2011 Distinguished Faculty Service Award

Congratulations to Our 2011 Recipient
J. Michael Harrison
The Adams Distinguished Professor of Management, Emeritus

Excerpts and Highlights from Nominations

On Teaching

Professor Harrison teaches PhD-level classes that serve the needs of the entire Stanford GSB community, not just his own group. His courses on dynamic pricing and stochastic control have attracted interest from various fields including finance, economics, and marketing. He has a vast amount of knowledge on the subject he teaches, and he displays great enthusiasm in all of his lectures. He aims to teach students how to write papers, rather than just providing general knowledge.

He definitely fosters your academic self-esteem with his lectures; he explains the hardest topics in such a way that you become the master of the topic after his class.

I should admit that his stochastic control class is the most valuable class that I have ever taken at Stanford.

He always comes to class well-prepared, with structured notes.

If you take a class from him, there is no way that you can possibly get bored in his class. His terrific sense of humor makes the material much more enjoying and attractive.

His teaching is excellent: he not only teaches the theory, but also explains intuitions behind results and models. Indeed, he teaches how to write a paper, which is invaluable.

In his lectures, he displays a wealth of knowledge as well as tremendous passion for the subject. He takes extraordinary pains in his choice of diction and style of presentation to ensure that his ideas are communicated effectively to students.

On Advising and Research

Professor Harrison has been the advisor or co-advisor of many Stanford GSB students. A lot of his past students are currently full professors in top schools. Besides the Operations students he advised, there are also economics and finance students who have worked with Prof. Harrison during their PhD education. Right now, he has two students within the OIT group. Being one of these students, I feel lucky because he shows a great deal of respect to my ideas, and he always gives very constructive feedback. His positive attitude helped me get the most out of PhD so far.

I feel myself really lucky to have an opportunity to work with him. Having experienced how much time he devotes to his students, I think I will need to work hard to be able to achieve his standards as an advisor in the future. His academic excellence has been a big inspiration to me. He has a great vision, and remarkable comments. Whenever I talk to him, big tasks seem much easier to me. Besides research advice, he gives invaluable professional advice. No need to mention that he is a genius.

As a scholar, he holds himself up to an exceptional standard of intellectual rigor, and always seeks for full and complete answers to complex research questions.

On Fostering a Scholarly Community at Stanford GSB

Since Prof. Harrison became the faculty liaison of the OIT group, there has been a dramatic increase in the percentage of admits who accepted Stanford GSB’s offer. I think he has been very successful in showing these prospective students how prestigious Stanford GSB is.

As the OIT faculty liaison, he has gone out of his way to keep abreast with the courses available both in the GSB and Stanford as a whole. In the process, he actively seeks student feedback regarding the courses they have taken, to better design courses taught by OIT faculty, and to give advice to each student that tailored to his/her specific background.

Prof. Harrison has been the advisor or co-advisor of many Stanford GSB students. A lot of his past students are currently full professors in top schools. Besides the operations students he advised, there are also economics and finance students who have worked with Prof. Harrison during their PhD education. Right now, he has two students within the OIT group. Being one of these students, I feel lucky because he shows a great deal of respect to my ideas, and he always gives very constructive feedback. His positive attitude helped me get the most out of PhD so far.

Other Gems

His response time to my e-mails has never been more than one hour. He is awesome!

He is one of the nicest people I have ever known. He is very welcoming.

Mike is a very nice person to talk to. He is outstandingly smart, intelligent, sociable and ready to help.

He is a very nice and easy-going person. He likes chatting with students, including us first year guys, with the topics ranging from academic issues to casual thoughts such as culture, educational systems, etc. Last time right before the OIT seminar, we, the first years, were having lunch at the Arbuckle; he came to us with a bowl of salad in his hand, saying: “may I join you?” And then we just had a very pleasant chat during our lunch. He is really very friendly towards students.

Exemplar

Professor Harrison is truly exemplary as a scholar, an educator, and a vital contributor to the PhD student community at Stanford GSB.

His classes are admired by students from different fields and often have faculty members sitting in. His speech is always very clear and questions that he poses deepen your understanding a lot. It is our true pleasure and honor that we have Mike with us at Stanford GSB.