Get that man an umbrella drink!
By Mike Trick
I have mixed feelings about Paul’s upcoming retirement. As a fellow grey-hair, I appreciated having Paul at conferences since I didn’t feel I stuck out so much. If Paul really stops coming to conferences, it is going to be me (OK, and Matt Saltzman and a couple of others of my generation) surrounded by all these young kids. What if I’m not cool enough? What if they all take off towards some weird tumblr-pinterest-lytro mashup, laughing at me stuck in 2012 with twitter and blogs? If I don’t continue to see Paul at the conferences, I may well feel like the last dinosaur before getting overwhelmed and eaten by the hoard of tiny mammals. Paul: save me!
But I am not too worried. The nice thing about this Internets thing is that no one can be quite certain who you are. I am pretty sure that the lure of OR-Exchange, and twitter, and blogging will lure Paul back to our community.
Perhaps somone like Dr. Pilau Burn (*) suddenly appears, active on all the operations research sites.
Pilau might have a picture that looks like a weird morphing of Paul Rubin with Justin Beiber, and a backstory that makes him about 25 with an unusual talent for optimization. Pilau might have a weird sense of humor, and he might seem to have lots of energy to be on all sorts of social media. He might seem wise beyond his years.
But when Pilau gets more than 6000 karma at or-exchange and starts spouting off on the accuracy limits of the newest version of CPLEX, we can be sure of the thing we are hoping for:
Paul is back!
(*) presumably he would choose that over other anagrams such as “Pub Urinal”, “Burial Pun” or “Auburn Lip”, though the latter has possibilities.