2017 Annual Meeting Wrapup

2017 Annual Meeting Wrapup


Thank You for Joining Us at the 2017 Annual Meeting!

We hope you enjoyed the 2017 INFORMS Annual Meeting in the amazing city of Houston. All of the INFORMS staff enjoyed seeing our members in person and sharing this event with you!

This year's meeting was the largest ever with more than 5,900 operations research, analytics, and management science practitioners, academics, and students, who came together to share their latest research and best practices, reconnect with friends and colleagues, and make new connections. Throughout the meeting's four action-packed days, attendees listened to esteemed plenary and keynote speakers discussing a variety of topics, took part in panel discussions, attended a number of networking and social events, all of which culminated with an exciting night out at the General Reception at Houston's Minute Maid Park watching Game 1 of the World Series.

Please take a few moments to provide your feedback on the 2017 INFORMS Annual Meeting. Your responses will help us to better serve you and the entire membership. They survey will close at midnight on Monday, November 13. You can access the survey here

We hope to see you in 2018 at the Analytics Conference (April 15-17) in our hometown of Baltimore, the International Conference (June 17-20) in Taipei, and the 2018 Annual Meeting in Phoenix, Arizona (November 4-7). 

 Annual Meeting Award Winners Recap

Throughout the meeting, INFORMS, student, and subdivision awards were presented in recognition of incredible contributions to operations research, analytics, and the management sciences. Congratulations to all of this year's winners!

Bonder Scholarship for Applied Operations Research in Military Applications 
Lee Evans, University of Louisville

Bonder Scholarship for Applied Operations Research in Health Services
Justin Boutilier, University of Toronto

Saul Gass Expository Writing Award 
John Tsitsiklis, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Philip McCord Morse Lectureship Award
Éva Tardos, Cornell University

John von Neumann Theory Prize  
Donald Goldfarb, Columbia University
Jorge Nocedal, Northwestern University

George E. Kimball Medal
Fred Hillier
, Stanford University (Emeritus)
Russell Labe, CAP, RPL Analytics Consulting

INFORMS President's Award 
David Hunt, Oliver Wyman

Undergraduate Operations Research Prize
Siddharth Reddy, Cornell University
Agathe Soret, Ecole Polytechnique

Doing Good with Good OR Student Competition
Can ZhangGeorgia Tech

George B. Dantzig Dissertation Prize
Negin Golrezaei, University of Southern California

George E. Nicholson Student Paper Competition
Andrew Li, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Student Awards
Judith Liebman Award
Andres Patricio Garcia Arce
Mohammad Moshref-Javadi
Rozhin Doroudi

Student Chapter Annual Awards
Summa Cum Laude Winners
University of South Florida Student Chapter
University of Texas at Dallas Student Chapter

Magna Cum Laude Winners
Carnegie Mellon University Student Chapter
University of Massachusetts Student Chapter 
University of Michigan Student Chapter
University of Texas at Austin Student Chapter
University of Toronto Student Chapter

Cum Laude Winners
Auburn University Student Chapter 
Columbia University Student Chapter
Concordia University Student Chapter
Koç University Student Chapter   
Lehigh University Student Chapter        

Northeastern University Student Chapter 
Northwestern University Student Chapter 
Purdue University Student Chapter
Texas A&M University Student Chapter
University at Buffalo Student Chapter   
University of Florida Student Chapter 
Virginia Tech Student Chapter 

Subdivision Awards
Aviation Applications Section
Dissertation Award
Heng Chen

Behavioral Operations Management Section
Best Working Paper Award.
Ruomeng Cui, Jun Li, and Dennis J. Zhang

Computing Society
INFORMS Computing Society Prize
Shabbir Ahmed, George Nemhauser, and Juan Pablo Vielma

INFORMS Computing Society Student Paper Award
Berk Ustun

INFORMS Computing Society Prize
Shabbir Ahmed and George Nemhauser

Data Mining Section
Student Paper Award
TBA (Will appear in OR/MS Today)
Decision Analysis Society (DAS)
Publication Award
Neil Steward, Stian Reimers, and Adam J.L. Harris

Student Paper Competition Award
Bhavani Shanker Uppari

Frank P. Ramsey Medal
Simon French

Energy, Natural Resources & the Environment Section
ENRE Student Best Paper Award
Abdul Quddus

Best Publication Award
Alvaro Lorca, X. Andy Sun, Eugene Litvinov, and Tongxin Zheng

Young Researcher Award
Arda Yenipazarli

Financial Services Section
Best Student Research Paper Award
Allen Cheng

Forum on Education (INFORM-ED)
Case Competition Award
Shelly Bajaj, Sean Bandopadyay, and Srini Krishnamoorthy

Health Applications Society
Pierskalla Award
Sze-chuan Suen, Margaret L. Brandeau, and Jeremy D. Goldhaber-Fiebert

Information Systems Society
Distinguished Fellows Award
Hemant Bhargava and Gedas Adamovicius

Nunamaker-Chen Dissertation Award
Yi-Jen Ian Ho

Management Science Best Paper Award
Prasanna Tambe, Lorin M. Hitt, Young-Jin Lee, Kartick Hosanagar, and Yong Tan

INFORMS ISS Early Career Award
Gordon Burtch, Mingfeng Lin, Marius Florin Niculescu, and Sam Ransbotham

CIST Best Conference Paper
Manmohan Aseri, Milind Dawande, Ganesh Janakiraman, and Vijay Mookerjee

CIST Student Paper
Nikhil Malik, Param Vir Singh, Dokyun Lee, and Kannan Srinivasan

Junior Faculty Interest Group Forum
Paper Competition Award
Krishnamurthy Iyer

Location Analysis Section
Chuck ReVelle Rising Star Award
Sibel Alumar Aley

Distinguished Service Award
Mark Ferguson

MSOM Distinguished Fellow Award
Jing-Sheng Song, Sridhar R. Tayur, and L. Beril Toktay

M&SOM Best Paper Award
Hongmin Li, Scott Webster, Nicholas Mason, Karl Kempf, Turgay Ayer, Can Zhang, Chenxi Zeng, Chelsea C. White III, and V. Roshan Joseph

M&SOM Journal Best Paper Award   
Jacon Acimovic and Stephen Graves

MSOM Young Scholar Prize
Achal Bassamboo

Best OM Paper in Management Science
Guillermo Gallego and Ming Hu

MSOM iFORM SIG Best Paper Award
Jiri Chod and Jianer Zhou

Military Applications Society
Koopman Prize
Jun Zhuang and John Coles

J. Steinhardt Prize
Richard Deckro

Minority Issues Forum
Minority Issues Forum Student Poster Competition
Michelle Alvarado and Lewis Ntaimo

MIF Early Career Award
Krystel Castillo

MIF Paper Competition
Michelle Alvarado and Lewis Ntaimo

Optimization Society
Optimization Society Khachiyan Prize 
Robert J. Vanderbei

Optimization Society Farkas Prize
Kim-Chuan Toh

Distinguished Service
Pietro Belotti

Optimization Society Student Paper Prize
Frans J.C.T. de Ruiter

Optimization Society Young Researchers Prize
Alberto Del Pia and Aida Khajavirad

Organization Science Section
Best Dissertation Proposal Competition Award
Pedro Aceves

Public Sector OR Section
Best Paper Award
Ronghuo Zheng, Tinglong Dai, and Katia Sycara

Quality, Statistics & Reliability Section
Best Student Paper Award
Hui Yang

Railway Applications Section
Railway Applications Section Student Paper Award
Thomas Breugem

Distinguished Member Award
Pooja Dewan

Revenue Management & Pricing Section
Dissertation Award
Negin Golrezaci

Practice Award
Mancus Ettl, Pavithra Harsha, Shivram Subramanian, and Joline Uichanco

Service Science Section
Best Student Paper Award
Wenchang Zhang

IBM Service Analytics Challenge
Matthew Churilla

Best Cluster Paper
Anna Papush

Social Media Analytics Section
Best Student Paper Award
TBA (Will appear in OR/MS Today)

Technology, Innovation Management and Entrepreneurship Section
Best Dissertation Award Sponsored by the Lazaridis Institute
Tugce Martagan

Best Paper Award
Kevin J. Boudreau

Distinguished Speaker Award
John Paul MacDuffie

Transportation Science & Logistics Society
Best Dissertation Award
Mehdi Behroozi

Best Paper Award
Alexandre Jacquilat and Amedo R. Odoni

Lifetime Achievement Award
Moshe Be-Akiva

OS Paper in Freight Transportation and Logistics
Tobias Harks, Felix G. König, Jannik Matuschke, Alexander T. Richter, and Jens Schulz

OS Paper in Air Transportation
Chiwei Yan and Jerry Kung

Women in OR/MS Forum
Award for the Advancement of Women in OR/MS
Ruth Williams

WORMS Family Care Travel Award
Zhijie Dong
Yueran Zhuo
Yaarit Even
Umit Deniz Tursun
Irem Sengul Orgut

WORMS Monsanto Travel Award
Ying Zhang
Shadi Hassani Goodarzi

Doctoral Colloquium Student Sponsorship
Kathryn Smith

Leave Your Mark on Houston!

Coloring Wall
Thank you to everyone who lent their inspiration to our INFORMS mural in Houston! We hope you enjoyed taking part in this creative opportunity as much as we enjoyed watching it come together!

Pro Bono Analytics

In addition to the many exciting sessions and events held during this year's Annual Meeting, INFORMS also partnered with Star of Hope Mission in Houston, to provide much needed support to Houston’s homeless men, women, and children, who are still struggling in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. 

In the weeks leading up to the Annual Meeting, INFORMS members donated thousands of dollars to purchase supplies ranging from toothpaste and soap to socks and feminine hygiene products. Throughout the meeting, these supplies were assembled into more than 1,000 toiletry kits by meeting attendees from around the world, INFORMS and Star of Hope leadership, and representatives from the INFORMS Pro Bono Analytics program, who coordinated the effort. 

The kits were then presented to Star of Hope to be shared with Houston’s homeless.

What's Your StORy? Sticky Wall
Thank you to all of our members who shared a little something about themselves with INFORMS and their fellow members by adding to our "What's Your StORy?" wall. This fun exercise was based on the popular monthly feature highlighting our members, and asked participants to answer one of several questions about themselves. We learned a lot and hope you did too!

Annual Meeting Blog Recap

Thank you to all of our bloggers for their excellent content and sharing their experience at the 2017 Annual Meeting! Visit the INFORMS Annual Meeting Blog to read these blogs and more!

Diversity, INFORMS Style: If you made it to the member meeting (a.k.a. pre-party) on Tuesday, you may have heard Executive Director Melissa Moore mention the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion initiative at INFORMS. If not, consider yourself on notice. When I first heard of it, I was supportive (like most members, I assume), but figured that I did not have much to offer, particularly because I’m retired and no longer in a position to influence, well, anybody. It also crossed my mind that adding myself to the discussion would, ironically, dilute the group’s diversity. Read More.

A Probabilistic Theory of Deep Learning

By Yeawon Yoo
This morning’s keynote session at INFORMS is full of attendees who are interested in deep learning. The keynote speaker is Richard Baraniuk, the Victor E. Cameron Professor at Rice University and the Founder and Director of the open education initiative OpenStax.
“We are in the golden age of data,” Baraniuk said emphatically, opening the session. He gave an example about people from Babylon and Greece. While ancient Greeks were obsessed with models, Babylonians were obsessed with data and calculating, knew about all the key theorems of the day, and were extraordinary at predicting astronomical events, and Babylonian students learned math by working out large numbers of problems until they understood the general concept, not the teaching theorem. Therefore, some Greeks posed a question for us, deep learning people to answer, Why is deep learning so effective?
He argued that because of the nuisance variation, which might not be known explicitly, wicked hard inference problems like machine perception (object recognition) was incurred. That is, nuisance variations generated entangled manifolds in high-dimensional space; therefore, it made perception wicked hard. To overcome this problem, there are some new strategies being developed to answer the holy grail of machine perception. While Fourier transform and wavelets had been used in the past, three fundamental works are used today: convolution, rectifier, and max pooling. Convolution is a scan image by translating a template (mini-image) and taking the inner product, which is measuring the similarity, rectifier is a max operator, and max pooling is a downsampling to reduce the dimensionality of subsequent layers (larger images to small images).
He said, “given a bunch of training data, learn a model that disentangles nuisance variations, leaving meaningful intrinsic degrees of freedom” and gave answers to the aforementioned question posed by the Greeks: Reasonable generative models, exploits a scale, optimal max-sum message passing, and electromagnetic training. He closed the keynote session by stating that it is time to merge the Babylonian data-oriented perspective and the Greeks model-oriented perspective to embark on the next golden age.

Analysis and Optimization of the New York (Citi) Bike Sharing System

By Brittany Segundo
On Wednesday morning, David Shmoys and Shane Henderson of Cornell’s School of Operations Research and Information Engineering delivered an excellent presentation of their work with the New York City Citi Bike system. At the heart of their work, they say, has been the desire to minimize bike rider dissatisfaction.

An angry bike rider is defined as a biker who comes to grab a bike when all the docks are empty or a biker trying to park a bike but all the docks are full. The operations of the bike sharing program present a unique set of challenges for meeting this objective. Certain pockets of New York City, for instance, are commuter communities. The East Village is a residential neighborhood with little to no job centers. The corresponding data indicate a great outflux of bikes in the mornings as riders head to work, while the stations in the financial center are bombarded with bikes as commuters arrive in the morning.

To accurately correct these system imbalances, Henderson remarks that they track and analyze the data for each station individually. Historically, Citi Bike analyzes the daily data and reshuffles bikes in the middle of the night. Subsequent data analysis reveals that this rebalancing does very little to resolve the imbalance.

As a result, the Cornell team has developed a new nonlinear mixed integer program that allocates bike docks instead of rebalancing daily bike distribution. Not only does this program bring the system closer to long-run optimality, but results indicate that the system will require less daily rebalancing. Citi Bike is in negotiations with New York City to purchase the land necessary for the new dock locations.

Optimization in Forestry Management

By Brittany Segundo
Four presenters described a variety of O.R. applications in forestry management this past Wednesday morning. As wildfires ravage California, employing optimization methodologies to analyze and combat wildfires is a particularly timely research topic. Joao Zeferino, University of Coimbra, presented his work: Optimal Deployment of Firefighting Aircrafts for Wildfire Initial Attack Planning. The success of an initial attack, he says, depends on an aerial fleet’s efficiency. His model evaluates how to best locate the aircrafts to maximize wildfire coverage given the local hazard, aircraft location, and type of aircraft.

Aaron Hoskins of the Naval Research Laboratory uses a two-stage stochastic program to determine how to maneuver satellites to observe the forest fire twice a day. By manipulating a satellite’s orbital velocity and considering the separation angles of the earth and the satellite, he illustrates the cost of synchronizing the satellite passover with forest fire occurrence.

Peter Rauch uses discrete event simulation to improve decision-making in multimodal wood supply chains. Stochastic agents on both the supply side, such as ice breaks, or on the demand side, such as a rapidly shifting market price, create inefficiencies in the supply chain. Rauch simulates the effect of collaborative supply chain control on improving wood supply chain resilience.

Jordi Garcia-Gonzalo employs mixed integer programming to prioritize actions to preserve threatened species while minimizing the cost of intervention, the land purchasing cost, and fragmentation costs. Based on a case study of the Mitchell River catchment, this model proves more efficient than previous heuristics in the same vein.

As we see a growing number of environmental concerns, from conservation to global warming, these researchers illustrate creative mathematical approaches to combatting environmental challenges and applying scientific decision-making to the great outdoors.

Preferences and Risk Modeling

By Yeawon Yoo
Four presenters gave presentations on different types of risk modeling. Qiulin Yang presented her research on Downside Risk Aversion and Cumulative Prospect Theory. She started by discussing how to measure risk and risk preference. She offered a comparison between risk averse individuals and risk takers: for risk averse and downside risk averse decision makers, the greater the prudence, the greater the intensity of downside risk aversion, whereas for risk taking decision makers, who would like to have a smaller variance, the smaller the prudence, the greater the intensity of downside risk aversion.
Then, N. Onur Bakir followed with a presentation on Stochastic Dominance and the Value of Information. He said that information acquisition is critical to reducing uncertainty and making better decisions. However, the evaluation of information is complex, because it involves an elaborate trade-off between the risk of obtaining redundant information and the risk of making a less-informative decision. He also mentioned that there is no general monotonic relationship between the critical attributes of the decision environment and the willingness to pay for information. The results presented in his talk on stochastic dominance summarize a rather unusual relationship between the buying price of information and any stochastic ordering approach to compare two lotteries (or any decision options).
Anastasis Giannousaki followed by presenting research on A Framework for Dealing with Baseline Uncertainty: An Analysis of China’s Carbon Intensity Target. He started his presentation by discussing the short-term and long-term global climate change targets in the Paris Agreement. His research question is, “Is an intensity or quantity target for 2030 more adequate to prepare the Chinese economy target?” He said that decision-making under uncertainty needs to use a hedging strategy or scenario analysis. Using these strategies, he gave examples of his research: explicitly accounting for uncertainty in decision-making reduces the risk of hot air and unexpected costs, target choices become important when sequencing is taken into account due to lock-in effects, and the overall positive effect of quantity targets.

The session chair, Adolfo R. Escobedo, discussed his research on A New Ranking Correlation Coefficient for Aggregating Non-strict and Incomplete Rankings Equitably. His research is about the consensus ranking problem, especially incomplete ranking aggregation. He said, “Due to several reasons, such as the fact that judges cannot always evaluate every alternative, ranking fatigue may compromise judgment, and human objectivity decreases as the number of objects increases; more robust ways to find an aggregation ranking is needed.” He gave some voting methods, the Borda Count voting method and the ordinal method with their weakness. Compared to the voting methods, his new ranking correlation coefficient outperforms. He said, “the advantage of the ranking correlation approach is that it has a shortcut to calculate cumulative correlation, which does not require making enumerated matrices, while it may be necessary to obtain the full set of optimal solutions, which is exceedingly difficult to do via standard methods.”

Thank You to Our 2017 Student & Staff Writers

We hope you enjoyed reading the wonderful plenary and keynote recaps written by our student writers, Brittany Segundo and Yeawon Yoo. They both did an excellent job attending and reporting on various sessions throughout the Annual Meeting. Thank you Brittany and Yeawon! If you plan to attend the 2018 Annual Meeting in Phoenix, Arizona, please keep an eye out for our Call for Student Writers sometime next fall and you could have your byline in next year's eNews Daily!

We'd also like to send a huge thank you to all the INFORMS staff who helped with this year's eNews. We couldn't have done it without you! Now, meet the writers!

Brittany Segundo received her Bachelor's degree in Industrial and Systems Engineering from N.C. State University. Upon graduation, she worked as a management consultant in the consumer goods and medical device industries. She is currently pursuing a PhD in Industrial Engineering from Texas A&M, where her focus is applied operations research and stochastic optimization. She is particularly interested in the application of stochastic programming to the development of public policy.

Yeawon Yoo is a PhD student in the School of Computing, Informatics, and Decision Systems Engineering at Arizona State University. She graduated from Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH) in Pohang, South Korea with a Bachelor's degree in Industrial and Management Engineering. Her research interest broadly lies in developing high-performance computing algorithms for analyzing real-world, high-dimensional data to derive socially meaningful outcomes. More specifically, her current project deals with detecting bias and manipulation in group decision making (preference data/voting data).

Passport Challenge Winner!

At the start of the meeting, all attendees were given an "Exhibit Hall Passport" (sponsored by IBM) that encouraged them to visit exhibitors to learn about their products and services and have their book stamped.

Once 40 stamps were collected, attendees turned in their passport to be entered into two raffle drawings that took place on Tuesday and Wednesday. This fun, interactive activity enhanced the buzz of the exhibit hall and two lucky winners took home an Apple Watch and an iPad Mini!

Congratulations to Gulsah Hancerliogullari Koksalmis and Alexander H. Lovett, winners of the 2017 Passport Challenge!


Thank You to Our Sponsors

Thank you to these organizations for their generous support!

Platinum Sponsors


Gold Sponsors



Silver Sponsors



Bronze Sponsors




Take a Look Back

Enjoy all the amazing memories from this year's Annual Meeting with a look back at photos taken throughout the week on Flickr!

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