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UMass INFORMS Speaker Series: Dr. Arzum Akkas

The Spring semester has come to an end, which means it is a great time for our Chapter members to reflect on this semester’s memories and share with our readers the details of the amazing events we organized together. We would like to take this opportunity to take our readers down memory lane, and remember the wonderful talks we had in Spring 2023 for our Speaker Series.

“Inventory Issuing Rules and Food Waste Management” by Dr. Arzum Akkas

Our first guest this Spring was Dr. Arzum Akkas, who gave a highly informative talk on March 31 about food waste management and inventory issuing rules. Dr. Akkas is an Assistant Professor at the Questrom School of Business, Boston University, and a faculty affiliate of the Boston University Institute for Global Sustainability. Dr. Akkas also visited our campus to give her presentation, which made her the first Speaker Series guest that we had the honor to welcome in-person since the COVID pandemic has started, and made this experience even more special. In her presentation, Dr. Akkas discussed the management of perishable inventory at distribution centers, and presented two papers with intriguing results.

Dr. Arzum Akkas giving her presentation on food waste management.

After this inspiring talk, Dr. Akkas was joined by our Faculty Advisor Dr. Anna Nagurney and our Chapter members Paola, Vivian, Busra, Dana and Josh for a nice lunch at The Commonwealth Restaurant. It was very pleasant to see the immediate impact of Dr. Akkas’ research presentation: Desserts were shared to prevent food waste, and the remains from the generous portions of delicious turkey sandwiches and burgers were taken in to-go boxes to be enjoyed later.

Once the desserts were finished and we were all recharged with coffee and tea, we went back to the Supernetworks Lab at the Isenberg building to record an interview with Dr. Akkas. In this interview, Dr. Akkas talked more about her research, shared her professional experiences, and gave valuable insights about choosing a career in academia vs. industry. We are so happy to present our readers with the recorded interview below.

Once again, we would like to thank our brilliant guest Dr. Arzum Akkas for informing us more about such an important issue in today’s world, and visiting our beloved campus.

Our blog posts will continue with highlights from this past academic year. Many thanks to everyone who joined our Speaker Series events and supported our Student Chapter.