John Little (academic)
February 21, 1928|
Massachusetts Institute of Technology|
Case Western Reserve University
|Known for||Little's law|
|Spouse(s)||Elizabeth (Betty) Alden|
|Thesis||Use of Storage Water in a Hydroelectric System (1955)|
|Doctoral advisor||Philip M. Morse|
Born in Boston, he earned a S.B. in physics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1948) and worked at General Electric (1948–50). His Ph.D. on Use of Storage Water in a Hydroelectric System used dynamic programming, and advised by Philip M. Morse, was the first ever awarded in operations research (1955). Next, he taught at Case Western Reserve (1957–62) before joining the faculty at MIT (1962) where he since has worked. He was visiting professor at INSEAD (1988)
His earlier research in operations research involved traffic signal control, and gave him fame as he formed the Little's law in 1961. It states: "The average number of customers in a system (over some interval) is equal to their average arrival rate, multiplied by their average time in the system." A corollary has been added: "The average time in the system is equal to the average time in queue plus the average time it takes to receive service." Little is considered to be a founder of marketing science, having conducted fundamental research in models of individual choice behavior, adaptive control of promotional spending, and marketing mix models for consumer packaged goods. He has also started companies such as Management Decisions Systems and Kana Software. The John D. C. Little Award is awarded annually by INFORMS. He is the father of John N. Little.
- The Use of Storage Water in a Hydroelectric System, Journal of the Operations Research Society of America, Vol. 3, No. 2 (May, 1955), pp. 187–197
- Little, J. D. C. (1961). "A Proof for the Queuing Formula: L = λW". Operations Research. 9 (3): 383–387. doi:10.1287/opre.9.3.383. JSTOR 167570.
- Models and Managers: The Concept of a Decision Calculus, in Management Science: A Journal of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences, 16(8):466-4855, 1970
- Decision Support Systems for Marketing Managers (1984)
- The Marketing Information Revolution (Harvard Business School Press, 1994). With Robert C. Blattberg and Rashi Glazer
- National Academy of Engineering electee (1989)
- Parlin and Converse Awards of the American Marketing Association
- Honorary degrees from University of Liège and University of Mons-Hainaut
- Kimball Medal of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences
- Fellow of INFORMS and the American Association for the Advancement of Science
- Buck Weaver Award from MIT Sloan School of Management 2003.
- Hauser, John R.; Urban, Glen L. (2011). "John D. C. Little". Profiles in Operations Research. International Series in Operations Research & Management Science. 147. p. 659. doi:10.1007/978-1-4419-6281-2_36. ISBN 978-1-4419-6280-5.
- John Little at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
- John Little, The greatest of MIT's great faculty from spectrum.mit.edu (summer 2006)
- John D.C. Little honored with Buck Weaver Award for outstanding contributions to marketing