Great Valley professor recognized for service by INFORMS

MALVERN, Pa. — Robin Qiu, professor of information science at Penn State Great Valley, is this year’s recipient of the Volunteer Service Award from the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS). Established in 2016, the award recognizes exceptional volunteer service to the organization.

Qiu was critical in founding the service science section within INFORMS.

Introduced by IBM, service science takes an interdisciplinary approach to the real-time study of complex service systems such as service firms. By leveraging service clients’ real-time feedback and participation throughout the service life cycles, service science can continuously facilitate in improving an organization’s service production, engineering, design and marketing.

Inspired by IBM’s initiatives, Qiu identified the need for an international society that recognizes and promotes service science. After two years of petitioning to the INFORMS board, the service science branch was established in 2007. In 2009, Qiu started the section’s quarterly journal, Service Science, and served as the editor-in-chief for four years.

“By taking advantage of the rapid development of networks, mobile technologies and artificial intelligence, service science is a body of knowledge that can be scientifically applied in networked and people-centered service systems,” said Qiu. “As a result, the planning, design, engineering and operations of service systems can be completed in a comprehensive, optimal and satisfactory manner.”

Qiu received the award at the INFORMS 2017 Annual Meeting in Houston, which held more than 30 sessions dedicated to service science, including a student paper competition sponsored by IBM, a cluster paper competition, and an IBM service analytics challenge. For Qiu, he hopes the conference will attract new members to join INFORMS.

“I’d love to see more students and professionals get involved with service science research,” he said. “By having competitions and events sponsored by large companies like IBM, I hope our membership will continue to grow and provide more assistance to organizations.”

A professor in the engineering division since 2001, Qiu teaches courses in data analytics, information science, software engineering, computer security, and enterprise service computing. In addition to INFORMS, he is a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), and is an associate editor of the IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics and IEEE Transactions on Industrial Informatics journals.