UMass INFORMS Speaker Series: Dr. Laura Albert

As the UMass INFORMS Student Chapter, we have been always proud of the Speaker Series events we have organized. With the support of INFORMS, our departments at UMass Amherst, and our Faculty Advisor’s efforts, we managed to welcome brilliant guests and hear more about their research and experiences. Spring 2023 was no exception in terms of the level of inspiration and excitement, and we would like to take this opportunity to provide our readers with more details about these events from this past semester.

“On Designing and Operating Resilient Voting Systems” by Dr. Laura Albert

Our second guest for the Spring 2023 Speaker Series was no other than the 2023 INFORMS President, Dr. Laura Albert! Dr. Albert is the David H. Gustafson Chair of the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, and the author of the famous OR blog, Punk Rock Operations Research. It was an honor to welcome Dr. Albert for a Zoom talk on the design and operation of resilient voting systems.

Dr. Laura Albert’s presentation titled “On Designing and Operating Resilient Voting Systems”.

Before starting to describe her work, Dr. Albert shared the details of her experience at INFORMS, and asked the audience to share why they enjoyed being an INFORMS member. Thanks to this pleasant mini discussion, we were all reminded that there was something for every OR/MS fan at the INFORMS community, whether they were a graduate student, a faculty member or a researcher.

Dr. Albert’s list of “favorite things about INFORMS“.

Thanks to Dr. Laura Albert’s fantastic talk, we were once again reminded that there were so many systems around us, such as the voting system, that can benefit from OR/MS tools being used creatively and effectively. Dr. Albert was very kind to reserve extra time before the talk to answer our questions and give valuable advice. Our Student Chapter was so happy to be reunited with Dr. Albert, whom we last saw during the 2022 INFORMS Annual Meeting when she presented us with our Student Chapter Award.

Dr. Albert and our audience for a virtual group photo.

We would like to thank Dr. Albert once again for joining us for our Speaker Series, sharing her research and spending additional time with our faculty members and graduate students to answer questions and provide valuable insights on our research, career goals and being an INFORMS member.

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.