A renowned scholar in the field of location analysis — the science of geographic location of everything from economic activity to the orbits of a satellite — has been honored for his depth of research at Cal State Fullerton.
University President Mildred García, joined by other campus administrators, surprised Zvi Drezner, emeritus professor of information systems and decision sciences, while teaching his Monday night “Decision Models for Business and Economics” class.
This year’s recipient of the L. Donald Shields Excellence in Scholarship and Creativity Award was literally speechless as García read a long list of accomplishments. The class erupted with wild applause and cheers.
“I’m really surprised,” said the educator following the award presentation. “I’m honored and appreciative of all this recognition.”
During his 30 years at Cal State Fullerton, Drezner has edited two books and authored hundreds of papers based on his research in theory, modeling and solution algorithms; his endeavors have been cited thousands of times by his peers. Additionally, Drezner has presented at professional conferences in Canada, Greece, Hong Kong, Netherlands, Portugal, Serbia, Singapore and throughout the United States.
“Zvi’s contribution to operations research has been incredible,” said Oded Berman, professor of operations management, Sydney Cooper Chair in Business and Technology at the University of Toronto. “I have known Zvi for more than 20 years. I read many of his papers, and I collaborated with him on research. He has made significant contributions to location theory, supply chain management, computation statistics and metaheuristics.”
“A mark of his prestige and visibility in this field is evidenced by the fact that when one thinks of location theory, one first thinks of Zvi Drezner,” noted Carlton H. Scott, professor of operations and decision technologies at UC Irvine. “His research output is astounding … the quality is hardly in question. His most cited paper was cited more than 1,300 times; 10 refereed publications were cited at least 100 times each; 41 publications were cited at least 40 times …. I doubt many could match this record.”
Such scholarship has earned Drezner a wide range of honors. Most recently, he was named a Fellow of the Institute of Operations Research and Management Science for seminal contributions to location theory and mathematical analysis in operations research. The organization also honored him with its Lifetime Achievement in Location Analysis Award.
The University and the California State University system also have honored Drezner for the breadth and scope of his research, as well as his teaching and service to the campus community. He received the Outstanding Professor Award — the top faculty honor from Cal State Fullerton in 2006 — and two years, later, he received the CSU Wang Family Excellence Award.
Drezner has served as a visiting scholar at the University of Auckland, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Thailand. He has been a consultant to the governments of Ecuador and Bolivia.
Drezner is a member of the Council on Practice in the Management Sciences Council, and is associate editor of Discrete Optimization, IMA Journal of Management Mathematics and International Journal of Management Science and Regional Development. He holds a doctorate in computer science from the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa, Israel.
The Shields Award, created in 2012 and named in honor Cal State Fullerton’s second president, is presented to University faculty members in recognition of “outstanding scholarship and/or creative work that is demonstrated through a variety of activities.” Drezner is the third recipient of the award and also will be recognized during the May 7 Academic Senate meeting.