Lawrence M. Wein

Lawrence M. Wein
Professor, Operations, Information & Technology
Contact Info
Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs

Research Statement

Lawrence Wein has three main research interests: manufacturing, health care, and homeland security. Some of his scheduling research has been applied widely in the semiconductor industry. He has used mathematics to analyze treatment protocols for patients with HIV, cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease; the national transplant waiting list for kidneys; the selection of strains to include in the annual influenza vaccine and the design of proteins. His homeland security work concerns bioterrorism and border issues, and some of his recommendations have been adopted by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. His more recent work focuses on humanitarian issues, such as food allocation policies for malnutritioned children and improved verification policies for India's biometric identification program.


Professor Wein received his PhD in Operations Research from Stanford in 1988 and has taught the core MBA course in operations management throughout his entire career, both at MIT’s Sloan School of Management from 1988 to 2002, where he was the DEC Leaders for Manufacturing Professor of Management Science, and at Stanford since 2002, where he is currently the Jeffrey S. Skoll Professor; Professor of Management Science. He also is a Senior Fellow at Stanford’s Center for International Security and Cooperation.

His main research interests are in manufacturing, health care, and homeland security. In all three areas, he has published widely and impacted practice. His HIV work on drug-switching policies led to a successful multicenter clinical trial. His smallpox work influenced the George W. Bush administration’s post-attack vaccination policy; his anthrax work led to plans in Washington, D.C., to use postal workers to distribute antibiotics after a large attack; and his testimony before a congressional committee on his biometric analysis of the US-VISIT Program was instrumental in the switch from a two-finger to a ten-finger system. He has won several research awards and was Editor-in-Chief of Operations Research from 2000 to 2005. 

He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering.

Academic Degrees

  • PhD, Stanford University, 1988
  • MS, Stanford University, 1985
  • MS, Stanford University, 1980
  • BS, Cornell University, 1979

Academic Appointments

  • Senior Fellow (by courtesy), Freeman-Institute for International Studies, 2003-present
  • Lacob Family Faculty Fellow, 2014-2015
  • Stanford GSB Trust Faculty Fellow, 2013-2014
  • Winnick Family Faculty Fellow, 2009-2010
  • Paul E. Holden Professor of Management Science, 2003-2010
  • Spence Faculty Fellow, 2005-2006
  • At Stanford University since 2002
  • Professor, Sloan School of Management, M.I.T., 1988-2001

Professional Experience

  • Senior Operations Research Analyst, W.R. Grace and Company, 1981-1982

Awards and Honors

  • Noteworthy Article, Journal of Forensic Sciences, 2018
  • Laudatio, Production and Operations Management, 2016
  • Koopman Prize, INFORMS, 2002
  • Erlang Prize, INFORMS, 1993


Journal Articles

Neal Master, Martin I. Reiman, Can Wang, Lawrence M. Wein. Submitted for Publication. 2019.
Lawrence M. Wein, Can Wang. Journal of Forensic Science. July 2018, Vol. 63, Issue 4, Pages 1110-1121.
Can Wang, Mardy Beggs-Cassin, Lawrence M. Wein. AFTE Journal. 2018, Vol. 50, Issue 3, Pages 175-178.
Can Wang, Mardy Beggs-Casin, Lawrence M. Wein. Journal of Forensic Sciences. September 2017, Vol. 62, Issue 5, Pages 1188-1196.
Mericcan Usta, Lawrence M. Wein. PLOS. December 29, 2015, Vol. 10, Issue 12.
Abbas Kazerouni, Laura J. Burns, Lawrence M. Wein. Microbiome. December 17, 2015, Vol. 3(1), Issue 75.
Milinda Lakkam, Lawrence M. Wein. Malaria Journal. 2015, Vol. 14, Issue 479.
Apaar Sadhwani, Yan Yang, Lawrence M. Wein. PLoS ONE. January 2014, Vol. 9, Issue 5.
Yan Yang, Jan Van den Broeck, Lawrence M. Wein. Proceedings of the National Academy. March 4, 2013.
Andrew M. Bradley, Lawrence M. Wein. Advances in Space Research. May 2009, Vol. 43, Issue 9, Pages 1372-1390.
Michael P. Atkinson, Zheng Su, Nina Alphey, Luke S. Alphey, Paul G. Coleman, Lawrence M. Wein. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. May 14, 2007, Vol. 104, Issue 22, Pages 9540–9545.
Lawrence M. Wein, Yifan Liu. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. July 2005, Vol. 102, Issue 28, Pages 9984–9989.
Lawrence M. Wein, David L. Craft, Edward H. Kaplan. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. April 2003, Vol. 100, Issue 7, Pages 4346–4351.
Edward H. Kaplan, David L. Craft, Lawrence M. Wein. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 2002, Vol. 99, Issue 16, Pages 10935-10940.
David M. Markowitz, Lawrence M. Wein. Operations Research. 2001, Vol. 49, Issue 2, Pages 246-270.
Stefanos Zenios, Glenn M. Chertow, Lawrence M. Wein. Operations Research. 2000, Vol. 48, Issue 4, Pages 549-569.
Lawrence M. Wein, Stefanos Zenios. Operations Research. July 1996, Vol. 44, Issue 4, Pages 543-569.

Working Papers

Best Arm Identification in Generalized Linear Bandits | PDF
Lawrence M. Wein, Abbas Kazerouni, May 2019
Optimal Donor Management in a Public Stool Bank | PDF
Lawrence M. Wein, Abbas Kazerouni2016
Assessing the Impact of U.S. Food Assistance Delivery Policies on Child Mortality in Sub-Saharan Africa | PDF
Alex Nikulkov, Christopher B. Barrett, Andrew G. Mude, Lawrence M. Wein, November 102015
Evidence-Based Organ Allocation | PDF
Lawrence M. Wein, Stefanos Zenios, Glenn Chertow1999


Degree Courses


This course provides an overview of asymptotic models and methods used in various areas of operations management. It includes traditional heavy traffic asymptotics for queueing networks, the Halfin-Whitt regime, the supermarket model, inventory...


This course, which is an accelerated version of OIT 262 (Operations), focuses on basic managerial issues arising in the operations of both manufacturing and service industries, and on strategic issues arising in global supply chains. The...

Service to the Profession

  • Senior Editor: Manufacturing & Service Operations Management, 1998-2003

In the Media

International New York Times Op-Ed, October 23, 2015
Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, April 28, 2010
The New York Times Op-Ed, June 15, 2009
The New York Times Op-Ed, January 25, 2009
The New York Times Op-Ed, October 12, 2008
Palo Alto Weekly, April 29, 2006
The New York Times Op-Ed, October 25, 2006
Washington Post, July 26, 2005
New York Times, June 30, 2005
The New York Times, November 29, 2005
The Food Chain Show, July 23, 2005
NPR, July 1, 2005
Washington Post, October 19, 2004
Washington Post, July 28, 2003

Insights by Stanford Business

July 2, 2019
Escape the heat with books recommended by Stanford business professors.
May 17, 2019
Lawrence M. Wein finds that the benefits of testing outweigh the costs.
February 16, 2018
More than 400,000 sexual assault kits languish in storage. New research shows the impact of analyzing them.
June 1, 2017
Simple tweaks to how police process bullet casings could dramatically improve their forensic data.
December 19, 2016
Read 10 Stanford Business stories from the past year, including pieces on work-life balance, power, and management.
August 30, 2016
Stanford GSB professors suggest articles and books related to the concept of “equity.”
March 18, 2016
Solving the problem means putting convicted felons on the street. A scholar explains why that’s the right move.
December 15, 2014
Learn more about risk and other related topics.
December 11, 2014
From outer space to the boardroom, risk is all around us.
October 16, 2014
A professor tackles the most effective responses to some of the world’s most dangerous risks.
August 28, 2014
Two scholars say the likelihood of a major space junk collision is low for now, but space-faring nations need to take responsibility for ensuring it remains so.
May 1, 2014
A Stanford professor scrutinizes India’s epic biometric program.
March 4, 2013
A new study finds that a different approach to food-relief efforts in the developing world could save more lives.
September 8, 2010
A scholar looks at what to do in the event of a nuclear detonation.
March 1, 2009
Space debris is a big problem. Here's how to solve it.
January 1, 2007
Research explains how to eliminate the danger of dengue fever and other mosquito-borne diseases.
June 1, 2005
A scholar imagines the worst — and puts together mathematical models to help determine how best to prepare for it.
September 1, 1997
A Stanford GSB scholar devises an advanced model that allows inexpensive, accurate testing by pooling blood samples.

School News

May 15, 2011
Seenu Srinivasan, Larry Wein, and David Kreps are appointed to new chairs.