Faculty Directory

Ball, Michael O.

Ball, Michael O.

Professor Emeritus
Co-Director, National Center of Excellence for Aviation Operations Research (NEXTOR)
Robert H. Smith School of Business
The Institute for Systems Research

Michael Ball is the Senior Associate Dean and Dean's Chair in Management Science and the Orkand Corporation Professor of Management Science in the Robert H. Smith School of Business. He also holds a joint appointment with ISR in the Clark School of Engineering. Dr. Ball received a BES in Engineering Science in 1972 and an MSE in Operations Research in 1972 from Johns Hopkins University and a PhD in Operations Research in 1977 from Cornell University. He worked for two years at Bell Laboratories and has had sabbatical appointments at the University of Waterloo and the University of North Carolina. He is former chair of the Decision and Information Technologies Department within the Robert H. Smith School of Business and former chair of ISR's Executive Committee. He is currently Acting Dean for the Smith School.

Dr. Ball currently directs the NSF-funded project, "Supply Chain Infrastructures: Models and Analysis" and is Co-Director of NEXTOR, the National Center of Excellence for Aviation Operations Research. Within NEXTOR, which is funded by the FAA, NASA and members of the airline industry, he directs the Collaborative Decision Making research project. The interdisciplinary nature of his work led to Dr. Ball receiving the Outstanding Systems Engineering Faculty Award from the ISR in 1997. He has over 90 publications in the aforementioned areas and has made over 100 presentations on these topics. He also has extensive consulting experience, which, in certain cases, has led to the development and successful implementation of major software systems.

Dr. Ball is, or has been, area editor for Optimization for Operations Research and associate editor for Networks, IEEE Transactions on Reliability, Operations Research and Operations Research Letters. He is a member of INFORMS, IEEE and the Mathematical Programming Society. He is particularly active in INFORMS where he has chaired two major committees. He was named a Fellow of INFORMS in 2004.

He is a member of the "Independent Experts Operational Goals Group (IEOGG)" of the Committee on Aviation Environmental Protection, part of the ICAO, the International Civil Aviation Organization. ICAO sets the standards and policies for world-wide civil aviation.


Operations research, transportation science (especially air traffic management), supply chain and revenue management, network and combinatorial optimization, and network reliability analysis

ENES 489P holds Spring 2023 undergraduate systems design competition

The 48 students presented their model-based systems engineering design projects to a panel of industry professionals.

Michael Fu receives INFORMS George E. Kimball Medal

The medal is given in recognition of distinguished service to INFORMS and to the profession of operations research and the management sciences.

The Modern Battle for Maryland’s Oysters

UMD researchers use AI and robotics to help revive a struggling industry.

Alexander Estes joins ISR faculty

The 2018 UMD Ph.D. alum holds a joint appointment with ISR and the Smith School.

New Research Showcased at TRB

Transportation safety, impact of telecommuting among topics covered by UMD experts.

NEXTOR aviation operations research uses machine learning to model system delay and predict high flight delay days

Worsening thunderstorm activity was the main cause of increased flight delays in the 2010s.

'Perfect adherence' to COVID vaccine prioritization hampering distribution says Mike Ball

The operations research expert argues more lives would be saved with a less-rigid strategy.

FAA Extends Funding for NEXTOR III Aviation Operations Research Consortium

In its 23 years, NEXTOR has developed decision support tools, operational and system concepts, and policymaking tools that benefit the FAA, the airline industry and the flying public.

NEXTOR II to present aviation operations research in symposium

The symposium will be held at FAA headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Ghodssi, Beyaz, Waits issued US patent for microgenerator

The versatile microball bearing supported microgenerator improves micro electromechanical devices.

Ball gives plenary address at INFORMS Workshop

Professor spoke on model decomposition and integration case studies related to urban transit and airline planning.

Hanrahan, Waits, Ghodssi paper selected as JMM 'Highlight of 2014'

Raceways fabrication technique caps 25 years of microball bearing research for Ghodssi research group.

MSSE student Xenia Barnes wins National Academies research stipend

Barnes works on aviation operations research through NEXTOR II.

Ball talks airline mergers on News Channel 8

Professor appeared on 'NewsTalk with Bruce DePuyt.'

Anandalingham steps down as Smith School dean; Ball becomes acting dean

'Anand' moves to Imperial College London Business School.

Wang, Ball, Lovell win best paper award at ICRAT 2012

Paper discusses a new allocation method in ground delay programs for air traffic flow management.

ISR hosts Iraqi higher education delegation

Delegates meet with President Loh, Provost Wylie and other officials.

Vlachou, Swaroop win FAA graduate research awards

The two Ph.D. students are associated with the NEXTOR aviation operations research center.

FAA approves NEXTOR II aviation operations research contract

ISR's Michael Ball and David Lovell lead the University of Maryland NEXTOR II team.

Ghodssi invited speaker at Transducers 11

ISR director spoke on microball bearing technology for MEMS devices and integrated microsystems.

ISR announces Systems Symposium poster contest winners

Five posters selected for $500 research support prize.

Airline mergers are inevitable, Ball says

The Dallas Morning News quotes the ISR professor about the possibility of an American Airlines merger.

Ball to speak at airport systems planning and design course

ISR faculty member is co-director of NEXTOR.

Alumnus interview: Ingar Grev

He talks with us about applying systems concepts in the business world.

Ball quoted on airline mergers in Newark Star-Ledger

December 2006—ISR professor says mergers should produce more efficient carriers.

Ball, Lovell awarded NASA grant for air traffic flows

Collaborative research will develop dynamic, stochastic models

Two ISR teams awarded NSF DDDAS grants

Ball, Fu, Abed and Subrahmanian are principal investigators

Three best paper awards for NEXTOR authors

Air traffic management seminar honors Ball, Lovell, others

Three MSSE students graduate

Faber, McNeil, Poorfarhani complete studies

Ball's work on airport landing slots profiled in trade magazine

Airline Business Report covers NEXTOR's February simulatin exercise for airline and government officials

Ball, named a Fellow of INFORMS

INFORMS is a principal professional society

FAA 'close to signing' contract with NEXTOR, trade magazine reports

July 2004—NEXTOR is co-directed by ISR Professor Michael Ball.

Hideo Mizusawa is new ISR visiting scientist

Mizusawa is a research scientist at Toshiba Corporation.

Ball hosts Collaborative Decision Making project

CDM is one of the research areas of NEXTOR

Toshiba becomes an ISR Sustaining Partner

Its Corporate Manufacturing Engineering Center collaborates with ISR on manufacturing technology projects.

Four ISR faculty to research electronic markets for time-sensitive goods

$2 million NSF award will analyze a variety of e-markets.

ISR awarded grant for combined research and curriculum development in systems engineering

Faculty team to develop, widely disseminate, and evaluate an information-centric systems engineering curriculum

NASA AMES awards contract to NEXTOR to support air traffic management research

Funding to support collaborative decision making research

Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS)

  • Fellow, 2004