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Optimization has long been a cornerstone for advancement of various industrial, government, and military applications. To highlight and support the role of optimization in current advances, and to promote interaction between researchers, the INFORMS Optimization Society launched a bi-annual conference starting in 2006.

The 2006 Conference was held in San Antonio on February 3-5, 2006 and focused on "Optimization and HealthCare." The 2008 Conference was held in Atlanta, Georgia on March 14-16, 2008 and focused on "Theory, Computation and Emerging Applications." The 2010 Conference was held in Gainesville, Florida on February 26-28, 2010 and focused on Energy, Sustainability and Climate Change." The 2012 Conference was held in Coral Gables, Florida on February 24-26, 2012 and focused on "Optimization and Analytics: New Frontiers in Theory and Practice".

The fifth conference is to be hosted by the Rice University's Department of Computational and Applied Mathematics in Houston, Texas on March 6-8, 2014. The theme of the conference is "Theory and Practice: Dealing with Big Data and other Challenges".

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