October 17, 2008
The winner of the 2008 ACFAS –Jacques Rousseau award (multidisciplinarity) is Professor Pierre Hansen, who has such an inquiring mind that his research work has applications in at least 15 disciplines. In addition to his vast scientific knowledge, he has an in-depth understanding of scientific philosophy, literature, music and political science. This award, consisting of a $5,000 cash prize and a medal, was presented at the ACFAS gala held on October 16, 2008.
Attached to the Department of Management Sciences, Pierre Hansen holds the Data Mining Chair. This is a valuable field of research for companies and organizations looking to extract information from their masses of archived data that will give them a competitive advantage.
Professor Hansen’s scientific contributions are recognized for their quality, variety, rigour and originality, and are marked by surprising multidisciplinarity. He feels that the “strength and beauty of mathematics largely lie in the countless applications it offers in all areas of human activity as well as in other branches of mathematics.”
Among other fields, Professor Hansen is interested in combinatory optimization, global optimization, graph theory, automatic classification, economic theory, uncertainty in artificial intelligence and mathematical chemistry. The methods he has developed have also been applied in such fields as electricity, marketing, acoustics, telecommunications and finance.
He graduated from the Université Libre de Bruxelles in 1974, where he earned his teaching degree in mathematics, and joined HEC Montréal in 1990. He has been invited to present his authoritative research findings and share his knowledge around the globe, as a guest professor or lecturer. Professor Hansen is a prolific author, contributing to a number of prestigious journals in the field of operational research, including the European Journal of Operational Research, the Journal of Global Optimization, Discrete Applied Mathematics, Annals of Operations Research, International Game Theory Review and the Journal of Heuristics.
Pierre Hansen was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 1999 and a member of the International Academy of Mathematical Chemistry in 2005. The many distinctions he has received are evidence of his high standing in the scientific community. They include the Euro Gold Medal, the main award from the Association of European Operational Research Societies (1986), the Award of Merit from the Canadian Operational Research Society (1997) and the Pierre Laurin Research Award from HEC Montréal (1996 and 2002).
The ACFAS – Jacques Rousseau Award
The ACFAS – Jacques Rousseau Award was created in 1980 to honour Jacques Rousseau, a botanist, ethnologist and former Secretary of ACFAS. It salutes exceptional scientific achievements by individuals or teams having far exceeded their field of specialization and created new bridges between different disciplines.