LSE. In the same year she met her husband-to-be, Frank Land, who was also an LSE graduate and Research Assistant in the Economics Research Division, and they married in 1953. Alisa’s academic interests were and remained ‘activity analysis’ and its application, in today’s terms mathematical programming, scheduling and optimization. Her PhD was awarded in 1956 on the application of Operational Research techniques to the transportation of coking coal.

Her LSE career developed over the next 25 years as she progressed from lecturer to professor, in 1980, and head of the LSE Operational Research group. She and Frank, who was LSE professor of Information Systems, raised a son and two daughters, and their family grew with 7 grandchildren and 2 great-grand-children. She retired from LSE in 1987 but continued to work on optimization problems.  In her words at the time, ‘Now I’m retired I can do some research!”

Among Ailsa’s major academic contributions is the Land-Doig algorithm for branch and bound optimization with integer variables, work undertaken with Alison Doig, now Alison Harcourt[i]. Professor Richard Steinberg,  Chair in Operations Research in the Department of Management writes about the Land-Doig algorithm: “It is used to solve mathematical optimization problems where the solutions need to be whole numbers, which includes an enormous number of important practical problems.  The naïve approach to such problems is to enumerate every possible solution and then choose the best one, a Herculean, often impossible, task.  Branch-and-bound is a devilishly clever enumeration procedure that eliminates large swathes of inferior solutions in one go, often saving huge amounts of computation time and, in many cases, making an otherwise-unsolvable problem solvable.   Ailsa’s paper with Alison on branch-and-bound, published in Econometrica in 1960, has been cited and applied literally many thousands of times.”

Notably, Ailsa’s work on optimization took an economist’s perspective rather than that of a mathematician. Her book of Fortran Codes for Mathematical Programming [ii], work undertaken with Susan Powell, set a standard for open shared code and its creative documentation. Throughout her career she engaged with and contributed to the solution of practical problems with an undimmed sense of the potential for radical ideas and she was critical of the abstract and narrow mathematical research focus that became prevalent in Operational Research.

In 1994 she was awarded the Canadian Operational Research Society Harold Lardner Prize, and in 2019 the Beale Medal of the British OR Society, which is given in recognition of a sustained contribution to OR in the UK. The citation for her Beale Medal award well summarised her contributions: “Her work in branch and bound reshaped the field of mathematical programming and its influence continues to this day… In addition, Ailsa Land has advanced the methodology of OR through publication of significant work on shortest path algorithms, quadratic programming, bicriteria decision problems, and statistical data fitting… Since retirement from LSE in 1987, she has continued research projects, resulting in contributions to Data Envelopment Analysis, Combinatorial Auctions, and the Quadratic Assignment Problem.” [iii]

Ailsa was the first woman in the UK to hold a full professorship in Operational Research. In the 1980s, she was a rare woman professor role model at LSE. She led the Operational Research group confidently, avoiding institutional entanglements and creating a research environment that allowed her, her colleagues, and her students to pursue their intellectual interests.  Her impact on the development of her discipline is underlined by the stream of PhD students, who rose to eminence world-wide. LSE now offers an Ailsa Land Prize  for the best overall performance by a student on the MSc Operations Research & Analytics.

The combination of impactful academic work, raising a happy family and being active in your community is a tall order. Ailsa showed us it can be done in a gracious manner, and her reassuring beautiful smile was precious source of encouragement and optimism for all of us lucky to have known her.

Chrisanthi Avgerou and Tony Cornford
Department of Management
________________________________________________________

[i] Land, A.H. and Doig, A.G. (1960). “An automatic method of solving discrete programming problems“. Econometrica. 28 (3). pp. 497–520. doi:10.2307/1910129. JSTOR 1910129.

[ii] Land, A. H and Powell, S (1973). Fortran codes for mathematical programming: linear, quadratic and discrete. London; New York: Wiley. ISBN 978-0-471-51270-7. OCLC 814498.

[iii] https://www.theorsociety.com/membership/awards-medals-and-scholarships/beale-medal/previous-awards/

See also her INFORMS interview:  https://www.informs.org/Explore/History-of-O.R.-Excellence/Biographical-Profiles/Land-Ailsa-H

 

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May 17 2021

In memory of Mike Oliver (1952 – 2021)

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Tuesday 28 September 2021
Remembrance Service at LSE

We are holding a remembrance service at LSE on Tuesday 28 September 2021 to celebrate Mike’s life. To find out more about the service and timings, please view this Google form and RSVP by 5pm on Wednesday 15 September 2021. The service will be streamed online for those unable to attend in person. 

It is with great sadness that we report the passing of our dear friend and colleague Mike Oliver.

Mike joined LSE in 1986 as the first external appointee to the newly created Research and Consultancy Office. He saw the Division change name several times and grow from just two members of staff sharing a single desk and telephone to the team it is today. Over the years he built up an in-depth understanding of how LSE works and an encyclopaedic knowledge of sponsors and how best to attract their attention. He supported thousands of research funding applications and generations of researchers with professionalism, efficiency and a willingness to help. In 2015 he was delighted to be presented with the inaugural Director’s Award at the Values in Practice Awards for the “key role he played in launching so many individual and collective achievements”.

Working at LSE was a huge part of his life and, in what should have been his retirement years, he chose instead to continue working full time in a role he loved. He said he could not think of a career that he would have enjoyed as much.

His kindness, sense of humour and love of good conversation over a pint gained him many friends across the whole of LSE and tributes have been flooding in from colleagues old and new. We are privileged to have known him and will miss him deeply.

Share your thoughts and memories of working with Mike.

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Mar 3 2021

In memory of Wilson Antonio Zabala

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It is with great sadness to report the passing of our dear friend and colleague Wilson Antonio Zabala.

Wilson worked on the LSE campus since 2014 with Noonan having become a member of the Estates Division from in March 2018.

He was a very cheerful individual, hardworking, punctual and full of energy. Wilson had been battling cancer for some time and sadly passed away in Valencia, Spain in August. He will be deeply missed by the team he worked with and our condolences are with his wife and daughter.

Mary Lee, LSE Estates

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