Loss of My Co-Author, Dr. Wilson Price
With the publishing of our book chapter in March of this year, I was planning on visiting my co-author, Dr. Wilson Price, in Quebec, Canada, later that month. I have never been to Quebec, so what better reason to visit than to get a picture with your co-author and the book. Then COVID hit, and my trip to Quebec was delayed. Unfortunately, in September, Wilson passed.
My story with Wilson begins with my time on faculty at Naval Postgraduate School (NPS). He was a visiting professor over the Summer, and we ate many lunches together, discussing our shared interest in the difficulties of implementing analytical solutions. Wilson had published many papers on the subject and was eager to learn and share more.
One of my main research projects while at NPS was the Replenishment at Sea Planner (RASP). This project included Dr. Gerald Brown, Anton Rowe, and myself. The math side of the project was completed in six months. The implementation of the model at multiple sites around the world took years. When we started writing a draft of the research paper, Wilson was invited to help address this resistance to using a model that saved millions of dollars in fuel costs.
The original RASP paper was rejected for being too non-analytical. Eventually, the implementation story was cut, and the RASP paper was published in May 2018. That left the implementation story still to be told. Fortunately, I was invited to contribute a chapter to the book Handbook of Military and Defense Operations Research by Dr. Natalie Scala. I immediately connected with Wilson to tell him I had found the perfect place for our story. He agreed, and we began work on what would eventually become Chapter 12 - Why Won’t They Use Our Model?.
I will always cherish my lunches with Wilson. I am thankful for his friendship and collaboration in writing about the importance of using analytics to create change instead of only developing elegant math models. Hopefully, in the future, I can carry the torch of spreading this message.
Rest in peace, Wilson.