Last Friday, we enjoyed an amazing presentation by Dr. Destenie Nock, Assistant Professor at Carnegie Mellon University and creator of the Black Electricity Blog, about the risk of contracting COVID-19 on public transportation. This time, we were also proud to welcome a former Chapter Officer!
Policy alternatives that could reduce the risk of contracting the virus were discussed, and the impact of this risk on transit-dependent essential workers who tend to be from low-income and minority populations was analyzed. Thanks to this inspiring work, we had an amazing discussion session afterwards, where this issue that we all witness in our daily lives was explored even further. We thank Dr. Nock once again for sharing this brilliant work with us.
If you missed this great talk, you can follow the link to find the recording of the session on our YouTube channel!
For this semester’s first Speaker Series event, our brilliant guest Dr. Ann Melissa Campbell, Executive Officer of the Department of Business Analytics at The University of Iowa Tippie College of Business, joined us to share her research. In this session, we had the chance to learn more about Capacitated Delivery Problem with Parking (CDPP) that she worked on with Dr. Barrett Thomas and Dr. Sara Reed. We once again thank Dr. Campbell for this very inspiring presentation.
After the talk, we enjoyed a great Q&A session where our audience members from various research fields joined the discussion and reminded us how inspiring and full of potential ORMS is. The implications of this research for different areas such as energy, health, and environment were discussed, and the possible impacts of smart city design and autonomous vehicles on this issue were brought up. We thank Dr. Campbell and everyone who joined us for this learning opportunity. If you missed this great talk, you can visit our YouTube channel to find the recording of the session!
Spring is almost here, and for our Student Chapter this means that it is time to share with you our brilliant Speaker Series line-up for the new semester. With our Faculty Advisor, Professor Anna Nagurney, we will be welcoming another series of prestigious speakers, and we would love to have you join us.
Below you can find the details and the RSVP link for each event. After registering for an event through the link provided, you will receive a calendar invite with the meeting link.
We thank the OIM Department for supporting this series. We hope you can join us as our guest speakers introduce us to a series of fascinating ORMS research ideas and applications!
Friday, February 18:Does Parking Matter? The Impact of Search Time for Parking on Last-Mile Delivery Optimization
Speaker: Dr. Ann Melissa Campbell, Executive Officer of the Department of Business Analytics at the University of Iowa Time: 11 AM – 12:15 PM (EST) Location: Virtual Meeting
Abstract: Parking is a necessary component of traditional last-mile delivery practices, but finding parking can be difficult. Yet, the routing literature largely does not account for such need. In this talk, Dr. Campbell addresses the problem of finding parking through the Capacitated Delivery Problem with Parking (CDPP). Unlike other models in the literature, the CDPP accounts for the search time for parking in the objective and minimizes the completion time of the delivery tour. Computational experiments show that parking matters in last-mile delivery optimization The CDPP outperforms industry practice and models in the literature showing the greatest advantage when the search time for parking is high.
Speaker Bio: Ann Melissa Campbell is the Department Executive Officer of the Department of Business Analytics and Clement T. and Sylvia H. Hanson Family Chair in Manufacturing Productivity at the Henry B. Tippie College of Business at the University of Iowa. She joined the University of Iowa after receiving her Ph.D. from the School of Industrial and Systems Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Her research focuses on freight transportation, especially on problems related to new and emerging business models. She works on problems related to inventory routing, consumer direct delivery, route planning using stochastic information, and logistics planning for disaster relief. She publishes in journals such as Transportation Science and Networks. She is a recipient of the NSF CAREER Award and serves as an Area Editor for Transportation Science. She led the department’s efforts to win the 2021 INFORMS UPS George D. Smith Prize for excellence in analytics education.
Friday, March 04: COVID-19 Impacts on Public Transportation
Speaker: Dr. Destenie Nock, Assistant Professor at Carnegie Mellon University and creator of the Black Electricity Blog Time: 1 PM – 2:15 PM (EST) Location: Virtual Meeting
Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic has spread globally; however, the risk of contracting COVID-19 on public transportation and its role in local spread remains unclear. Essential workers who are transit-dependent tend to be from low-income and minority populations and are faced with the risk of contracting COVID-19 each time they take a bus. In this talk, Dr. Nock presents a study that investigates bus ridership from April to September of 2020 and the risk of contracting COVID-19 on the bus by combining a transportation data analysis and an epidemiological model of COVID-19 risk. A cost-benefit analysis reveals that dispatching autonomous vehicles or deploying longer buses rather than allowing crowding have the lowest societal costs.
Speaker Bio: Dr. Destenie Nock is a leader in energy justice and sustainable energy transition trade-off analysis. In her role as an Assistant Professor in Civil & Environmental Engineering (CEE), and Engineering and Public Policy (EPP) she creates optimization and decision analysis tools which evaluate the sustainability, equity, and reliability of electricity and transportation systems in the US and Sub-Saharan Africa. Dr. Nock holds a Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where she was an NSF Graduate Research Fellow, and an Offshore Wind Energy IGERT Fellow. She earned a MSc in Leadership for Sustainable Development at Queen’s University of Belfast, and two BS degrees in Electrical Engineering and Applied Math at North Carolina A&T State University. She is the creator of the Black Electricity Blog site which posts articles about graduate and undergraduate advice, and research updates in energy and sustainability.
Friday, April 08:Does Transportation Mean Transplantation? Impact of New Airline Routes on Sharing of Cadaveric Kidneys
Speaker: Dr. Tinglong Dai, Professor of Operations Management and Business Analytics at Johns Hopkins University Time: 11 AM – 12:15 PM (EST) Location: Virtual Meeting
Abstract: Every year, nearly 5,000 patients die while waiting for kidney transplants, and yet an estimated 3,500 procured kidneys are discarded. Although numerous policy initiatives are aimed at broadening organ pooling, they rarely account for a key friction—efficient airline transportation, ideally direct flights, is necessary for long-distance sharing, because of the time-sensitive nature of kidney transplantation. In this talk, Dr. Dai presents the effect of introducing new airline routes on broader kidney sharing. His work merges the U.S. airline transportation and kidney transplantation data sets, to create a unique sample tracking (1) the evolution of airline routes connecting all the U.S. airports and (2) kidney transplants between donors and recipients connected by these airports. The complete paper is available at https://bit.ly/tr-tx
Speaker Bio: Tinglong Dai is a Professor of Operations Management and Business Analytics at Johns Hopkins University. He serves on the leadership team of the Hopkins Business of Health Initiative and the executive committee of the Institute for Data Intensive Engineering and Science. As a leading expert in healthcare analytics, Dr. Dai has been quoted hundreds of times in the media, including the Associated Press, Bloomberg, CNBC, CNN, Fortune, Harvard Business Review, New York Times, NPR, PBS, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post. In 2021, Poets & Quants named him one of the World’s Best 40 Under 40 Business School Professors. Dr. Dai’s research interests span across healthcare, marketing-operations interfaces, and human-AI interaction. His work has been published in leading journals such as Management Science, M&SOM, Marketing Science, and Operations Research, and has been recognized by Johns Hopkins Discovery Award, INFORMS Public Sector Operations Research Best Paper Award, POMS Best Healthcare Paper Award, and Wickham Skinner Early Career Award. He currently serves as an Associate Editor for M&SOM and Health Care Management Science, and as a Senior Editor of Production and Operations Management. He graduated from Carnegie Mellon University with a PhD in Operations Management and Robotics in 2013.
Friday, April 29: Making an Impact: It’s Math and Psychology
Speaker: Mr. Jack Levis, INFORMS Fellow, Independent Advisor, and Retired Senior Director of Engineering at UPS Time: 11 AM – 12:15 PM (EST) Location: Virtual Meeting
Abstract: Turning data into a business advantage through Advanced Analytics is the goal of most organizations. The availability of data, along with expanding computing power and tools, opens the door to businesses gaining competitive advantage through analytical processes and skill. When Jack Levis was a Senior Director for UPS, he saw the reality of this promise firsthand. His team created advanced tools and algorithms that reduced operating cost in excess of $500M annually while improving customer service. But there is much more to making an impact than just creating advanced tools and algorithms. Organization’s change is also essential. Jack Levis, retired senior director of engineering at UPS, will share his experiences and best practices to compete with analytics, requiring organizational support in the form of data, tools, and senior management commitment.
Speaker Bio: Jack Levis is a retired UPS Senior Director of Industrial Engineering. He was responsible for the development of operational technology solutions. These solutions required advanced analytics to reengineer processes to streamline the business and maximize productivity. He has been the business owner and process designer for UPS’ Package Flow Technology suite of systems which includes its award-winning delivery optimization, ORION (On Road Integrated Optimization and Navigation). These tools have been a breakthrough change for UPS, resulting in a reduction of 185 million miles driven each year and reducing costs by $350M to $400M per year. Mr. Levis is a Fellow of the Institute for Operations Research and Management Sciences (INFORMS), receiving their prestigious Kimball Medal and the President’s Award. His educational background includes a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, from California State University Northridge, and a Master’s Certificate in Project Management from George Washington University.
As we cross one month since the 2021 INFORMS Annual Meeting, we would like to reminisce about all the great memories we had at the conference with people from all over the world who share our passion for OR&MS.
Presenting our research, getting feedback, and learning from the work of others was indeed valuable. INFORMS 2021 provided a multitude of speakers and training opportunities that enhanced our technical expertise. Furthermore, it allowed for much missed human interaction. Reuniting with former Chapter members, recruiting new students to our Chapter, as well accepting our Cum Laude Award together were remarkable experiences that we will always fondly remember!
We thank the Student Chapters’ committee for recognizing the great efforts of our officers, and we feel truly motivated to move forward thanks to a great reminder like this one. We also very much appreciate that our President, Paola P. Furlanetto, and our Secretary, Ogechi Vivian Nwadiaru, were there to represent our Chapter during the students’ reception and receive the award on stage from the INFORMS President-elect Radhika Kulkarni and Executive Director Elena Gerstmann.
Thanks to the organizers’ noteworthy efforts, this year’s Annual Meeting was a “hybrid” experience, as all the attendees were able to enjoy both in-person and online presentations as well as the hybrid content that connected guests attending in-person with attendees joining from miles away. Our Chapter collectively felt energized and inspired once we were able to hear from many professionals and peers about their exciting ideas and refreshing perspectives. Even though we went through challenging times since 2020, upcoming OR&MS studies on COVID response encouraged us to stay hopeful, work harder and together for a brighter future for us and the next generations. As the Student Chapter, we were reminded to support each other through our academic journeys as peers and future colleagues, and were motivated to come up with new ways to do so as soon as we were back in UMass Amherst. During the conference, we were even able to find new members for our Chapter, which made us feel stronger as a community.
We would like to present you some valuable remarks about the Annual Meeting, by our Chapter Officers who attended the conference in-person, and our Faculty Advisor:
What a delight it was to have our student Chapter members, various UMass Amherst faculty, and even alums present at the hybrid INFORMS Annual Meeting in Anaheim. It was wonderful to see the esprit de corps and the enthusiasm in the presentations and the various other events at this conference. A special highlight for me was to have our UMass Amherst INFORMS Student Chapter again recognized with an award for its activities, the 15th year in a row that the chapter has been thus recognized and every year since INFORMS started this award. As the Faculty Advisor to this Student Chapter, it is a pleasure to see the students grow professionally and in terms of leadership plus friendship through the chapter events, from panels to the hosting of speakers, as well as social events. In the pandemic, there have been so many challenges for all, but, as a community, we emerge stronger by working together and supporting one another. Personally, I was also thrilled to be invited to deliver a tutorial at this conference entitled, “Game Theory and the COVID-19 Pandemic,” and to have a co-authored paper presented by Mojtaba Salarpour, the former Chapter President, and Dr. Deniz Besik and Dr. Pritha Dutta, both former very active past Chapter Presidents, and Isenberg School PhD alumnae, now Assistant Professors at the University of Richmond and Pace University, respectively.
Anna Nagurney, Ph.D. – Eugene M. Isenberg Chair in Integrative Studies
INFORMS 2021 Annual Meeting at Anaheim allowed for long needed human interaction and face to face discussions in multiple topics of Operations Research. I was particularly lucky to present my research in the Energy and Equity Session where I could meet other researchers doing great work to advance justice in the Power Systems. I thank the organization for a hybrid format and look forward to a safer future where we can all meet in person.
Paola Furlanetto – PhD Candidate, IEOR
The INFORMS 2021 Annual Meeting was a fantastic opportunity to present my research focusing on resilient infrastructure management and learn about a variety of projects ranging from innovative transportation and shared mobility systems to optimization techniques in machine learning. The sessions that stood out to me covered specialized modeling routines and solving models on decentralized computing resources. It was great to connect with researchers and industry leaders from far and near and explore the vibrant city of Anaheim.
Nasko Apostolov – MS Candidate, Civil Engineering
Once again, our Chapter thanks everyone who joined us during this exceptional journey, and everyone who made it possible. We are already looking forward to the next year’s meeting, and we are more than ready to be there and get inspired again as a tight-knit community with high motivation!
Our Student Chapter’s Speaker Series keeps bringing us together with excellent researchers, and our last event on November 19th was no exception. We were honored to have Dr. Robin Lougee, a member of the Board on Agriculture and Natural Resources at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, for this semester’s first Speaker Series event. Dr. Lougee was the former Global Research Industry Lead for Consumer at IBM Research, and she is the newly elected Vice President of Practice of INFORMS.
For this talk, Dr. Lougee introduced us to the fascinating world of AI systems used in product development. Thanks to her, we were informed about how great levels of efficiency can be achieved in product design when the developers are assisted by novel AI systems. The talk was based on a multi-year research collaboration between McCormick & Company and IBM Research. Hence, specific cases of AI-aided product design with a focus on flavor innovation were brought up during the presentation. One would initially think that “taste” is such a nuanced concept that could not be captured by inanimate subjects, and yet Dr. Lougee showed us that not only AI systems can explore the flavor space very effectively, but they can also add various constraints of the product developer to the picture while doing so, such as cost or healthiness of the final product.
This highly intriguing research showed all those in the audience that when creativity meets technology and information, results that were previously unexpected can be unveiled and move us towards a greater future. Our Student Chapter was truly motivated by the excellence of this talk, and would like to thank Dr. Robin Lougee once again. We would also like to thank our Faculty Advisor Prof. Anna Nagurney, and everyone in the audience for joining and supporting us for our Speaker Series event. We cannot wait to see what is the next ORMS subject that we will explore thanks to the Speaker Series!
Last Friday, on September 24th, our Student Chapter gathered in the Supernetworks Lab at the Isenberg School of Management to welcome the new academic year together. This meeting was especially meaningful for our Chapter due to it being the first in-person activity that we organized after a fully remote academic year. We welcomed our new members and elected new officers while sharing our excitement for being back on our campus together. Our new president, Paola, shared her notable plans on how to navigate through this transitional period in which we all gradually move on from online activities to cautious in-person gatherings. She also thanked the former president, Mojtaba, and former officers for carrying our Chapter through these challenging times. With our new officers and members, we are more than ready to create great memories together!
Today, March 5, our chapter organized a fascinating event. More specifically, we were excited to organize a talk by Dr. Mauricio G. C. Resende, a Principal Research Scientist at Amazon. The title of this presentation was “Logistics Optimization at Amazon: Big Data & Operations Research in Action”. In this event, Dr. Resende addressed various aspects of logistics operations at Amazon and presented some very interesting points about what is happening in this huge company.
This event was very well received and many participants from different parts of the world attended this online event and enjoyed the talk very much. At the end of the presentation, Dr. Resende answered various interesting questions of the participants.