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'Location, Location, Location'
CSUF Outstanding Professor Lecture Targets Location Analysis

April 4, 2007 :: No. 162

In business, marketing, real estate, it’s “location, location, location.”

What’s the best place to locate a school, a hospital, a coffee shop or a communications satellite? How are such decisions made?

Zvi Drezner, professor of information systems and decisions sciences and the 2006 Outstanding Professor Award recipient at Cal State Fullerton, will explain the process, theory and uses of location analysis Monday, April 16, during the university’s annual Outstanding Professor Lecture.

The public lecture will be held at 11 a.m. in the Titan Student Union’s Portola Pavilion.

“The history of location analysis goes back 400 years,” said Drezner, a leading scholar in the field. “If you do it right, it’s quite important to the success of the enterprise. ”

Drezner describes location analysis as the science of geographic location of economic activity — where to locate stores to attract as many customers as possible considering the competitors in the area and while working within a set budget.

“You look at where your base is, the visibility of a potential site and the range away from similar stores,” explained Drezner, adding that although a lot of math is involved, “the final outcome is very understandable.”

The process can be used for locating sprinklers to get the best coverage on a lawn, placement of cell phone transmission towers for optimum receptivity, or to set the orbit of a new satellite so that it works with existing satellites.

Papers on location theory also address the theory’s use in positioning of presidential candidates on the political spectrum, voter districting and finding a niche for a new product, said Drezner, who will provide a historical overview of location theory, sample problems he has used in the classroom and examples of his research results.

His simple explanations and willingness to share his knowledge in statistics and analysis have earned the researcher — a CSUF faculty member since 1985 — top marks with both his students and his peers.   

“Even at the first class [statistical analysis], I was greatly impressed by your ability to communicate such a hard subject to the students,” noted alumnus Giedrius Markus (M.B.A. ’01), a manager at Ford Motor Co., in a letter to the professor. “You have a great way of teaching such incredibly hard subjects as mathematical modeling. Amazingly enough, your explanations are simple and right to the point.”

“It is rare to find an individual who has the combination of intellect and humility that Zvi has,” said Barry Pasternack, chair and professor of information systems and decision sciences. “While compiling a stellar record as a researcher, Zvi has also shown great expertise in the classroom environment. He is one of our most sought-after instructors and traditionally gets nearly the highest student evaluations in the department.”

The scholar has been honored with a lifetime achievement award from the Institute for Operations Research and Management Sciences (INFORMS) — recognition of career achievement that has been given only six times by the 12,000-member society.

Drezner has written more than 200 papers based on his research endeavors in theory, modeling and solution algorithms, served as associate or area editor of three journals, and editor and co-editor of two books — “Facility Location: A Survey of Applications and Methods” and “Facility Location: Applications and Theory.”

“It seems impossible to work on any aspect of continuous location theory without direct connection to some, and often many, of Drezner’s works,” noted Frank Plastria, coordinator of the EURO Working Group on Location Analysis at the Vrije Universiteit, Brussels, and editor-in-chief for Studies in Locational Analysis. “His scientific output is not only prolific … but more so, he has been the initiator of many new models, always opening the way to new areas of application and investigation.”

In addition to teaching, Drezner has served as department chair for nine years, as well as led the College of Business and Economics selection committees for dean in 1989 and 1998. He currently represents the College of Business and Economics on the university’s Academic Senate. He has been a visiting professor at numerous universities throughout the world, as well as a consultant to the South Coast Air Quality Management District and the governments of Ecuador and Bolivia.

The Anaheim Hills resident earned his doctorate in computer science from Technion in Haifa, Israel. He has been a member of INFORMS College on the Practice of the Management Sciences Council since 2003 and served on the International Scientific Advisory Committee, International Conference on Environment, Locational Decisions and Regional Planning.

His April 16 talk is sponsored by the Cal State Fullerton’s Office of the President, President’s Associates, Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs, Academic Senate and Faculty Development Center.


Media Contacts:

Zvi Drezner, Information Systems and Decision Sciences, 657-278-7212 or
Pamela McLaren of Public Affairs at 657-278-4852 or

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Zvi Drezner
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