Ailsa H. Land (1927-2021)

It was with sadness we learned this week of the death in May of Ailsa Land, wife of Professor Frank Land – interviewee and LEO pioneer.

Just a month shy of her 94th birthday, Ailsa Land passed away peacefully on May 16 in Devon, England. She was one of the pioneers of post-war operations research (O.R.) in Europe.

In terms of her contributions to the academic programmes at LSE, Ailsa helped to institute an innovative two-year diploma in Operational Research for the graduate apprenticeship program set up by the British Iron and Steel Association. She established and successfully managed an active research group at LSE in operational research, providing a supportive environment for carrying out academic research. During her 25 years in the Operational Research Group, Ailsa mentored numerous MSc and PhD students, several of whom subsequently achieved international distinction. In recognition of her important contributions to education, the Ailsa Land Prize was instituted at LSE in 2017 to honour the best MSc student in Operations Research and Analytics in the Department of Mathematics.

In 1994 Ailsa received the Harold Larnder Prize from the Canadian Operational Research Society for her contributions to mathematical programming. Subsequently she was awarded the 2019 Beale Medal from the British Operational Research Society; in 2021, a panel discussion held to honour her Beale Medal prize highlighted the significance of optimization models in addressing important problems of society and the enduring legacy of Ailsa’s work on branch-and-bound. She was posthumously awarded the 2021 EURO Gold Medal from the Association of European Operational Research Societies.

Ailsa is survived by her husband Frank Land, three children, seven grandchildren and two great grandchildren. Frank Land OBE is professor emeritus at LSE and a pioneer in information systems research, having the distinction of being the first professor of information systems in the UK. Together, Ailsa and Frank achieved notable firsts in their respective fields.

To read the full ORMS tribute to Ailsa, Click Here

A record of Ailsa’s life with photos, tributes and extracts from her writings has also been compiled:

Home page                                 https://landdigitalmedia.co.uk/ailsa/
Tributes & Condolences          https://landdigitalmedia.co.uk/ailsa/tributes-to-ailsa/
Ailsa’s writings                          https://landdigitalmedia.co.uk/ailsa/ailsas-writings/
Photos                                         https://www.icloud.com/sharedalbum/#B0dG6XBubGpCvL2
Video Interview                        https://www.informs.org/Explore/History-of-O.R.-Excellence/Biographical-Profiles/Land-Ailsa-H#oral_hist