UT’s Master of Science in Business Analytics Wins National Award

April 17, 2018

INFORMS, the leading international association for operations research and analytics professionals, has awarded the University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s Haslam College of Business its 2018 UPS George D. Smith Prize for an innovative curriculum, taught in the context of a true business environment, that prepares students to become effective practitioners.

Featuring the first analytics master’s program launched within a business school, Haslam employs an award-winning faculty who impart their extensive real-world analytics experience on their students. The program’s core curriculum combines cutting-edge analytics with the fundamentals of business strategy, as well as the necessary soft skills that will help students navigate a business environment. An annual two-day Business Analytics Forum connects more than 200 industry practitioners and students to share best practices, expand industry knowledge and enable students to learn about current issues from industry partners.

The program culminates in a capstone experience, during which student teams partner with a corporate client on a challenging analytics project. Upon completion, the teams present their recommendations to executives from the client companies, most of which are Fortune 500.

“This award recognizes what truly makes business analytics here so impactful, with balanced programs that give our students experiential learning opportunities to apply their knowledge and the opportunities to connect with industry in a meaningful way,” said Stephen L. Mangum, dean and Stokely Foundation Leadership Chair at Haslam. “We appreciate having our faculty and the entire Department of Business Analytics and Statistics honored in this way.”

Named in honor of the late UPS Chief Executive Officer – a champion of operations researchers at a leading Fortune 500 corporation – the UPS George D. Smith Prize is created in the spirit of strengthening ties between industry and the schools of higher education that graduate young practitioners of O.R. The prize is awarded to an academic department or program for effective and innovative preparation of students to be good practitioners of operations research or analytics.

“By combining a well-rounded curriculum with exposure to real-world problems in an actual business setting, the University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s Haslam College of Business MSBA is ensuring that its graduates will have a unique experience that sets them apart from other young talent entering the field,” said Melissa Moore, executive director of INFORMS.

The award was presented yesterday evening at the 2018 INFORMS Conference on Business Analytics & Operations Research, an annual event that draws over 1,000 leading international professionals in analytics and operations research in the world.

Past recipients of the award include U.S. Air Force Academy; H. John Heinz III College of Information Systems and Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University; Centre for Operations Excellence – Sauder School of Business, University of British Columbia; MIT Leaders for Global Operations (LGO); Naval Postgraduate School; and Tauber Institute for Global Operations at University of Michigan.

For more information about the Master of Science in Business Analytics at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s Haslam College of Business, visit https://haslam.utk.edu/business-analytics-statistics/msba.

For more information about the UPS George D. Smith Prize, visit https://www.informs.org/Recognizing-Excellence/INFORMS-Prizes/UPS-George-D.-Smith-Prize.


Katie Williams (865-974-3589, katiewilliams@utk.edu)

Tyra Haag (865-974-5460, tyra.haag@tennessee.edu)