The Operations Research Society of South Africa (ORSSA) is the national, professional body tasked with furthering the interests of those engaged in, or interested in, Operations Research (OR) activities. ORSSA is continually involved in matters which concern operations researchers, such as:
At a national level the Society is managed by an Executive Committee (EC), which is elected annually at an Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Society.
In the larger centres of the country, activities of the Society are arranged by regional chapters. Currently the Society consists of the following five regional chapters:
Seminars, workshops and panel discussions are arranged by these regional chapters on an annual basis. Case studies, theoretical work, new technology, etc. are typically presented and discussed at these get-togethers. OR is, of course, the main subject at these events, but topics in specific related areas of interest, such as statistics, decision support systems, expert systems, the management sciences and industrial engineering, are also covered. More information on the nature and activities of the regional chapters of ORSSA may be obtained by clicking on the tab Chapters in the navigation menu to the left.
ORiON is the official scholarly journal of ORSSA and has been published biannually since 1985. The journal enjoys accreditaion by the national Department of Education and hence qualifies for government subsidies to authors employed by academic institutions. An interesting mixture between theoretical and applied work is published in ORiON, which welcomes contributions in the following four broad categories:
Members of the Society automatically receive paper copies of this journal. More information on this publication (such as access to abstracts and full papers, instructions to prospective authors, or information on how to subscribe to the journal) may be obtained by clicking on the tab ORiON in the navigation menu to the left.
The Society also publishes a quarterly Newsletter. Apart from snippets of OR-related news, general OR articles and advertisements which are of interest to members, notices of forthcoming activities and reports on recent conferences are contained in the Newsletter. News items from the EC meetings and OR umbrella-organisations, such as IFORS and EURO (see the link Liason with other Bodies above), may also be found in the Newsletter. Receiving paper copies of the Newsletter is also a benefit of members of the Society.
More information on this publication (such as information on how to contribute or to subscribe, or electronic access to past copies of the Newsletter) may be obtained by clicking on the tab Newsletter in the navigation menu to the left.
A national conference is organised by the Society at different venues annually, usually during the month of September, to serve as a forum for communication about OR. An international expert or a prominent local operations researcher is usually invited as the keynote speaker. This is the permier annual meeting of the Society, and apart from a rich and varied programme of presentations by both practitioners and academics, the conference usually also boasts a very enjoyable social component.
More information on the annual ORSSA conference (such as past papers delivered at recent conferences and information on the next conference) may be obtained by clicking on the tabs ORSSA 2011 and Past ORSSA Conferences in the navigation menu to the left.
Each year, at the national conference, the Society awards a medal, known as the Tom Rozwadowski medal, for the best paper published in a national or international peer-reviewed, OR-related journal by one or more of its members during the preceding calendar. This medal is the premier scholarly award of the Society, is named after one of its founder members, and has been awarded on an almost-annual basis since 1971.
The Society also arranges an annual competition for OR students at honours and masters levels. Cash prizes and certificates of achievement are awarded for the best projects entered.
Apart from the above two scholarly prizes, the EC may also elevate the membership status of long-standing, full members of the Society to that of fellowship of the Society. Frome time to time the Society also makes recognition awards to individuals who have served the profession of OR in an exemplary fashion.
More information on the above awards (such as halls of fame and information on how to nominate someone for an award) may be obtained by clicking on the tab Awards in the navigation menu to the left.