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eNews Daily :: Day 2 :: Monday, October 23, 2017

2017 eNews Daily
DAY 2: Monday, October 23

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Welcome to Day 2 of the INFORMS Annual Meeting! 


Key: GBCC - George R. Brown Convention Center   |  Hilton - Hilton Americas-Houston Hotel

INFORMS Center


Join us in the Exhibit Hall for infORmational sessions about exciting new topics in INFORMS. Here is a list of today's sessions.

9-10:30am

Organization Science
The editor-in-chief will present the vision for the journal, important new practices, procedures, and innovation being planned for the journal. He will also cover the core publication philosophy of the journal.

Mentor Match
How can mentoring help you advance your career? We'll show you how to enroll and find your match!

2018 INFORMS Annual Meeting: Phoenix
Meet committee members for the 2018 Annual Meeting Phoenix and find out why you should attend. Get your free gift while supplies last.

3:30-5pm

Analytics Body of Knowledge
Join us for a presentation about the exciting developments with INFORMS Analytics Body of Knowledge as we prepare to publish its first edition.

INFORMS 2018 International Conference in Taipei
Meet committee members for the 2018 International Conference Taipei and find out why you should attend. Get your free gift while supplies last.

Mathematics of Operations Research
What type of "learning" papers fit MOR? To which area should I submit my paper that intersects with game theory and optimization? Come chat with EiC Jim Dai and find out how much MOR has improved its review time.

Interfaces
Are you doing creative and valuable applied work? Interfaces looks for work that has methodological contributions, but focuses on how to make methods work in practice. Come talk to the EiC to find out how Interfaces can bolster your research and productivity.

TutORials in Operations Research
What are INFORMS TutORials? Who is its audience? What topics would you like addressed? How can this series better serve the OR/MS communities? Come and have a conversation with the Series Editor, Doug Shier.

Click here to see a current list of infORmational sessions.
 
Stop by to renew your 2017 membership and receive a free t-shirt
or click here to renew online. 

Need to know for #informs2017


All Conference Sessions will be held at the George R. Brown Convention Center, 1001 Avenida de las Americas, with special events being held at the Hilton Americas, 1600 Lamar Street.

Accessing WiFi in the Exhibit Hall
Network: INFORMS
Password: houston2017

Registration 
Conference registration is located in GBCC - Exhibit Hall B3, Level 3 on Monday from 7am-5pm.

Express Check-in/Badge Printers
Express kiosks with name badge printers will be available for pre-registered attendees in GBCC, Exhibit Hall B3, Level 3 near INFORMS Registration.

Receipt Kiosk
Print your conference receipt on demand by going to GBCC - Exhibit Hall B3, Level 3 located near INFORMS Registration.

Download the Annual Meeting program book
Click here to download the program and save to your tablet, computer desktop, etc.

Technology Center 
The Technology Center is located in GBCC - Exhibit Hall B3, Level 3. A limited number of computers will be available. Name badges must be worn for admittance. The Technology Center will be open today, Monday, 9am-5pm.

Badge Required for Technical Sessions & Meeting Events
Badges MUST be worn to all meeting events. All attendees, including speakers and session chairs, must register and pay the registration fee. 

Mobile App
Use the INFORMS Meetings App to access detailed information, including the schedule of sessions, session abstracts, meeting locations, maps, exhibit details, and much more.

Passport Raffle
You must have at least 40 exhibitor stamps, including the IBM booth (Booth #21), to be eligible. Turn in your passport to the INFORMS Center by 10:45am on Tuesday for the 1:45pm prize drawing and by 5pm Tuesday for the 9:20am drawing on Wednesday. You must be present at the time of the drawing for either prize. 

 2017 INFORMS Awards Ceremony Wrap-Up and Winner Announcements 

Congratulations to all winners. We hope you had a chance to join us in celebrating the profession.
INFORMS Awards Ceremony 
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
To view video of the 2017 INFORMS President's Award, click here.

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

Doing Good with Good OR Student Competition
Can Zhang, Georgia Tech

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

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

 Subdivision Awards for Monday



The majority of the Subdivision Awards will be presented at the corresponding Community meetings, or as otherwise noted.

Behavioral Operations Management Section
7:15-8:15pm
GBCC - 361A, Level 3

Best Working Paper Award

This award recognizes the best working paper presented in the Behavioral Process Management sessions at the INFORMS Annual Meeting. The award consists of a plaque, $500 cash award, and copy of a classic book in the behavioral sciences.

Computing Society
6:15-7:15pm
GBCC - 372C, Level 3

INFORMS Computing Society Prize

The ICS Prize is an annual award for best English language paper on the OR/CS interface. The award includes a plaque and $1,000 cash prize.

INFORMS Computing Society Student Paper Award
The ICS Student Paper Award is given annually to the best paper on computing and operations research by a student author, as judged by a panel of the ICS. The award includes a plaque and $500 cash prize.

Data Mining Section
6:15-7:45pm
GBCC - 370F, Level 3

Student Paper Award

The INFORMS Data Mining Student Paper Award is given to the best paper, as judged by a panel of members of the Section, on any topic related to data mining by a student author. The award is initiated this year to recognize and encourage student members.

Health Applications Society
6:15-7:15pm
GBCC - 320C, Level 3

Pierskalla Award

This award recognizes research excellence in the field of healthcare management science. The award includes a $500 honorarium for the best paper presented in a Health Applications Society sponsored session at the INFORMS Annual Meeting. The award is named after Dr. William Pierskalla to recognize his contribution and dedication to improving health services delivery through operations research.

Military Applications Society
6:15-9:15pm
GBCC - 351D, Level 3

Koopman Prize

This Prize was named after Bernard Koopman, a founding father of military operations research. It is awarded for an outstanding publication in military operations research of the previous year. The award includes a plaque and $500 cash prize. 
 
J. Steinhardt Prize
The J. Steinhardt Prize is sponsored by the CNA Corporation. The prize is awarded for outstanding contributions to military operations research and is awarded for life work rather than for any particular contribution. The selection committee is composed of previous award winners. The award is accompanied by a plaque and $2,000 honorarium.

Public Sector OR Section
8-9:30am
Hilton - 343, Level 3


Best Paper Award
The INFORMS Public Sector OR (PSOR) Section is sponsoring an award for best paper presented at the INFORMS Annual Meeting. This award is intended to encourage journal-quality research in all of the disciplines and application areas represented within PSOR, and to build a tradition of scholarly exchange of knowledge at our research meetings beyond attendance at sessions. Participation is open to all INFORMS members, whether students, academics, or practitioners. Each submission must be associated with a presentation at the 2017 Annual Meeting. Subject to receiving qualified submissions, one first prize of $250, one second prize of $100, and an honorable mention will be awarded at the PSOR business meeting.
 
Quality, Statistics & Reliability Section
6:15-7:15pm
GBCC - 371C, Level 3

Best Student Paper Award

This award recognizes excellence among undergraduate and graduate students interested in areas of quality, statistics, and reliability.

Revenue Management & Pricing Section
6:15-7:15pm
GBCC - 342D, Level 3

Dissertation Award

The INFORMS Revenue Management and Pricing Section Dissertation Award is given for the best doctoral dissertation in the field of pricing and revenue management written in English.
 
Practice Award
The RM&P Section Practice Award recognizes outstanding applications of revenue management and pricing techniques.

Social Media Analytics Section
6:15-7:15pm
GBCC - 350F, Level 3


Best Student Paper Award
The Social Media Analytics Section of INFORMS announces the Best Student Paper Award to recognize excellence among its student members. The award program brings prestige to the Social Media Analytics Section as well as to the recipients honored. The current prize amount is $200 divided among the winning authors.

Technology, Innovation Management, and Entrepreneurship Section
6:15-7:15pm
GBCC - 342B, Level 3

Best Dissertation Award Sponsored by the Lazaridis Institute

The Technology Management Section recognizes the best doctoral dissertation in the field of technology and innovation management in terms of furthering the field and making a theoretical and practical contribution. The award includes a plaque and $500 cash prize.
 
Best Paper Award
For this award, the section reviews the top five papers by citation from the past five years. Winners and finalists are selected by a panel of senior leaders in the field of technology management.

Distinguished Speaker Award
TIMES presents its distinguished speaker award to an outstanding academic leader in the field of technology management. The award is presented every year during the INFORMS Annual Meeting and includes a plaque and $500 cash prize.

Transportation Science & Logistics Society
6:15-7:15pm
GBCC - Grand Ballroom A, Level 3

Best Dissertation Award

This award is the oldest and most prestigious honor for doctoral dissertations in the transportation science and logistics area. The award includes a plaque and $500 cash prize.
 
Best Paper Award
The TSL Best Paper Award is given every year to an outstanding paper in the field of transportation science and logistics that has been published in a refereed journal and presents innovative approaches for solving complex problems in transportation planning with an emphasis on operations research and quantitative methods. The authors of the winning paper will share a prize of $800, and each will receive a plaque.
 
Lifetime Achievement Award
The Robert Herman Lifetime Achievement Award in Transportation Science is awarded by the INFORMS Transportation Science and Logistics Society to an individual who throughout his or her professional career has made fundamental and sustained contributions to transportation science and logistics, and has influenced the field through his or her writing, teaching, service, and nurturing of young professionals.
 
Winners of the Subdivision Awards from Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday will be announced in the Wrap-Up edition of the Annual Meeting eNews Daily.

Annual Meeting Blog Roundup 


Be sure to frequently check the Annual Meeting website to read commentary from your peers about their experiences in Houston. Feel free to post your own comment! 

Audience Participation: Unique Applications of ORMS: I wouldn’t call myself a sucker for new technology devices, but I’ve paid my share of the early adopter tax over the years. One of the most frustrating and interesting devices I’ve followed are brain-computer headsets, an extreme example of wearable technology. Somehow I’ve purchased a non-zero, non-singular number of these over the years. Read More.

Dantzig Dissertation Session: The diversity of topics present within the Dantzig Award session is amazing – from deep learning geographic resource allocation to electricity, personalized inventory assortments, and fulfillment. The winner is announced tonight! Read More.

To know about how challenging "real world" problems are solved ... Attend the Wagner Prize presentations!!: Would you like to know how challenging “real-world” problems have been solved? Attend the Wagner Prize presentations on Monday!!! Where you will hear about: a) Forecasting audiences in the 24/7 programming schedule, b) Freight transportation of bulk chemicals, c) Interpretable machine learning algorithms applied to Healthcare and Criminal Justice, d) Train Crew Scheduling for single-ended districts, e) A personalized approach to improve treatment outcome for diabetic patients, and f) Solving the Inmate Assignment and Scheduling Problem at the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections. Read More.

What is all the buzz about IoT? Find out in an interactive Q&A session: What is all the buzz about IoT? More importantly, how does IoT apply to Analytics? How to monetize your company’s data to drive revenue? Listen to Bill Groves, Chief Data and Analytics Officer at Honeywell who has considerable experience on monetizing data assets in multiple industries, and who is responsible for creating and managing the new Data & Analytics Center of Excellence at Honeywell. He leads Honeywell’s efforts to transition to a data driven company and monetize Honeywell data to drive revenue. Read More.

Optimization comes in many flavors: INFORMS Annual Meeting is a place we often find great examples of what other people achieve by the power of analytics. Every year I try to find at least a talk which gives me joy of seeing what is possible to do with optimization. This year I didn’t have to wait for too long to find one. In this post, I will share my opinions about the content I listened at SAS workshop on Saturday. Read More.

Perspective: While individual talks or events can be good or bad, when you look at the INFORMS Annual Meeting as a whole, you will often see that it’s worth is far greater then the sum of its parts. Read More.

Teaching Colloquium: The Brave 16: In the words of one of the combined colloquia organizers, I was one of the “brave 16” yesterday. The teaching colloquium is often the smallest in attendance numbers, but also the only one that you can attend more than once. If you enjoyed attending other colloquia in the past, and deep inside you know that you have fun teaching, consider joining us next year! Read More.

INFORMS Community Meetings 


All are welcome to these meetings featuring business meetings, receptions, and networking sessions. For a complete listing please click here and select the Community Meetings tab.

New to INFORMS?


Start your INFORMS Journey!
Stop by the Registration Desk or the INFORMS Center and learn how to get started.

Join a Community 
Whether you are a new or existing member, take some time while in Houston to sign up for a Community (also known as Subdivision) of your choice. There is no better way to maximize the utility of your membership. As a new 2017 or 2018 member, you qualify for a free Community!

Plenaries & Keynotes

 
 
Monday, October 23
Plenary
Optimization: Past, Present, Future
10-10:50am
Hilton - Ballroom of Americas, Level 2

Bob Bixby, Gurobi

Keynotes
INFORMing Process Improvement and Patient Safety in Healthcare
3:10-4pm
GBCC - General Assembly A

Victoria Jordan, Emory University

Systems Approach to Managing Risk in Human Spaceflight Missions
3:10-4pm
GBCC - General Assembly B

Nancy Currie-Gregg, Texas A&M University (formerly NASA)

IFORS Distinguished Lecture: Biased Random-Key Genetic Algorithms: Components, Evolutionary Dynamics, and Applications
3:10-4pm
GBCC - Grand Ballroom C

Celso Ribeiro, Universidade Federal Fluminense

UPS George D. Smith Reprise
3:10-4pm
GBCC - Grand Ballroom B

Brig Gen Andy Armacost, Jim Lowe, Captain Drew Ives & 2Lt Brady Gartman, U.S. Air Force Academy

O.R. in the Movies


11am-12:30pm
GBCC - 370B, Level 3

The movie Hidden Figures (2016), based on the book by Margot Lee Shetterly, is a depiction of the untold story of black women mathematicians at NASA whose integral roles played a major part in some of America's historical space achievements. In this session, we celebrate the achievements of black women and their contributions to advancements in operations research. The panel features women at different stages of their careers, including Tasha Inniss, the inaugural Director of Education and Industry Outreach for INFORMS, and will highlight their work as operations researchers with the goal of encouraging diversity.

 Student Awards & Reception


7:30-9:30pm
Hilton - Lanier ABDE, Level 4
All students registered for the meeting are invited to attend the Student Awards Ceremony. The Chapters/Fora Committee will present the winners of the Student Chapter Annual Awards and the Judith Liebman Awards. Join us in recognizing the great contributions of our most dynamic student volunteers. Plan to stay for the Student Reception, which immediately follows the ceremony.
  • Judith Liebman Award to recognize outstanding student volunteers who have been "moving spirits" in their universities, student chapters, and INFORMS
  • Student Chapter Annual Awards to recognize achievements of student chapters and motivate them to perform well
     


Sponsored by The Seth Bonder Foundation

Leave Your Mark on Houston!


ColORing Wall
Wall murals are a thing in Houston. If you have the opportunity to take a self-guided tour of Houston's best paint walls and graffiti murals, make sure you take plenty of colorful selfies tagged with #informs2017! If you are feeling inspired to create your own mural, join us in the Exhibit Hall to help us make our own INFORMS Houston mural. Coloring is the new meditation, so take a brain break and show Houston some love!

Pro Bono Analytics
INFORMS Pro Bono Analytics has partnered with Star of Hope Mission, a community dedicated to meeting the needs of homeless men, women, and children. They encourage positive life changes through structured programs focusing on education, employment, life management, spiritual growth, and recovery from substance abuse.

We invite all Annual Meeting attendees to visit the INFORMS Center and volunteer a few minutes of their time to help build toiletry and hygiene kits that will be donated to Star of Hope Mission in support of their efforts. In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, it's just one more way for us to give back and help make a difference in Houston as they rebuild after the storm. We're grateful for the opportunity to assist Houston's homeless population on their road to recovery - every bit helps. We hope that you take a moment to stop by, build a kit, and learn more about how INFORMS is making an impact in underserved communities through analytics.

Donate with PayPal

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What's Your StORy? Sticky Wall
We LOVE our members and their amazing stories! Share a little something with your fellow members by adding to our "What's Your StORy?" wall in the Exhibit Hall. Based on the popular monthly feature highlighting our members, answer one of several questions about yourself. We can't wait to see the diversity of members and answers! Also, it's a great photo op for your #informs2017 posts.

Can't-Miss Social Events!


COIN-OR Members & Users Meeting –  (Bring Your Own) Bag Lunch
12:30-1:30pm
Hilton - 339, Level 3
Anyone interested in open-source software tools, open standards, and data/model repositories for any aspect of operations research are encouraged to attend this Computational Infrastructure for OR (COIN-OR) meeting. Please bring your own lunch and ideas. 
 
WORMS Networking Dessert Reception
8-11pm
Grotto Downtown, 1001 Avenida De Las Americas A
Make new connections in an informal setting. Open to all INFORMS members (members of WORMS or not), female and male. 

Monday's Poster Sessions


12:30-2:30pm
GBCC - Exhibit Hall B3, Level 3

Researchers, practitioners, and students share their O.R. and analytics projects in these special sessions presented as poster displays, laptop demonstrations, and other creative formats. An E-Poster Walk Session featuring electronic versions of competition semi-finalist posters will also take place from 12:30-2:30pm in the E-Poster area.

Academic Job Search Panel Today!


Academic Job Search Panel
8-9:30am
GBCC - Room 351A


Chair
Warren Hearnes, Vice President, Analytics & Data Science, Cardlytics

Panelists
Ozlem Ergun, Professor, Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, Northeastern University
Christian Wernz, Associate Professor, Virginia Commonwealth University 
Gabriel Zayas-Caban, Assistant Professor, Industrial and Systems Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Madison

This panel discusses the academic interview process and do's and don'ts associated with the job search. In addition to comments by current and former search chairs, time will be provided for questions and answers.

INFORMS Career Fair - Interview Days


Be a part of the largest gathering of O.R. and analytics job seekers and employers by visiting the Career Fair and other professional development events. Preview job openings on INFORMS Connect. 
 
Career Fair on-site interviews are by appointment only. 
9am-5pm
GBCC - Exhibit Hall B3


Some employers may be accepting walk-ins for on-site interviews. Stop by the Career Fair booth in the Exhibit Hall for details.

Monday's TutORials


Designed for students, faculty, and practitioners, TutORials in Operations Research provide in-depth instructions on significant operations research specialties and practices. All tutorials are located in GBCC - Room 310A, Level 3.

Introduction to Disaggregated Demand Models
8-9:30am
Michel BierlaireÉcole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne

Humanitarian Logistics
11am-12:30pm
Bahar Yetis Kara, Bilkent University

Optimization Methods for Supervised Machine Learning: From Linear Models to Deep Learning
1:30-3pm
Katya Scheinberg, Lehigh University

Markov Decision Processes, AlphaGo, and Monte Carlo Tree Search: Back to the Future
4:30-6pm
Michael Fu, University of Maryland, College Park

For a full list of TutORials, click here.

Daniel H. Wagner Prize Presentations

All presentations will take place in GBCC, Room 352E, Level 3.

11am-12:30pm
The Inmate Assignment and Scheduling Problem and its Application in the PA Department of Corrections

Forecasting and Optimization Models for Audience Targeting on Television 

1:30-3pm
Crew Decision Assist: Optimizing Crew Deployment for Freight Trains

Optimized Scoring Systems: Towards Trust in Machine Learning for Healthcare and Criminal Justice

4:30-6pm
Outcome-Driven Personalized Treatment Design for Managing Diabetes

Dispatch Optimization in Bulk Tanker Transport Operations

Tuesday, October 24
3:10-4pm
GBCC- Grand Ballroom B

Winner Presentation

The Final Step in the Remarkable Journey of the Isoperimetric Problem: The Completion of Euler's Approach


By Brittany Segundo
A palpable energy fills the room as the audience waits for Dr. Richard Tapia’s presentation to begin. Tapia’s extensive work in numerical optimization serves as a foundation for the research of hundreds of members of his audience, and, if that were not impressive enough, he is a three-time world record holder in drag racing. As Dr. William Klimack introduces Dr. Tapia and lists a fraction of his innumerable awards (no mention of the drag racing), Tapia takes the stage. He energetically begins describing the isoperimetric problem, “the oldest significant mathematical problem in history.” With the affable tone of a patient and practiced professor, Tapia walks the audience through the history of various approaches to the problem and his completion of Euler’s approach.

Euler’s solution approach employed Cartesian coordinate representation, but failed to establish necessary conditions. Despite this failure, Tapia reminds his listeners, “we still love Euler!” The audience chuckles. Tapia describes Steiner’s synthetic geometry approach, which established necessity, and then Weierstrass’ introduction of the parametric form and complete albeit elaborate proof of sufficiency.

Tapia’s explanation of his bilevel mathematical model and solution is accessible and engaging, undergraduates and INFORMS fellows alike sit with rapt attention. He goes through his level two and level one problems and laughs as he shares the story of undergraduate student, Jimmy Zhang, who corrected his proof on the reflected equal-area curve with what is now called “The Jimmy Flip.”

As he elegantly concludes a proof, he exclaims, “This is beautiful! When the pieces fit together, you’re doing the right thing.” And thus the INFORMS 2017 Annual Meeting begins.

Tips for Writing NSF CAREER Proposals


By Yeawon Yoo
The Sunday morning session entitled JFIG Panel Discussion: Tips for Writing CAREER Proposals, featured three presentations on tips for how to write NSF CAREER proposals from past NSF CAREER awardees.
 
The first presentation, by Esra Buyuktahtakin, New Jersey Institute of Technology, discussed the detail steps of writing an NSF CAREER proposal from her own experience. Before applying for a proposal, she suggested to read the NSF Early CAREER Program Solicitation (15-555), which includes important information that applicants need to consider (eligibility criteria, budget (was $500,000 in 2015), department letter, and letters of collaborations (one page long in 2015). Before writing the proposal, she suggested to attend an NSF CAREER proposal-writing workshop and to find an appropriate program for where to submit the proposal. When writing a proposal, she suggested the following should be noted: A five-year research and education project reflecting career goals, research contributions (identify research gaps, describe the current research challenge, explain how you close the research gap, and quantify the intellectual merits and broader impacts of the research.
 
The second presentation, by Changhyun Kwon of the University of South Florida, began with his experiences about the acceptance of proposals awarded in his sixth year after consecutive rejections. He explained that NSF CAREER provides five years of financial support, while the regular program provides three years of financial support. Kwon also emphasized the importance of finding the home program. Based on his experience, if a proposal is submitted to a program, which is not the proper fit, the proposal is routed to another program, and then falls into an infinite loop in which no one wants to review the proposal, and it keeps getting moved to another program. He said that since NSF wants awardees to be a successful scholar, researcher, and educator with CAREER, it is recommended to write not just research and educational plans but also propose what you will do in your career (funding notwithstanding).
 
The last presentation, by Alejandro Toriello of the Georgia Institute of Technology, described how to make a proposal attractive. He explained, “CAREER proposals becomes a ‘jumping-up point’… For the CAREER proposal, different from the regular proposal, it should be non-trivial. Make it beyond something general.”
 
After the presentations, a question-and-answer session was held. A question was posed by a member of the audience inquiring as to what happens if the research area plan is too broad and cannot be completed within the five year window. Kwon remarked, “you need to set a mid-term objective, list a five-year plan, and on the last page, describe the further steps after the five years.

Omega Rho Distinguished Speaker: Michael Trick


By Yeawon Yoo
Did you hear the voices emanating from Minute Maid Park Saturday night? Whether you did or did not, it is definitely a great time to have this lecture on Sunday, because the Houston Astros have advanced to the World Series after beating the New York Yankees.
 
The topic of the 2017 Omega Rho Distinguished Lecture is Sports Scheduling Meets Business Analytics, and the General Assembly hall, where the lecture was held, was filled with more than 200 sports enthusiasts. Dr. Michael Trick, Dean of Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar and the Tepper School of Business, shared the work he has done with baseball scheduling.
 
He discussed why he cares about baseball scheduling, in relation to other sports. Baseball scheduling is an enormous scheduling problem. Since there are 30 teams, with each one playing 162 games each over an 182 day season, the total number of games is 2430. Compared to other sports (NFL: 256 games, Premiership football: 380 games), it has a tremendous number of scheduling issues.
 
He started working on baseball scheduling in 1994. From 2005 to 2017, MLB used Trick’s scheduling for that season’s games. With the MLB schedule for April and May of 2017, he said there were lots of constraints at play, such as being at home half the time, home on certain weekends, team-specific requests, and some interesting objectives like travel distance, home/away sequencing, and how best to handle team requests. One interesting thing to note, for the April schedule, it took only 30 minutes to solve in 2010, while it took 18 days to solve in 1996. He said that the combination of improved algorithms and faster computers helped solve the problem in a shorter time frame. For example, the following new strategy can be applied to solve the problem: Branch and prices, combinatorial Benders decomposition, and large-scale local search.
 
Moreover, he also gave an interesting but fundamental question for the audience, who are traditional O.R. researchers, “How can we use data (and predictive analytics) to make our models better?” He answered that it is better to take advantage of knowing underlying data models coming from a regression for prescriptive analysis, not just using the data itself.

Developing Pharmaceutical Supply Chain Resilience in the Face of Nationwide Shortages


By Brittany Segundo
A 2016 article from the New York Times states that “shortages of all sorts of drugs…have become the new normal in American medicine.” This “new normal” has resulted in the active rationing of medical treatment, and the loss-of-life implications are staggering. In today’s Drug Shortage technical seminar, Rozhin Doroudi, Northeastern University, noted that saline shortages have led hospitals to cancel lifesaving cardiac operations. Doroudi uses graph theory and node criticality measures to predict the impact of failures at various levels of the supply chain on patient loss, as well as detect patterns of disruption.

Many drugs have low profit margins and offer manufacturers little incentive to build the resilience necessary to curb these shortages. Rana Azghandi, Northeastern University, suggests that robust inventory control policies are a relatively inexpensive means of increasing resilience. She employs data envelopment analysis to identify optimal inventory control policies in the face of pharmaceutical supply chain disruptions that vary in length, size, and periodicity. Hui Zhao, Penn State University, states that while it might seem intuitive to increase drug prices as a means of luring more suppliers to the market, the measure would be largely ineffective without also increasing penalties for manufacturer failure to supply. By contrast, Emily Tucker, University of Michigan, considers incentivization policies as a means of developing supply chain resilience. Her preliminary findings suggest that credits for additional production facilities and supplier redundancy decrease the size of drug shortages.

The average drug shortage, Tucker notes, is now over a year long. The work of these presenters and other operations researchers, then, has become a national imperative.

Share your Experience


Share your photos and video using #INFORMS2017, and follow @INFORMS2017 on Twitter for official conference updates. This year INFORMS will be live streaming from the meeting on Instagram and follow us on Snapchat at @INFORMS_ORMS for real-time conference videos and the INFORMS Houston Geofilter, which will be available in the Convention Center and Hilton. Be sure to check out conference photos on the INFORMS Flickr account.

Join the Annual Meeting LinkedIn Group and the Annual Meeting Connect Group to virtually connect with fellow attendees and discuss key topics of the day. 






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