Friday, October 30, 2015

From Sustainability to Cybersecurity - Looking Forward to INFORMS in Philadelphia

I am so looking forward to the INFORMS conference, which is taking place in Philadelphia, November 1-4, 2015. I am heading out on Sunday. There will be great talks there and sessions, wonderful events, various professional meetings, serendipitous get-togethers, terrific colleagues from around the globe, and, of course, announcements of various awards and celebrations.

This annual conference also serves as a great venue to see many of my former doctoral students who are thriving as either academics or leaders in industry.
Plus, the INFORMS annual conference is a great forum at which to present your latest research!

This time around, we will be presenting on topics ranging from sustainability to cybersecurity with our work on identifying most important suppliers in supply chains, and also quality competition in freight service provision, also being presented.

Since the talks are ready, below you can get a preview of them. It's been fascinating working on a diversity of topics but all with an underlying networks theme. Many thanks to my great students and collaborators, from near and far and for the synergies created through the Virtual Center for Supernetworks!

The first presentation, highlighted below, is on the theme of sustainability.  It will be presented at a session on networks organized by Professor Vladimir Boginski of the University of Florida.

The ecolabelling presentation can be downloaded here  It is based on the recently published paper:  Fashion Supply Chain Network Competition with Ecolabelling, Anna Nagurney, Min Yu, and Jonas Floden, in Sustainable Fashion Supply Chain Management: From Sourcing to Retailing, T.-M. Choi and T.C.E. Cheng, Editors, Springer (2015) pp 61-84.

The second presentation is on work with my most recent PhD student to graduate, Dr. Dong Li.

This presentation can be downloaded here.  We are very excited about the results, which also appear in the paper:  Supply Chain Performance Assessment and Supplier and Component Importance Identification in a General Competitive Multitiered Supply Chain Network Model, Dong Li and Anna Nagurney, accepted for publication in the Journal of Global Optimization.

The third presentation is on joint research, also with my great collaborator in Sweden, Professor Jonas Floden, and two of my doctoral students, Sara Saberi and Shivani Shukla.

 The full presentation can be downloaded here. The presentation is based on a paper recently published: Supply Chain Network Competition in Price and Quality with Multiple Manufacturers and Freight Service Providers, Anna Nagurney, Sara Saberi, Shivani Shukla, and Jonas Floden, Transportation Research E 77: (2015) pp 248-267.

Finally, some of our research on cybersecurity will also be presented  in a session organized by Professor Laura McLay on the topic.
This talk is availabele for download here. This presentation is based on the paper:  A Supply Chain Game Theory Framework for Cybersecurity Investments Under Network Vulnerability, Anna Nagurney, Ladimer S. Nagurney, and Shivani Shukla, in Computation, Cryptography, and Network Security, N.J. Daras and M.T. Rassias, Editors, Springer International Publishing Switzerland (2015) pp 381-398.

I will also be blogging from the conference, so do come back and visit this blog!

Monday, October 26, 2015

Congrats to the 2015 INFORMS Student Chapter Award Recipients!

I received the wonderful news last Thursday, just after I landed at O'Har Airport in Chicago. I was en route to Northwestern Unviversity to take part in a new book launch that I have since blogged about.

The message arrived via email and it was thrilling. The message said:

Dear Student Chapter Officers,

Congratulations! The Chapters/Fora Committee is delighted to notify you that your student chapter has been selected as a winner of the INFORMS 2015 Student Chapter Annual Award at the level shown below. The purpose of these awards is to recognize the achievements of student chapters. The award will be presented at the Student Awards Ceremony at the upcoming INFORMS Annual Meeting in Philadelphia, PA. If you are at the meeting, we hope you will join us and be recognized at this event. It will be held on Monday, November 2nd at 7:00 p.m. in the Downtown Marriott, Salon E&F. If you cannot attend, we will mail the award to you.

Thank you for your commitment to INFORMS student chapters!  I look forward to seeing you in Philadelphia!

Best regards,

David Hunt
Vice President for Chapters/Fora   

Summa Cum Laude
University of Massachusetts
University of Toronto

Magna Cum Laude
Lehigh University
Northwestern University
Purdue University
Stanford University
University of South Florida

Cum Laude
Arizona State University
Mississippi State University
North Carolina State-Raleigh
Ohio State University
Oklahoma State University
Texas A&M University
University of Florida
University of Michigan
University of Pittsburgh.

To have the UMass Amherst INFORMS Student Chapter get the top award this year is simply thrilling. I could not be happier since last year the chapter celebrated 10 years!  I have been the chapter's Faculty Advisor throughout this period. We have been bringing in great speakers, having educational (and other) field trips, and various social activities and other professional activities. Most importantly, we have built a wonderful community that bridges operations research and management science at the Isenberg School of Management and the College of Engineering at UMass Amherst.

In addition, the INFORMS Philadelphia conference will be extra special since last year's Chapter Presient, Michael Prokle, who was simply outstanding, will be receiving at the same event the Judith B. Liebman Award from INFORMS for his terrific service to the chapter.

Michael is the 4th recipient of this award from the chapter and the first from the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering.  The other three recipients were: Dr. Tina Wakolbinger, Dr. Patrick Qiang, and Dr. Amir H. Maoumi. Coincidentally, these three were my PhD students. Tina is a Full Professor at the Vienna University of Economic and Business in Austria. Patrick is a tenured Associate Professor at Penn State Malvern. Amir is an Assistant Professor at Manhattan College. 

I expect a big turnout of both our present members and alums at this celebratory event next week at INFORMS.

Many thanks to David Hunt for the wonderful news and congratulations to all the chapters on their awards and kudos to the Chapter Officers and members.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Great Tune-Up for the INFORMS Conference with the UMass Amherst INFORMS Student Chapter at Isenberg!

On Friday, I returned from Chicago, where I had been at Northwestern University for a fabulous book launch, just in time to watch our great PhD students present the papers that they will be delivering at the INFORMS Annual Meeting in Philadelphia, November 1-4, 2015.

Such a tune-up has become an annual event for the UMass Amherst INFORMS Student Chapter and this year we had 5 presentations as noted in the poster above. The speakers are in the photo below.
The turnout was great (and PhD students are quite busy and it was a Friday afternoon). Even several faculty showed up from  both the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering and the Isenberg School to support their students - thank you!
Below are some photos that I took of the student speakers and audienc. It was a great opportunity to share research with colleagues and also to get feedback from the audience. Refreshments were served, questions answered, and it was fun. We lingered afterwards to continue to discuss how the presentations could be improved. It was also great for students who had never presented at INFORMS conference to see how such presentations are done.

Looking forward to the INFORMS conference in Philadelphia just one week away!

And the UMass Amherst INFORMS Student Chapter will be receiving the Summa Cum Laude Award from INFORMS at the meeting on November 2, 2015. As its Faculty Advisor for 11 years, I could not be happier and prouder of this great group of students!

Friday, October 23, 2015

Fabulous Launch of Forecasting Urban Travel Book at Northwestern University

I arrived today from Chicago, after taking part yesterday in the launch of the new book, "Forecasting Urban Travel,"  co-authored by Professors David Boyce and Huw Williams, and recently published by Edward Elgar.

The event took place at the Northwestern University library in the stunning Ver Steeg Faculty Lounge. The wonderful master of ceremonies was Professor Hani S. Mahmassani, who is the Director of Northwestern's Transportation Center.

I had the great honor of being one of the three panelists. When I received the invitation, I had to say "yes!" David Boyce I respect tremendously. He has been a mentor and dear friend for many years. He is an INFORMS Fellow, an RSAI Fellow, and a recipient of the Robert Herman Lifetime Achievement Award in Transportation Science.  I have been with David at numerous conferences and professional events in the US, Canada, Sweden, and even Russia.

The day began with a luncheon at the Norris University Center in a room with the spectacular views below (including one of the new Kellogg Business School Building under construction).
The below photos were taken at the luncheon and Professor Huw Williams had traveled from Wales with his wife for this special event.

The Ver Steeg Room is gorgeous, complete with an oil painting and was the perfect venue to celebrate the publication of this book, which, in my remarks, I called a masterpiece of scholarship.
Professor Hani S. Mahmassani welcomed the attendees and congratulated the authors.
The Dean of Libraries and the Transportation Librarian had opening remarks at the book launch. Below they are standing with Professor David Boyce.
Then it was time for Professors Boyce and Williams to highlight the contributions in their over 600 page magnum opus. Boyce and Williams did a terrific job, each describing the specific chapters that he was responsible for.  I had read and reread the book and enjoyed very much hearing from the authors their intellectual  journey that resulted in the book's publication. According to Boyce, the genesis took place in Williams' garden in Cardiff, Wales, in 2003, when Boyce visited him, after they had completed a paper on forecasting urban travel, from both US and UK perspectives. Huw said to David that the paper should be expanded into a book. Much of the work over a ten year span took place collaboratively over the Internet.

After the highlights of the 12 chapters had been presented we had a break and then it was time for the panelists. I enjoyed the mix of academics with a practitioner. Professor Ram Pendyala of Georgia Tech and Kermit Wies, former Deputy Executive Director, Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning, were my fellow panelists.

Below is a photo of the authors and panelists with Professor Mahmassani.

 My full presentation can be viewed here.  One of my favorites chapters in the book is Chapter 7 on Transportation Network Equilibrium.

The Q&A part was terrific with questions ranging from which was our favorite travel forecasting software, to questions about freight transportation, to issues surrounding acquisition of data.
Then it was time for a reception. The crabcakes were delicious and I had had some just the previous Friday at Legal Seafoods in Boston where I spoke at the ACEC conference.
The discussions at the reception were absolutely delightful and it was great to meet Professor Ken Small and to see Professor Marco Nie again, and even Paul Slater.

In my remarks,  I emphasized the deep scholarship behind this book and the history of the field. Also, in reading it, I remembered so many contributors so it was quite a  nostalgic walk down Memory Lane.  Boyce has always been one who welcomed new researchers into the field and has tirelessly guided and nurtured scholars, building bridges with practice. The following collage, which I included in my presentation emphasized the importance of people in the forecasting urban travel field and, I might add, the great friendships that have been made over the years. My dissertation advisor at Brown University, Dr. Stella Dafermos, is in the top left corner photo. She was the second female PhD in Operations Research in the world. Many in the photo collage below are noted in the book. Over 100 people reviewed chapters in the book.

The book takes on on a trip of 60 years over space and time. It already is a classic.

The paperback version should be available in 2016 Boyce told us.

We ended the perfect day with a delicious dinner, hosted by Hani S. Mahmassani at the Stained Glass restaurant  in Evanston.  The photo below taken by a waiter did not come out well but the memories will stay with us for forever.
The dessert (3 types of creme brulee was even better than it looks below!)
Many thanks to Boyce and Williams for a book that will be read by future generations of students, faculty, and transportation practitioners as well, I am sure, urban planners. Thank you also for helping to build such a special community!

Finally, congratulations!!!!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Supernetworks and Critical Infrastructure at American Council of Engineering Companies Conference in Boston

Several months ago I received an invitation from Beth Larkin, who is a Vice President at HNTB, and also a UMass Amherst Civil Engineering alumna, as to whether I would be interested in speaking at the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) Conference in Boston, October 14-17, 2015. 

In her message to me, Beth told me that ACEC is a national organization which represents the business interests of the engineering consulting industry. Beth is an ACEC/MA Past President.

Also, she added that: It is an industry that desperately could benefit from hearing from women thought leaders.  She also mentioned that she is part of a group of women who are trying to get more of the sessions to include women both as presenters/panelists and moderators.

Moreover, Beth wanted me to speak on Supernetworks and Critical Infrastructure.

How could I refuse such an invitation? In the meantime, I also ended up accepting an invitation to take part in the Amazon Supply Chain Optimization Summit this past week in Seattle and next week I am flying to Northwestern for a big book launch to be a panelist. One has to take advantage of opportunities!

I SO much enjoyed speaking at the ACEC conference (I was teaching on Thursday my Transportation and Logistics class, which always gets me very pumped up and supernetworks and critical infrastructure are themes that I am very passionate about).

The ACEC conference was at the Westin Copley Place hotel. The drive to Boston on Friday with the gorgeous foliage was smooth and lovely, the hotel was grand, registration was flawless, the exhibits were great, the snacks delicious and ample, and I enjoyed meeting so many professionals in this very important industry.

My presentation, The Application of Supernetworks to Critical Infrastructure from Transportation to Electric Power, can be downloaded here. 

Below are some photos from the ACEC conference with the top one of Beth Larkin with me after my presentation on Friday afternoon.

And, given that the location of the conference was Boston, it was fabulous afterwards to also walk (alot) in this great city!
And the grand finale was having dinner in the North End with tiramisu at Mike's Pastries!
Many thanks to the ACEC for such an exceptional conference experience!