Saturday, June 25, 2016

Visiting Fellows 50th Anniversary Celebration at All Souls College at Oxford University

Yesterday was a truly a historic day in Britain. We woke up in Oxford, England to brilliant sunshine and then were shocked with the news that Britain  had voted to leave the European Union, so Brexit had become a reality.  Living now in a college town - that of Oxford - where intellectual freedom and the movement of ideas and people are essential to research and innovation - the news was shocking and stunning.The repercussions are reverberating around the world.

Yesterday was also the day that we celebrated the 50th Anniversary of the Visiting Fellowships Program at All Souls College at Oxford University. I am now a Visiting Fellow (VF) at All Souls College for the Trinity term. I had received an invitation to attend this full day of celebrations while I was in Amherst months ago and was thrilled to take part yesterday and my husband did as well.

The program is below.
We began with registration and a welcome by the Warden, Sir John Vickers, who is an economist.

Mr. Edward Mortimer, who is a Fellow at All Souls College, provided us with background and the history of the Visiting Fellowship Program, which began in 1966 with the college deciding on November 6, 1965 to admit Visiting Fellows. All Souls College is a unique college at Oxford University in that it does not admit undergraduates.
Edward Mortimer, whom I have mentioned in my blog before, worked at the United Nations and wrote speeches for the former Secretary general, Kofi Annan.

I was delighted to hear Sir John Vickers say that we were celebrating "one of the best things that has happened to All Souls College." He said that the VF Program provides internationalization of the college and to-date there have been 800 Visiting Fellows from 40 different countries. The first female Visiting Fellow Dr. Janet Morgan, now known as Lady Balfour of Burleigh, was a VF in 1982, while she was also studying the BBC, upon the invitation of the PM,  spoke yesterday morning and I was delighted to see her.

 I also very much enjoyed hearing Sir Roger Braithwaite, who is an expert on negotiating with Russians, and is featured in the photo below. He was UK's ambassador to Russia and also its representative at the embassy in the US where he focused on commercial policy and was very successful.
Interestingly, but not surprisingly, the first Visiting Fellows were invited.

About 130 Visiting Fellows attended the celebration yesterday.
 
After the morning session we were treated to a delicious lunch in our elegant Codrington Library.

The menu is below.
Then it was time for tea and coffee before additional panels ands sessions followed by tea and a concert!
I enjoyed meeting former VFs from Berkeley and Illinois and was thrilled to see Professor Carol Heim of the Economics department at UMass Amherst, who had been a VF at Oxford a few years ago.
 Many thanks to Sir John Vickers and to the Dean of Visiting Fellows, Professor Simon Hornblower, for such a pleasant and very memorable celebration of the the great Visiting Fellowship Program at All Souls College Many thanks also to the staff for the exquisite hospitality, food, and organization.

It has been a marvelous experience being a Visiting Fellow at Oxford and the support, intellectual freedom, fellowship with our Fellows, have all been extraordinary. All Souls College is a unique institution and very special.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Majestic Honorary Degree Celebrations Encaenia at Oxford University with Photos

It is an extraordinary experience to be a Visiting Fellow at All Souls College at Oxford University in England this Trinity term.

Yesterday, Fellows and many dignitaries were invited to take part and celebrate 9 honorary degree recipients. And what a tremendous list of awardees this is!

Below is a photo of the recipients, compliments of Oxford University.
I was absolutely thrilled to see the Nobel laureate in Economic Sciences Paul Krugman and also the National Medal of Science recipient Professor Mildred "Millie"  Dresselhaus of MIT plus the Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodovar as well as Sir Jonathan Ive is Chief Design Officer of Apple Inc and designer of the iMac, PowerBook, iBook, iPod, iPhone, iPad, AppleWatch and MacBookat Oxford on the list! The opera singer Jessye Norman was not able to attend this year.

The day began with peaches, strawberries, and champagne, and a procession in Radcliffe Square to the Sheldonian where the ceremony took place.

After the Encaenia ceremony at the Sheldonian the Quad at All Souls College was the site for drinks before a lavish lunch that took place at the Codrington Library with tea and coffee out in the Quad afterwards. Magically, the skies cleared up so the outdoor events took place on the bright green lawn.

I was absolutely thrilled to be able to speak to Professor Millie Dresselhaus and to even meet one of her granddaughters. I had met Professor Millie when I was a Visiting Scholar and Associate Professor at MIT and we would take part in female get-togethers with Professor Lotte Bailyn of the Business School. She told me yesterday how important it is to have technical female professors at business schools and I agree. We also spoke about several of our well-known colleagues in Operations Research at MIT.

The lunch was fabulous and the seating arrangement very carefully thought out.
The dessert was also wonderful.
My husband was seated in front of the former principal of Hertford College at Oxford University, Dr. John Landers . Hertford used to have an exchange program with his university, the University of Hartford, so we took the following photo.
Seated across from me was the head of public affairs at Oxford University and next to me an amazing female entrepreneur. the conversations just flowed. I continue to be very impressed by Oxford's website and we talked about the importance of getting news on research out by faculty.

After lunch we chatted on the lawn. You can see Pedro Almodovar strolling on the lawn below in red.  I had to have a photo taken with Visiting Fellow Richard Vokes, an anthropologist from Australia. I also took the photo of him, my hsusband, and the brilliant nabal historian Nicholas Rodger.
And, if you take a look at the photo above, which I took because I very much like my Math Fellows Professors Francis Brown and Constantin Teleman, I also serendipitously snapped Pedro Almodovar on the right in the red gown!

Then it was time to walk to Merton College of Oxford University (the university  has 38 grand colleges) to attend the Vice Chancellor's garden party. The Vice Chancellor is Dr. Louise Richardson, who was the Executive Dean at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University, when I was a Science Fellow there in 2005-2006. It was great to see her and to shake her hand and to congratulate her on becoming the first female VC in Oxford's 800 year history!
The lawns are beautiful at Merton and the spread of food plus orchestra were grand.
And, later that evening, the remaining Visiting Fellows got together at a pub for dinner and to finish off a truly special day! The full list of Visiting Fellows during this past year is here.
Thank you to All Souls College plus Oxford University for memories that I will always treasure and for friendships made across disciplines! My only disappointment was not being able to personally congratulate Paul Krugman despite trying to find him after the lunch!


Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Excited About Our 4 Talks on Food Supply Chains, Disaster Relief, Cybersecurity, and Even the Braess Paradox at EURO in Poland

While a Visiting Fellow at All Souls College during this Trinity term I have been very busy and have been having a fabulous time, making new friends, dining at delicious meals with Fellows, exploring Oxford and its beautiful university, doing research, giving invited talks, and now preparing presentations for the 28th European Conference on Operational Research (Euro 2016) to be held in Poznan, Poland, July 3-6, 2016.

Tis will be my first time in Poland and since I am of Ukrainian heritage this conference will be extra special.

Technically, one is only supposed to present no more than one paper at this conference but I have been very lucky in that I will be presenting three and a co-author will present another paper of ours.

The topics of our presentations are very exciting, I believe, and the talks are almost completed.

The first paper that I will present is, "Competitive Food Supply Chain Networks with Application to Fresh Produce," which was co-authored with Professor Min Yu, a former doctoral student of mine at the Isenberg School, and a wonderful collaborator.  This paper is an invited paper in a special session: Meet the Editors of EJOR. The Editors of the European Journal of Operational Research (EJOR) will discuss the journal and our paper was one of two selected as being impactful and highly cited. The paper can be accessed at: Competitive Food Supply Chain Networks with Application to Fresh Produce, Min Yu and Anna Nagurney, European Journal of Operational Research 224(2): (2013) pp 273-282. I will also discuss how our model is related to several other perishable product (and other) supply chain network models.

 On Tuesday,  which is July 4, I was to chair a session and have two papers in parallel sessions! The latter has also happened to me at INFORMS conferences but we will manage, since my collaborator and husband, Professor Ladimer S. Nagurney, will take my place and give the presentation below, while I am speaking on cybersecurity in another session. Our Braess paradox paper will be presented in a Graphs and Networks session.  As we state in the abstract for our paper, "Physical Proof of the Occurrence of the Braess Paradox in Electrical Circuits:" While primarily identified with tra ffic networks, the Braess Paradox has also been observed in telecommunications networks and in mechanical spring, fluid flow and nanoscale networks. The purpose of this work is to show that the Braess Paradox can be observed in macroscopic electric networks consisting of resistors and diodes. We first identify the electrical quantities that correspond to the flow and the cost on the network and illustrate the mapping of the cost functions to ideal electrical components. By writing Kirchoff's Law nodal equations for the electrical network, we illustrate how, by appropriate choice of component values, the Braess Paradox can be observed in the network. We show how the classic Braess Paradox examples can be cast into a form where they can be implemented as real electric circuits.


While my husband is speaking on our work on the Braess Paradox, I will be presenting the paper, "A Supply Chain Network Game Theory Model of Cybersecurity Investments with Nonlinear Budget Constraints," co-authored with Professor Patrizia Daniele and my doctoral student, Shivani Shukls. Professor Patrizia Daniele of the University of Catania in Italy organized the session: Recent Advances in Dynamics of Variational Inequalities and Equilibrium Problems 1. She is also a Center Associate of the Virtual Center for Supernetworks at the Isenberg School of Management, that I founded almost 15 years ago! This paper, we are thrilled to announce has been accepted for publication and it can be downloaded from: A Supply Chain Network Game Theory Model of Cybersecurity Investments with Nonlinear Budget Constraints, Anna Nagurney, Patrizia Daniele, and Shivani Shukla, in press in Annals of Operations Research.

Professor Daniele also organized the session Recent Advances in Dynamics of Variational Inequalities and Equilibrium Problems 2. Although I was not originally scheduled to present in this session, a speaker cancelled and I was asked by Professor Daniele and the conference organizers whether I could present another paper. Of course, I responded positively. I will be presenting the following paper, which is now in press with Springer in the Dynamics of Disasters volume that I co-edited with Professors Ilias Kotsireas and Panos M. Pardalos. The volume contains 18 rigorously refereed papers and we are very pleased with the volume.  My paper can be accessed at: Freight Service Provision for Disaster Relief: A Competitive Network Model with Computations, Anna Nagurney, to appear in Dynamics of Disasters, I.S. Kotsireas, A. Nagurney, and P.M. Pardalos, Eds., Springer International Publishing Switzerland.

Looking forward to seeing many operations research colleagues from around the globe at EURO in Poznan, Poland, soon!

Saturday, June 18, 2016

A Historic Week for Oxford University and England

This is a truly momentous week and it is fascinating to be living in Oxford, England while history is going to be made. Since late April I have been a Visiting Fellow at All Souls College at Oxford University and I have been writing about the experience.

This Thursday, June 23,  England will be voting on the referendum on the European Union, that is, whether to Remain or to Leave.  The term Brexit, which has been top news not only in England, but also in the United States, refers to Britain exiting the European Union.

Many of the discussions at the luncheons that the Fellows attend at All Souls College have been around this issue with the majority of Fellows that I have been speaking with definitely favoring to Remain in the European Union. As someone whose passion is scientific research there are clear advantages to Remain. Researchers and scholars in England can avail themselves of European Union grants and collaborations. I have even served on the Advisory Board of a well-funded European Union grant. With Brexit, it would become much more difficult to secure research funding and to have multicountry research projects funded. Also, the free movement of those in the EU provides for a great vitality and energy and also spurs innovation and fresh ideas.

Lately, frankly, as I check out both CNN.com and BBC.com these websites' top stories tend to be identical so that I sometimes wonder whether I am in the US or in England. Now our hearts are breaking because of the horrific murder of Jo Cox, the MP (Member of Parliament) in broad daylight.as she was going about her work. The mother of two small children, ages 3 and 5, who had been elected in may 2015,  she had worked as the policy chief in Oxfam in Oxford and her husband works for Save the Children. To have a mentally ill individual kill such a shining light has created a pall over all of us. Her husband' tribute was incredibly touching and now every time that I walk along the Thames I will think of her since she lived with her family on the river in a house boat. She was for Remain. Even my neighbor from Amherst sent me an email yesterday expressing her shock and horror at this terrible tragedy.

On Wednesday, we will be taking part in honorary degree celebrations at Oxford University, where 10 will be honored, including the Nobel laureate in Economic Sciences, Paul Krugman, whose Opeds in The New York Times on the potential impacts of a Brexit I have been reading, as well as Professor Millie Dresselhaus of MIT, whom I had met when I was a Visiting Scholar and Visiting Professor there.  It is  a tradition for All Souls College to host the luncheon after the ceremony, and I received the nice invitation below for it. I would have also marched but I did not bring my Brown University cap and gown with me since I already had a lot to carry for more than two months in England.

And this coming Friday, after we have the results of the vote on the referendum, we will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Visiting Fellows program at All Souls College with many Visiting Fellows returning to Oxford.  Below is a photo that the Visiting Fellows at All Souls College took recently after a delicious dinner and wonderful lecture. Included in the photo are also the Warden, Sir John Vickers, and the Dean of the Visiting Fellows, Professor Simon Hornblower. The photo was taken at the Codrington Library.  We are the Visiting Fellows for the Trinity Term this year. As a senior Fellow told me recently, he believes that the best part of All Souls College is its Visiting Fellows program and that the college admitted women as Fellow.s

The full day program next Friday is splendid and is featured below and I hope to share photos with you of both the honorary degree recipients and the Visiting Fellows program later in the week. Women were admitted as Fellows at All Souls College only in 1979.

 



Friday, June 10, 2016

Great Academic Experiences in London

I returned from London, which was extra busy in preparation for the Queen's 90th birthday celebrations this weekend,  to Oxford via train in the late afternoon today.

We had left for London on Wednesday afternoon since I was to give the presentation: Supply Chain Networks Against Time: From Food to Pharma, at the Centre for Transport Studies at Imperial College on Thursday afternoon. I was invited to speak by Dr Panagiotis Angeloudis, Senior Lecturer in Engineering Systems and Logistics and the Director, Port Operations Research & Technology Centre. Professor Angeloudis has done fascinating work on critical infrastructure resilience, construction logistics, as well as maritime transport, including a recent game theory model which was just published in Transportation Research B. He is supervising 9 PhD students and has 3 postdocs working for him - very impressive - and is a computer geek with a lot of skills in data visualization.

When I arrived in London, I checked my email messages, and found a message from a reporter from Waterloo, Canada, Jeff Outhit, requesting an interview with me on ransomware and cyberattacks. He needed a response quickly and we managed to correspond and the great article that he wrote was published. The title is: "Cyber ransoms are ‘fastest-growing threat,’ expert warns." Outhit had seen that I gave a keynote talk at the University of Waterloo on cybercrime and cybersecurity on April 15, 2016 on Analytics Day. That great conference was organized by my INFORMS colleague, Dr. Fatma Gzara, whom I thank in my presentation, which Outhit even linked to in his article.

Since the hotel I was staying at was close to Hyde Park the morning of my presentation I had to take a walk there since I just love the green spaces.
I was treated to a delicious lunch in a beautiful building before my talk with both Professor Angeloudis and Professor Washington Y. Ochieng, the Head of the Centre for Transport Studies, who is very dynamic and a great intellectual force and leader, whom I enjoyed speaking with very much. 

The audience for my talk, which was on June 9, 2016, consisted of students, postdocs, and also representatives from industry, including from data science, which was very neat. 
I also had a great surprise: Professor Ben Heydecker, a transportation professor from the University of College London, whom I had not seen for a long time, but with whom I have very pleasant memories, which included even conversations with my dissertation advisor at Brown University, Professor Stella Dafermos, at various conferences, came to my talk. 
Of course, we had to talk about the book by such dear colleagues as Professors David E, Boyce and Huw Williams,  Forecasting Urban Travel, whose book launch I was a panelist at last Fall at Northwestern University.

I enjoyed giving my presentation very much since the audience was very attentive and afterwards they also asked great questions. We continued the discussions for about an hour after my presentation, which was delightful.

The conversations with Professor Panagiotis Angeloudis were also much too short - from drones for disaster relief and delivery of medicines to ancient Roman supply chains - this is a must to explore  research and tools by an archeologist at Stanford, which I could very much relate to because, as a Visiting Fellow now at All Souls College at Oxford University, I interact not only with economists, mathematicians, and scientists but also with humanists and archeologists!

And, yesterday evening, after a very pleasant seminar and discussions - Professor Panagiotis' group reminds me of the United Nations - with students from different countries working so well together - my family and I were hosted by Dr. Stavros Siokos, a former doctoral student of mine, with whom I wrote the Financial Networks book. Dr. Siokos is a financier based in London and has a PhD in Industrial Engineering from UMass Amherst and I was his dissertation advisor. He is also a Center Associate of the Virtual Center for Supernetworks at the Isenberg School of Management, which I founded almost 15 years ago!

Stavros took us to an exclusive club for dinner - the Royal Automobile Club (RAC), where the ambience was extraordinary as was the food and service, but, best of all, were the conversations with a former student of mine, who has achieved great success in industry. We discussed even the possibility of Brexit, that is, England leaving the European Union, with the vote taking place on June 23, 2016. This would be disastrous for numerous reasons, including for research and science, which is not even much written about.  The possibility of Brexit as well as Trump are major topics of conversation among the Fellows at All Souls College at Oxford University.

It is quite the experience living in England during this very historic time.

Below are some photos, including several of the desserts eaten at the exquisite dinner, last night.

Thanks to both Professor Panagiotis Andeloudis and to Dr. Stavros Siokos for such fabulous experiences in London!

We ended the evening with a walk to Stavros' office which had been Eisenhower's office when he planned D-Day, got to see the home of the richest man in England, and saw St. James Park, as well.