UMass INFORMS Speaker Series: Panel Discussion: Navigating the Academic Job Market

Today, February 12, our chapter organized a very useful panel discussion. In this panel, Dr. Priyank Arora from Isenberg School of Management, UMass Amherst, Dr. Deniz Besik from the University of Richmond, Dr. Chaitra Gopalappa from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and Dr. Sara Saberi from Worcester Polytechnic Institute discussed 1) How to be a top candidate in the Academic Job Market; 2) What to do before, during, and after the interview; and 3) The possible effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on the Academic Job Market.

Participants in this online panel were from various locations, including the United States, Germany, Turkey, England, and India, and their questions were answered by the panelists. This event was recorded and soon will be posted on our YouTube channel so that those who did not have the opportunity to attend the meeting can still take advantage of today’s helpful discussions.

Panel Discussion: Navigating the Academic Job Market

Title: Panel Discussion: Navigating the Academic Job Market

Speakers: Dr. Priyank Arora, Dr. Deniz Besik, Dr. Chaitra Gopalappa, and Dr. Sara Saberi

Registration Link:


General Meeting for Spring 2021

Today, on the third day of the Spring semester at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, we held our first meeting of the semester. Since we are still in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic, this meeting was held online.

First, Mojtaba Salarpour, the president of the Chapter, briefly stated the goals and plans of the Chapter for this semester. The officers then exchanged views on plannings for exciting events. It was decided that in this semester, as in the previous one, we would take advantage of the situation and hold useful and interesting online events by inviting researchers and scholars from various fields and different places. In the end, the officers talked to each other and discussed their personal plans for the semester.

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


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!

OR/MS Career Advice Panel

Title:  OR/MS Career Advice Panel

Speakers: Dr. Deniz Besik, Mr. Vijeta Deshpande, Dr. Rodrigo Mercado Fernandez and Dr. Katerina Deliali

Registration Link:


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!

A Talk by Dr. Cecilia Zenteno, Dr. Martin Copenhaver and Dr. Michael Hu

Title: Hospital Capacity Planning during COVID-19

Speakers: Dr. Cecilia Zenteno, Dr. Martin Copenhaver and Dr. Michael Hu

Registration Link:


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!

Dr. Rasmus Dahlberg’s talk

Title: “Resilience – the Danish Version”

Presenter: Dr. Rasmus Dahlberg