Marketing Science: John D. C. Little

The research: John D.C. Little is to marketing science what Henry Ford is to the automobile. The first president of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences, Little is as much a marketing pioneer today as he was when he helped create the field in the mid-20th century.

In marketing circles, Little is widely known for his proof of the queuing formula L=W, commonly called Little's Law. Early in his career, he coauthored an analysis on the plight of traveling salesmen that introduced the term “branch and bound” to optimization research. In another paper, he devised the first computerized settings for fixed-time traffic signals.

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