Paul's Retirement

Get that man an umbrella drink!

Paul gave the OR/MS community the equivalent of “more cowbell”

by Laura McLay

Like many of you reading this blog, I’ve gotten to know Paul Rubin through social networking. I also had the pleasure to be on the same social networking panel with Paul at the INFORMS Annual Meeting last year.  I feel honored to have gotten to know Paul.

Paul is active on his blog, on OR-exchange, and on twitter. His blog post on his twitter conversion is here. His quick wit made twitter a lot of fun. His first tweet was in response to something I said, so I think I can honestly claim at least one twitter convert as my own.

Me: Speaking of stochastic processes, I’m pretty sure my tablet pen crashes according to an exponential distribution with a mean of 3 days 😦

Paul: Doubt it. It’s well known time-to-failure distributions are nonstationary and depend on number of critical tasks impending.

He quickly followed up his first tweet with a second:

Just don’t tell anyone I’m here. I once swore I would never be involved with any conjugation of ‘twit’. 🙂

Another interesting set of tweets occurred after I had my third child:

Paul: What’s with all the babies in #orms? First Laura, now “Babies & Operations Research”.

Paul again: I’m fine with #orms baby stories. Just worried about cause and effect – don’t want to get preggers from tweeting.

Paul’s twitter feed does not lack witty messages and responses to others. Here are a few he sent to me in response to my tweets:

Paul on missing data: Just make up numbers for the missing points. Works for the government!

Paul on football: George Will described football has combining the two worst aspects of American culture: violence and committee meetings.

Paul on disasters: I recall an #informs talk whose title mentioned applying catastrophe theory to LP. Talk was close to catastrophic.

Paul’s wit and general knowledge on geeky matters have made it fun to be an operations researcher. His online presence has provided the OR/MS community the equivalent of “more cowbell.” I became more active and creative on twitter in a futile attempt to keep up with Paul.  I am truly glad that I got to know Paul this past year.  I wish him the best in his retirement. And I hope that he makes some time for tweeting and blogging in between rounds of golf.


One comment on “Paul gave the OR/MS community the equivalent of “more cowbell”

  1. prubin73
    May 16, 2012

    Laura: You are absolutely correct in claiming me as your Twitter child. I was following you and one or two others without a TW account (thank you, Google Reader) until I was overtaken by a compulsion to post that response, forcing me to register with Twitter. You therefore are to blame for what followed.

    Do you scrapbook tweets or something?? The main redeeming feature of Twitter is that tweets are supposed to have a finite shelf life and then vanish from their servers.

    We’ll have to continue this discussion at the next INFORMS. 🙂

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This entry was posted on May 16, 2012 by and tagged , , , .
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