UMass INFORMS Speaker Series: OR/MS Career Advice Panel

Today, November 6th, our Student Chapter organized successfully a panel discussion with former Officers and graduate students of our University, who now have great jobs in different fields and disciplines. More specifically, we had Dr. Deniz Besik who is now an Assistant Professor at Richmond University, Mr. Vijeta Deshpande who works as a Research Specialist at Massachusetts General Hospital, Dr. Rodrigo Mercado Fernandez who is a Postdoctoral Research Scholar at the Appalachian Energy Center and Dr. Katerina Deliali who joined National Technical University of Athens as a Postdoctoral Research Associate.

Our Chapter’s President, Mojtaba, asked our panelists many interesting questions regarding their experience from navigating the job market. Our panelists offered valuable advice to our audience on how to choose between industry and academia and how to be a good candidate for the type of market that they will choose. The event participants joined vividly the panelists with many questions leading to a fruitful discussion. We all look forward to our next event! Stay tuned for updates!


UMass INFORMS Speaker Series: A Talk by Dr. Cecilia Zenteno, Dr. Martin Copenhaver and Dr. Michael Hu

Today, October 23rd, our Student Chapter enthusiastically organized its first virtual event for the Fall semester. More specifically, we were excited to organize a talk by Dr. Zenteno, Dr. Copenhaver, and Dr. Hu from the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). Dr. Zenteno is the Data and Analytics Senior Manager in the Healthcare Systems Engineering Department. Drs. Copenhaver and Hu are Operations Research Scientist at MGH. The title of their presentation was “Hospital Capacity during COVID-19”. Dr. Zenteno described the background, motivation and objectives of the work that they are performing at MGH regarding COVID-19. Dr. Copenhaver described the research questions, challenges and methods they are developing in the framework of their research. Dr. Hu focused on the timeline of their work from surge to recovery and described data and models developed for this purpose. The talk was concluded by Dr. Zenteno.

The event started with our Chapter’s president, Mojtaba, welcoming everyone to the event.

The attendees asked many interesting questions and there was a very vivid discussion at the end of the talk.

We are all looking forward to our next event! Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and Youtube and stay tuned!


Congratulations to UMass INFORMS Graduates!

We are excited to see members of our Student Chapter graduating from UMass after successfully completing their studies here! Despite the inevitable cancellation of this year’s graduation ceremony due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are all proud of our members’ achievements, and we would like to celebrate for each one of them individually!

Deniz Besik, former President and valuable member of our Chapter, has graduated from the Isenberg School of Management and will soon join the University of Richmond in the Robins School of Business as an Assistant Professor of Management. She completed her Ph.D. dissertation titled: “Essays on Competitive Perishable Supply Chain Networks: From the Impacts of Tariffs and Quotas to Integration of Quality” under the supervision of Professor Anna Nagurney. Congratulations on your successful journey at UMass, Deniz!

Ekin Koker, former webmaster and Vice President of our Chapter, has graduated from the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department and joined Philips Research in Cambridge with the role of Healthcare Operations Data Scientist. His Ph.D. dissertation was titled “Three Essays on Data-Driven Optimization for Scheduling in Manufacturing and Healthcare” and was completed under the supervision of Professors Ana Muriel and Hari Balasubramanian. Congratulations, Ekin!

Rodrigo Mercado Fernandez graduated from the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering. Rodrigo was the expert that edited our Chapter’s YouTube videos, among his various contributions to our Chapter. His Ph.D. dissertation is entitled “Robust and Sustainable Energy Pathways to Reach Mexico’s Climate Goals” and was completed under the supervision of Professor Erin Baker. Congratulations on your achievements, Rodrigo, and best of luck with your future plans!

Although we can’t celebrate all together this year, we can still applaud for your success, even from a distance! Many congratulations to our members and all the UMass graduates!


UMass INFORMS Speaker Series: A Talk by Dr. Rasmus Dahlberg

Today, February 21st, our Student Chapter successfully organized a talk by Dr. Rasmus Dahlberg. Dr. Rasmus Dahlberg is an Assistant Professor at the Royal Danish Defense College and his research focuses on civil-military relations, military history and war theory. His presentation was entitled: “Resilience – the Danish Version“. With this talk, Dr. Dahlberg introduced the main concepts of resilience and presented approaches to achieve more resilient cities in Denmark. His presentation included valuable historical background and real-life pictures that kept the audience’s attention vivid throughout the presentation.

Our Chapter’s advisor, Prof. Anna Nagurney, welcomed everyone to the event and introduced our speaker to the audience.

Our President, Mojtaba, referred to our speaker’s academic and professional background.

Dr, Dahlberg is also the author of many books!

Our presenter provided the attendees with valuable historical background.

There was a fruitful discussion between the presenter and the audience at the end of the talk.

Stay tuned to our Youtube Channel for Dr. Dahlberg’s interview that followed his presentation!


First Meeting for Spring 2020 – Welcome!

Today, Monday 01/27/2020, our Student Chapter conducted its first meeting for the Spring 2020 semester. The meeting started with a vivid discussion about everyone’s hopes and expectations for the new semester.  Our President, Mojtaba Salarpour, presented the already scheduled talks for this semester and summarized the expected activities in order to organize these events successfully. The meeting participants had the chance to suggest interesting ideas about other events that could be incorporated into our agenda. A list full of exciting ideas was created and will be soon distributed among our members for further discussion.

We are looking forward to organizing many events, always with the support and guidance of our advisor, Prof. Anna Nagurney. We hope to see you all there!

After completing the list of events, our Chapter’s members took a group photo!





End of Semester Party!

Today, December 17, our Student Chapter successfully organized the “End of Semester Party” which we all eagerly expected. Many friends and colleagues, from various departments, joined us to celebrate the end of the Fall 2019 semester and the beginning of the Winter Break. Attendees enjoyed traditional, national and international, food and exchanged wishes for the upcoming holiday season. The festive cake was among the highlights of the event. Here are some of the many photos that we took:


Our Chapter would like to wish everyone a Happy End of Semester and an amazing Winter Break! See you all during Spring 2020!


UMass INFORMS Speaker Series: A Talk by Dr. Thomas Sharkey

Today, November 15th,  our Student Chapter was thrilled to organize a talk by Dr. Thomas Sharkey. Dr. Sharkey is an Associate Professor and Graduate Program Director in the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. His presentation was entitled “Emergency Response in the Arctic: Optimizing Investments for Global Capabilities and Local Benefits”. Through his talk, Dr. Sharkey discussed major challenges associated with changes in the activities performed in  Arctic over the last years.  Such changes were the motivation for developing OR models for improving the emergency response in the Arctic, which was the main part of his presentation. Dr. Sharkey answered many questions during his talk and provided valuable information to the audience.

Our Chapter’s adviser, Prof. Anna Nagurney, introduced our speaker to the attendees and referred to his research background.

Dr. Sharkey presented to the audience the research team members that participated in this project.

With this talk, Dr. Sharkey explained current challenges in the Arctic area.

The attendees asked many interesting questions that led to a fruitful discussion.

Hope to see you all in our next event!



UMass INFORMS Speaker Series: A Talk by Dr. Stavros Siokos

Today, November 13th, our Student Chapter organized with enthusiasm a talk by Dr. Stavros Siokos. Dr. Siokos is the co-founder and managing partner of Astarte Capital Partners, primarily based in London, and he is also an alumnus of our University. His presentation was entitled: “Investing in Private Markets: Social and Environmental Benefits”’. With this talk, Dr. Siokos introduced the main concepts regarding impactful investments and took us for a tour around the world through videos that demonstrated his valuable work.  His talk included many examples from his personal experience, as well as precious advice for professional success.

Prof. Nagurney, our Chapter’s advisor, introduced Dr. Siokos to the audience.  As his PhD advisor, she also referred to his academic and professional background. Prof. Nagurney and Dr. Siokos co-authored a book about Financial Networks.

During his presentation, Dr. Siokos introduced us to current trends related with investments around the world.

His presentation included many videos that demonstrate the results of his fruitful work in different countries.

At the end of the talk, Prof. Nagurney took a group photo of the event’s participants.

Stay tuned for the interview that followed Dr. Siokos’ presentation!


UMass INFORMS Speaker Series: A Talk by Dr. Golbon Zakeri

It was a great pleasure for our Chapter to organize today’s event, a talk by Dr. Golbon Zakeri. Dr. Zakeri combined several recent papers of hers in order to provide us with an exciting presentation about pricing intermittent renewable generation. Her study focused on electricity market and included both deterministic and stochastic approaches. Our speaker encouraged the audience to ask questions during the talk and valuable feedback was exchanged.

Our speaker was introduced to the audience by our Chapter’s adviser, Prof. Anna Nagurney.

Our Chapter’s president, Mojtaba, referred to Dr. Zakeri’s academic and professional background.

Dr. Zakeri’s presentation was entitled: “Pricing intermittent renewable generation using stochastic flexi-auctions”.

Our speaker navigated through websites to show real-life data related with her work from around the world.

As always, the audience participated actively with many interesting questions. 

We hope to see you all in our next event!


Tune-up for INFORMS Annual Conference in Seattle, WA

Today, October 10th, our Student Chapter organized successfully the tune-up event for the INFORMS Annual Conference in Seattle, WA. Our presenters were 5 doctoral students of our University, currently serving as Officers of our chapter. The presented topics covered many different disciplines, such as disaster relief management, delivery systems based on drones, paratransit services, screening schedules for breast cancer and HIV transmission clusters. The audience participated vividly by asking questions and providing feedback to the presenters for improving their performance in the Conference.

Mojtaba opened the event with the presentation entitled: “An Integrated Financial and Logistical Game Theory Model for Humanitarian Organizations with Purchasing Costs, Multiple Freight Service Providers, and Budget, Capacity, and Demand Constraints”.

Haris presented his study on “Optimization of Paratransit Service with TNCs” which is developed for the Greater Boston area.

Zhangchen’s work was focused on drone deliveries and was entitled: “Revenue and Capacity Management for Drone-Based Delivery Services”.

Xinmeng presented her study on “Identifying Optimal Screening Schedules for Breast Cancer in Low-and-Middle-Income Countries: An application to Peru”.

Sonza’s work focuses on HIV transmission clusters and is entitled “An Agent Based Evolving Contact Network Model for Studying the Dynamics of HIV Transmission Clusters”.

Good luck to our presenters for their participation in the INFORMS Annual Conference in  Seattle (WA) this year!