Rick So

Rick So

Professor Emeritus
Operations and Decision Technologies

SB2 438



PhD in Operations Research, Stanford University
MS in Operations Research, Stanford University
BS in Mathematics and Computing and Information Science, Roosevelt University

Research Interest

Supply Chain Management

Production and Inventory Management

Manufacturing and Service System Design

Time-Based Management

Operations Research

Dr. Rick So is a Professor of Operations and Decision Technologies at The Paul Merage School of Business at the University of California, Irvine (UCI).

Dr. So received his BS degree in Mathematics and Computing and Information Science from Roosevelt University, and his MS and PhD degrees in Operations Research from Stanford University. Dr. So’s research expertise is in the areas of Operations Management, Supply Chain Management, Design of Production and Service Systems, and Business Process Management. Dr. So was a recipient of the Excellence in MBA Teaching Award, UCI Career Development Award, Andersen Consulting Outstanding Faculty Award, UCI Faculty Research Fellowship, and Corporate Partners Faculty Research Award. Dr. So served as the Ph.D. Program Director from 1998-2000 and the Associate Dean of Undergraduate Programs from 2012-2016.

Prior to joining the faculty at UCI in 1989, Dr. So had worked at the AT&T Bell Laboratories for almost five years, where he served as an internal consultant to various AT&T manufacturing facilities. From 1996-98, Dr. So served as the Head of the Department of Management at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Dr. So also held Visiting Professorships at the University of Hong Kong, International University of Japan and the National University of Singapore.

Dr. So has published over 45 research articles in major academic journals including Management ScienceOperations ResearchManufacturing & Service Operations ManagementIIE TransactionsNaval Research Logistics, Queueing Systems, and European Journal of Operations Research. Dr. So has frequently presented his research findings at academic institutions and professional conferences worldwide. He currently serves on the editorial boards of Naval Research LogisticsProduction and Operations Management and Computer and Operations Research.

Dr. So has previously advised clients or conducted management workshops for a number of companies including, Southern California Edison, Nestle, Federal Reserve Bank of Los Angeles, Ingram Micro, Conexant Systems, Microsemi, Orient Overseas Container Limited, and Hong Kong Hospital Authority.


  • Faculty Service Award, The Paul Merage School of Business, 2010-11.
  • Excellence in Teaching Award (MBA Core), The Paul Merage School of Business, 2009.


2000 - Present
  • “Developing Cost-Effective Inspection Sampling Plans for Energy Efficiency Programs at Southern California Edison." (with E. Wu)  Interfacesforthcoming (2016).
  • “Managing a Closed-Loop Supply System with Random Returns and a Cyclic Delivery Schedule." (with C. Huynh and H. Gurnani)  European Journal of Operational Researchforthcoming (2016).
  • “The Value of Demand Forecast Updates in Managing Component Procurements for Assembly Systems." (with J. Cao)  IIE Transactionsforthcoming (2016).
  • “A Queueing Model Arising from Managing Small Projects under Uncertainties,” (with J. Bai and C.S. Tang) European Journal of Operational Research253, 777-790 (2016).
  • “Component Procurement Strategies in Decentralized Assembly Systems under Supply Uncertainty.” (with W. Pan) IIE Transactions48, 267-282 (2016). 
  • “Impact of an Online–to-Store Channel on Demand Allocation, Pricing and Profitability.”  (with J. Cao and S. Yin) European Journal of Operational Research248, 234-245 (2016).
  • “Optimal Product Pricing and Component Production Quantities for an Assembly System Under Supply Uncertainty.” (with W. Pan) Operations Research58, 1792-1797 (2010).
  • "The Effects of Supply Reliability in a Retail Setting with Joint Marketing and Inventory Decisions," (with S. Liu and F. Zhang) Manufacturing & Service Operations Management12, 19-32 (2010).
  • "Component Procurement Strategies in Decentralized Assemble-to-Order Systems with Time-Dependent Product Pricing," (with X. Fang and Y. Wang) Management Science54, 1997-2011 (2008).
  • "Managing Component for Assemble-To-Order Products with Leadtime-Dependent Pricing: The Full-Shipment Model," (with V.N. Hsu and C.Y. Lee) Naval Research Logistics54, 510-523 (2007).
  • "Risk Hedging Through Forward Supply Contract and Equity Ownership in a Spin-Off Decision," (with N. Takezawa and J.R. Rajasekera) International Journal of Production Economics106, 532-543 (2007).
  • "A Mathematical Model for Evaluating Cross-sales Policies in Telephone Service Centers," (with R. Byers) Manufacturing & Service Operations Management, 9, 1-8 (2007).
  • "Optimal Component Stocking Policy for Assemble-To-Order Systems with Leadtime-Dependent Component and Product Pricing," (with V.N. Hsu and C.Y. Lee), Management Science52, 337-351 (2006).
  • "Models for Improving Team Productivity at the Federal Reserve Bank," (with C..S. Tang, and R. Zavala), Interfaces33, 25-36 (2003).
  • "Impact of Supplier’s Lead Time and Forecast Demand Updating on Retailer’s Order Quantity Variability in a Two-Level Supply Chain,"(with X. Zheng), International Journal of Production Economics86, 169-179 (2003).
  • "Price and Time Competition for Service Delivery," Manufacturing & Service Operations Management2, 392-409 (2000
  • "Modeling the Impact of an Outcome Oriented Reimbursement Policy on Clinics, Patients, and Pharmaceutical Firms," (With C. S. Tang),  Management Science46, 874-892 (2000)
  • "The Value of Information Sharing in a Two-Level Supply Chain," (with H. L. Lee and C. S. Tang), Management Science46, 626-643 (2000).
Before 2000
  • "Price, Delivery Time Guarantees and Capacity Selection," (with J. S. Song), European Journal of Operational Research111, 28-49 (1998).
  • "Optimal Buffer Allocation Strategy for Minimizing Work-In-Process Inventory in Unpaced Production Lines," IIE Transactions29, 81-88 (1997).
  • "Operational Strategies for Managing Congestion in Service Systems," (with C. S. Tang), European Journal of Operational Research92, 83-98 (1996).
  • "On the Robustness of the Bowl Phenomenon," (with F. S. Hillier), European Journal of Operational Research89, 496-515 (1996).
  • "On the Simultaneous Optimization of Server and Work Allocations in Production Line Systems with Variable Processing Times," (with F. S. Hillier), Operations Research44, 435-443 (1996).
  • "On the Optimal Design of Tandem Queueing Systems with Finite Buffers," (with F. S. Hillier), Queueing Systems21, 245-266 (1995).
  • "Optimal Batch Sizing and Repair Strategies for Operations with Repairable Jobs," (with C. S. Tang), Management Science41, 894-908 (1995).
  • "Optimal Operating Policy for a Bottleneck with Random Rework," (with C. S. Tang), Management Science41, 620-636 (1995).
  • "Optimal Allocation of Work Orders in a Multi-Echelon Factory Network," (with C. H. Scott), Journal of the Chinese Institute of Industrial Engineers11, 105-110 (1994).
  • "Optimal Production Sequence for a Product with Matching Components," (with C. H. Scott), Operations Research42, 694-708 (1994).
  • "Optimal Recycling of Waste Materials in a Plastic Extrusion Production Process," (with S. P. Ladany), European Journal of Operational Research, 79, 13-24 (1994).
  • "Some Data for Applying the Bowl Phenomenon to Large Production Line Systems," (with F. S. Hillier), International Journal of Production Research, 31, 811-822 (1993).
  • "Toward Characterizing the Optimal Allocation of Storage Space in Production Line Systems with Variable Operation Times," (with F. S. Hillier and R. W. Boling), Management Science39, 126-133 (1993).
  • "Optimality of Control Limit Policies in Replacement Models," Naval Research Logistics39, 685-697 (1992).
  • "Performance Bounds for Multiserver Exponential Tandem Queues with Finite Buffers," (with K. E. Chin), European Journal of Operational Research63, 463-477 (1992).
  • "The Effect of Machine Breakdowns and Storage Space on the Performance of Production Line Systems," (with F. S. Hillier), International Journal of Production Research29, 2043-2055 (1991).
  • "Optimality of Threshold Policies in Single Server Queueing Systems with Server Vacations," (with A. Federgruen) Advances in Applied Probability23, 388-405 (1991).
  • "The Effect of the Coefficient of Variation of Operation Times on the Allocation of Storage Space in Production Line Systems," (with F. S. Hillier), IIE Transactions23, 198-206 (1991).
  • "A Due-Date Assignment Model for a Flow Shop with Applications in a Lightguide Cable Shop," (with J. R. Rajasekera and M. R. Murr), Journal of Manufacturing Systems10, 1-7 (1991).
  • "The Impact of Buffering Strategies on the Performance of Production Line Systems," International Journal of Production Research28, 2293-2307 (1990).
  • "Optimal Maintenance Policies For Single-Server Queueing Systems Subject to Breakdowns," (with A. Federgruen), Operations Research38, 330-343 (1990).
  • "Some Heuristics for Scheduling Jobs on Parallel Machines with Setups," Management Science36, 467-475 (1990).
  • "The Assignment of Extra Servers to Stations in Tandem Queueing Systems with Small or No Buffers," (with F. S. Hillier), Performance Evaluation10, 219-231 (1989).
  • "Allocating Buffer Storages in a Flexible Manufacturing System," International Journal of Flexible Manufacturing Systems1, 223-237 (1989).
  • "Optimal Time To Repair A Broken Server," (with A. Federgruen), Advances in Applied Probability21, 376-397 (1989).
  • "On the Efficiency of Unbalancing a Production Line," International Journal of Production Research27, 717-729 (1989).
  • "On the Efficiency of Unbalancing a Production Line: A Reply to an Alternate Interpretation," International Journal of Production Research28, 1221-1222 (1990).
  • "Allocating Buffer Storages in a Pull System," (with S. C. Pinault), International Journal of Production Research26, 1959-1980 (1988).


  • Statistics for Management (MBA)
  • Operations Management (MBA)
  • Production and Inventory Management (MBA)
  • Field Projects in Operations Management (MBA)
  • Process Management and Modeling (MBA)
  • Operations IT Lab. (MBA)
  • Doctoral Seminars in Operations and Decision Technologies (PhD)