William L. Cooper

William Cooper

William L. Cooper

Professor, Industrial Systems & Engineering


PhD, Industrial Engineering, Georgia Tech, 1999
BA, Mathematics, University of Pennsylvania, 1993


Please visit Professor Cooper's personal website for more information as well as links to publications.

William L. Cooper is a Professor in the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering at University of Minnesota. His research and teaching interests include revenue management and stochastic models.

Professor Cooper joined University of Minnesota in 1999 after obtaining a BA in Mathematics from University of Pennsylvania in 1993 and a PhD in Industrial Engineering from Georgia Tech in 1999. His research has been published in top journals including Operations Research, Management Science, Manufacturing & Service Operations Management, and Production and Operations Management. He is currently an Associate Editor for Operations Research and for Stochastic Systems, and was previously the Department Editor for Revenue Management at Production and Operations Management. Prof. Cooper has received several National Science Foundation research grants. He was the Chair of the INFORMS Revenue Management and Pricing Section in 2010-11 and was the Program Chair for the 2013 INFORMS Annual Meeting, which was held in Minneapolis.

Research Interests

My research focuses on using operations research models to develop and analyze heuristic and optimal solution approaches for complex problems in pricing and revenue management. I seek to generate models, insights, and methods relevant to the operation of actual systems, and to maintain a high level of mathematical rigor in the analysis of the models themselves.

Recently, my work has focused on building and analyzing models to determine prices for products that exhibit network effects. A product is said to experience network effects if individual consumers value it more when more other consumers purchase it. The expansion of social media has led to the emergence of new products that display network effects (e.g., multi-player online video games, group buying deals). Consequently, problems involving such products have recently taken on great importance. To address these problems, we must resolve many interesting technical questions. Some such questions arise because products' sales levels are not explicit functions of prices, but rather emerge as solutions of fixed point conditions in our model of network effects. My ongoing research on this topic has been supported by an NSF grant (with Zizhuo Wang) entitled "Revenue Management with Network Effects".

Honors and Awards

  • Russell J. Penrose Excellence in Teaching Award (Industrial and Systems Engineering, University of Minnesota), 2019
  • Harold W. Kuhn Award for exceptional paper published in Naval Research Logistics, 2012. For the paper “Production-inventory systems with imperfect advance demand information and updating” co-authored with S. Benjaafar and S. Mardan.
  • INFORMS M&SOM Best Paper Award Finalist, 2009. For the paper “Stochastic comparisons in airline revenue management” co-authored with D. Gupta.
  • INFORMS Revenue Management and Pricing Section (Best Publication) Prize, 2007. For the paper “Models of the spiral-down effect in revenue management” co-authored with T. Homem-de-Mello and A. J. Kleywegt.

Selected Publications

Please visit Professor Cooper's personal website for links to the papers below.

  • F. Nosrat, Cooper, W.L., and Z. Wang. “Pricing for a Product with Network Effects and Mixed Logit Demand,” Naval Research Logistics, 68(2), 159-182, 2021.
  • Y. Liu, W. L. Cooper, and Z. Wang. Information provision and pricing in the presence of consumer search costs. Production and Operations Management, 28(7), 1603-1620, 2019. 
  • C. Du, W. L. Cooper, and Z. Wang. Optimal worst-case pricing for a logit demand model with network effects. Operations Research Letters, 46(3), 345-351, 2018. 
  • C. Du, W. L. Cooper, and Z. Wang. Optimal pricing for a multinomial logit choice model with network effects. Operations Research, 64(2), 441-455, 2016. 
  • Y. Liu and W. L. Cooper. Optimal dynamic pricing with patient customers. Operations Research, 63(6), 1307-1319, 2015.
  • W. L. Cooper, T. Homem-de-Mello, and A. J. Kleywegt. Learning and pricing with models that do not explicitly incorporate competition. Operations Research, 63(1), 86-103, 2015.
  • W. L. Cooper and B. Rangarajan. Performance guarantees for empirical Markov decision processes with applications to multiperiod inventory models. Operations Research, 60(5), 1267-1281, 2012.
  • W. L. Cooper and L. Li. On the use of buy up as a model of customer choice in revenue management. Production and Operations Management, 21(5), 833-850, 2012. 
  • S. Benjaafar, W. L. Cooper, and S. Mardan. Production-inventory systems with imperfect advance demand information and updating. Naval Research Logistics, 58(2), 88-106, 2011.
  • K. Amaruchkul, W. L. Cooper, and D. Gupta. A note on air-cargo capacity contracts. Production and Operations Management, 20(1), 152-162, 2011.
  • D. Zhang and W. L. Cooper. Pricing substitutable flights in airline revenue management. European Journal of Operational Research, 197(3), 848-861, 2009.
  • D. Zhang and W. L. Cooper. Managing clearance sales in the presence of strategic customers. Production and Operations Management, 17(4), 416-431, 2008. 
  • K. Amaruchkul, W. L. Cooper, and D. Gupta. Single-leg air-cargo revenue management. Transportation Science, 41(4), 457-469, 2007. 
  • W. L. Cooper and T. Homem-de-Mello. Some decomposition methods for revenue management. Transportation Science, 41(3), 332-353, 2007. 
  • W. L. Cooper, T. Homem-de-Mello, and A. J. Kleywegt. Models of the spiral-down effect in revenue management. Operations Research, 54(5), 968-987, 2006.
  • W. L. Cooper and D. Gupta. Stochastic comparisons in airline revenue management. Manufacturing & Service Operations Management, 8(3), 221-234, 2006.
  • D. Zhang and W. L. Cooper. Revenue management for parallel flights with customer-choice behavior. Operations Research, 53(3), 415-431, 2005. 
  • S. Benjaafar, W. L. Cooper, and J.-S. Kim. On the benefits of pooling in production-inventory systems. Management Science, 51(4), 548-565, 2005. 
  • D. Gupta and W. L. Cooper. Stochastic comparisons in production yield management. Operations Research, 53(2), 377-384, 2005. 
  • W. L. Cooper, S. G. Henderson, and M. E. Lewis. Convergence of simulation-based policy iteration. Probability in the Engineering and Informational Sciences, 17(2), 213-234, 2003.
  • W. L. Cooper. Asymptotic behavior of an allocation policy for revenue management. Operations Research, 50(4), 720-727, 2002.
  • W. L. Cooper and R. L. Tweedie. Perfect simulation of an inventory model for perishable products. Stochastic Models, 18(2), 229-243, 2002. 
  • W. L. Cooper. Pathwise properties and performance bounds for a perishable inventory system. Operations Research, 49(3), 455-466, 2001. 
  • W. L. Cooper, V. Schmidt, and R. F. Serfozo. Skorohod-Loynes characterizations of queueing, fluid, and inventory processes. Queueing Systems, 37(1-3), 233-257, 2001.
  • W. L. Cooper. Negative binomial sums of random variables and discounted reward processes. Journal of Applied Probability, 35(3), 589-599, 1998.