Friday, September 04, 2009

QOTD: Engineers seem to have an interesting, and somewhat unique, definition of fun

Engineers seem to have an interesting, and somewhat unique, definition of fun." Ask your doctor or a local public health official what defines a good time, and you are not likely to hear about the logistics of mass antibiotic distribution or mathematical models of influenza transmission. Larry Wein's opus over the last decade has been, to use a hackneyed phrase, deadly serious, and yet he notes that a personal criterion for his engagement in a project is that it be enjoyable. For those of us in public health emergency response, this provides an important insight into the workings of the engineering mind, since it is precisely those things that we often avoid (i.e., the nitty gritty, and by that I mean quantitative, evaluation of the feasibility and performance of the programs we plan and carry out in the name of health protection) that appeal to Prof. Wein and a relatively small number of colleagues.

From Nathaniel Hubert, Commentary on "Commentary on Homeland Security: From
Mathematical Models to Policy Implementation" by Lawrence M. Wein
, Operations Research, OR Forum
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