PROFESSOR AILSA LAND
Welcome to Ailsa’s remembrance pages.
Ailsa passed away peacefully in her sleep on 16th May 2021 near her home in Totnes, Devon.
As her family, we struggle to find words to express our sense of loss. We have been comforted however by the support and kind words received from friends and family from across the world.
These remembrance pages include photos of Ailsa (click here) as well as some of the many the tributes received since the sad news (click here). Together these provide a snapshot of Ailsa’s long and fascinating life.
We’ve also provided excerpts from some her own writings (click here) and a link (click here) to a very interesting video interview conducted in 2019 by by László Végh, associate professor in the Operational Research Group at the London School of Economics.
We really appreciate the words and work that many of Ailsa’s friends and colleagues have contributed to celebrate Ailsa’s many achievements. Ailsa was always extremely modest about her contributions to the real problems we face – including such world threatening problems as climate change and pandemics – but in compiling this material, its become increasingly clear that she was a true pioneering spirit who made a very positive impact upon many people, both personally through her kind and thoughtful mentoring and through the seminal academic work that continues to be useful and relevant to this day, even for addressing those very problems which concerned her most.
We’re extremely proud of her.
Frank, Frances, Richard and Margi
I am deeply sorry for the loss of our dear Ailsa. When I was living in London I was feeling her as my second mother. Always honest, fair, kind, cooperative and giving chances and freedom to develop to new colleagues… …Ailsa was a great colleague and a true mother figure for all of us at LSE.
I watched an interview of Ailsa on YouTube today. She was so humble about her achievements, despite becoming the first professor of OR in Britain and having mentored and taught hundreds of students throughout her lifetime.
She was an amazing person and the best grandma that I could have asked for
Ailsa was a kind, warm, vibrant, cheerful person; I liked her very much. She had a fulfilling and happy life, with you, her soul mate, with her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren and with her work.
What a wonderful long life she had with her ever expanding family. We are now feeling particularly glad we managed a visit to you both in Totnes in 2019. Didn’t we have a lovely time, delicious meal and Ailsa spoke about her early days in Canada during the war, an only child of parents whose daughter must have filled them with enormous pride. I recall Christine and my parents too raving about her academic prowess at LSE (and yours too Frank!) and even though she was very high powered with a major position, she was a wonderful down to earth warm generous mother, wife and family member.
Jilly and Derek Rothwell
She came across as clever, independent and quite inspirational to me at that time as I was a young woman just embarking on a career and a family. No one in my family had done that in the generations above us so Ailsa was a shining light.
We realised she was very brainy but it’s only recently we discovered what an important and admired scientist she was. We were fascinated to watch an interview she gave in 2019. Looking very handsome and nothing like 90, she talked about her early life and the beginning of her career at LSE.
Andrea and Fearn Gray
I am heart-broken to learn of the death of our loved and wonderful Ailsa.
Alison Harcourt (Doig)
Only when I heard the news did I realise what a large place she occupies in my life – despite not having actually been with you both now for several years.
Ailsa was a key figure in the academic world of OR and beyond, and as such, leaves behind a huge legacy for this and future generations of analysts in the subject area. Her award of the Beale Medal in 2019 is testament to this. The Beale lecture in February this year demonstrated just how far and wide Ailsa’s influence has been, and will continue to be.
Gavin Blackett FORS Executive Director The OR Society
Ailsa was an amazing role model for me. I have vivid memories of her handling confidently and calmly the SAMS departmental meetings when I joined the department back in 1985 – I was thinking at that time, I wish I become half as good as Ailsa in my academic career. And I also admired her for her family and for being such a lovely host, together with you, at the many times I visited your home.
She was, of course, one of the major figures in OR and Mathematical Programming in particular
Paul Williams, Emeritus Professor OR LSE
She was a great teacher, great mother, great colleague, and great friend.
Rudy and Sally Hirschheim