The 2017 INFORMS Annual Meeting in Houston was awesome. Sports played a major role in making the meeting a success. Let me explain.
The big event was held at Minute Maid Field. This is the home of the Houston Astros. The Astros did very well and were in the World Series (championship series for American baseball). Over the past few years, Major League Baseball had a rule that the winning league of the All-Star Game played in July would have home-field advantage. In 2017 the American League (Astros are in the American League) won the All-Star Game. Major League Baseball changed the rule for 2017 and returned to the old rule that awarded home field advantage to the team with the best regular season record. When the Los Angles Dodgers won the National League pennant, they were guaranteed home-field advantage and the first game.
Why does this matter to INFORMS? If the old All-Star game rule was in effect then the first game would have been played in Houston and the stadium would not have been available for our big event. I think the watch party was as good as it gets.
In addition to the watch party at Minute Maid stadium, the SpORts section enjoyed a fun Rockets game on Saturday night, four great sessions lead by our Cluster Chair, Stephen Hill, and a great membership meeting at Home Plate Grill. Here are some pictures from the conference.
Overall great conference. I personally enjoyed catching up with old friends, meeting new friends, and of course talking sports analytics.