Thursday, February 14, 2019

A Public Thank You to the UMass Amherst Police Department for a Great Field Trip for My Humanitarian Logistics Class

Today is Valentine's Day and I brought muffins from Whole Foods (so they must be healthy) for the students in my Humanitarian Logistics and Healthcare class at the Isenberg School. I thought it a nice way to celebrate the holiday and also to show appreciation to my students for their great questions this past Tuesday on our class field trip to the UMass Amherst Police Department at the corner of East Pleasant Street and Eastman Lane in Amherst.

I am a big believer in hosting practitioners in such a class as well as organizing field trips and, since the class meets early, from 8:30-10:00AM, that helps with the logistics of such special experiences.
Our host was Lt. Tom O'Donnell, who himself is a UMass Amherst grad in criminal science, and the experience was so educational and fascinating that today I delivered a gift to him, along with a thank you card signed by the students.
I was so proud of my students since the Lt. had sent me a message, after our field trip, which included the following:

Thanks for the note, it is very kind of you. Please let the students know they asked some of the best questions I have ever had. I can usually guess the questions that will be asked when giving a tour, and your class asked some of the most in-depth questions that I can remember.

The field trip began with a session in a classroom at the police station, which included a lot of Q&A. We got to hear the challenges of policing at UMass Amherst over thirty years and how the challenges have changed over time. It was very impressive to learn about how the police department prepares over months for special scheduled events and also how it anticipates incidents. There are 61 police officers, who are supplemented with cadets that live in the dorms and provide useful input. The UMass Amherst Police Department also is heavily involved in the community and has organized fishing trips, an Amazing Race, and even bike rodeos. It has also hosted middle schoolers for movies.

The UMass Amherst police officers all are professionally trained. Because of their expertise they are sometimes even called upon by the neighboring town of Hadley, which has a tiny police force. The humanity of Lt. Tom O'Donnell was so apparent and his concern about students and their welfare. He even noted how students, these days, are under so much pressure to succeed and this can impact their mental health.

The Police Station, which is only a few years old, is stunning and another highlight was touring the facility, from the high tech room, where we got to meet and speak with the dispatchers (and marveled at the big screen with the weather, since we were facing a big snowstorm) to even the cells, where there are places for those under protective custody. Everything has been thought through, from the best way to deliver those brought in, to audio and video equipment to record answers of those brought in, to questions that they are asked to ascertain their condition, such as: Who is the President of the US? Even the flusher for each toilet in a cell is located outside the cell. We were asked whether we knew the reason behind this. We saw the blankets, carefully wrapped, and used for those who stay overnight and learned how those brought in are fed before being released or transferred to the Northampton facility.
What also amazed me is how spotless everything was - very scrubbed and well-maintained. We learned about "Run, Hide, Fight" in case of certain incidents and that the police department will soon be introducing a six minute video, which I am sure will be a must-see.

The impact that Lt. Tom O'Donnell has had and continues to have also reaches outside of our community to, would you believe, Ecuador! In January, at about the same time that I was taking part in and speaking at the fabulous Congreso Futuro in Chile, Lt. O'Donnell, with a coterie of colleagues, was training police in Ecuador.

He shared with us some of the policing techniques that they educated the police force there on (and, frankly, I will be checking out episodes of Law and Order to see if the right tactics are being followed), which will be shared with 40,000 police members nationally in Ecuador. 

After the indoor time, we took a group photo.

For those who did not have to rush off to their next class at 10AM on campus, we got to tour the garage, where the police bikes are stored, and the special vehicles in the lot, including a Humvee and the Command Center. We did not get a chance to see the police horses, who are housed elsewhere!

And, to top off the fantastic field trip, we even received 5 souvenirs each from Lt. O'Donnell and the UMass  Amherst Police Department, including a portable stapler, which will come in good use, and a lovely notebook with colorful stickers, and even tissues, given that this is winter!
A huge thank to to Lt. Tom O'Donnell for a wonderful educational experience for my class! We so much appreciate what you and the UMass Amherst Police Department do for our great university and beyond.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Lots of Good News from the Supernetwork Center at the Isenberg School of Management

In 2001, the Virtual Center for Supernetworks was established at the Isenberg School of Management at UMass Amherst and I have continued to serve as its Founding Director.

Each year we produce three newsletters to keep our stakeholders and constituents informed of activities at the Center and also the successes of the Supernetwork Center Associates, which include faculty, practitioners, as well as doctoral students.

It gives me great pleasure to announce that the Winter 2019 edition of The Supernetwork Sentinel, the newsletter of the Supernetwork Center is now available and online. I am so honored to serve as the Center's Director and continue to marvel as to how much this remarkable team accomplishes through mutual support in all of its endeavors from research to outreach and various other professional activities.
 Winter 0219

 All newsletters can be downloaded and viewed from here.

Thank you for the support!

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

A Transformative Congreso Futuro in Chile with Thanks to the Organizers, Speakers and Volunteers

Last night I returned from the extraordinary 2019 Congreso Futuro, which took place in Chile from January 14-20. I had been invited to speak at this truly unique Congress last April via a formal letter  from Senator (Senador) Guido Girardi Lavín, President, Future Challenges, Science, Technology and Innovation Commission, who was writing on behalf of the Chilean Congress, the Government of the Republic of Chile and the Chilean Academy of Sciences. This year's Congress was the eight annual one and the Congress has become the most important free and open-access scientific forum in Latin America. According to the invitation: It is unique in the region for providing Nobel laureates, scientists, researchers, artists, opinion leaders and citizens alike the opportunity to experience some of the world’s most cutting-edge research, participate in the understanding of emerging trends and actively engage in the innovation of ideas and debates that directly influence the globe. 

Dr. Girardi is a true visionary and leader and all those who had the fabulous experience of taking part in the Congreso Futuro are indebted to him for the incredible intellectual exchanges, social events, as well as cultural ones. New friendships and partnerships have been made across disciplines and across the globe because of this Congreso Futuro!

The Congreso Futuro was a transformative event and experience with about 100 presenters from around the globe. The attention to detail was incredible, with an individual itinerary provided for each speaker plus each one of us was assigned a student volunteer.  The Congress consists of TED-like talks as well as panels and I thoroughly enjoyed sessions on topics ranging from artificial intelligence to climate change to food insecurity. 
The venue in Santiago was the former National Congress, which is a stunning building surrounded by a garden.
In addition to snacks and lunches provided to the speakers there was even a magnificent banquet last Wednesday evening hosted by the Chilean President Sebastián Piñera at the presidential palace in Santiago. The conversations there that continued throughout the Congress I will treasure.

There was a full day (last Saturday) on the Nobel Prize Dialogue on The Future of Learning in  which 4 Nobel laureates took part and representatives from the Nobel Foundation and panelists as well. There was a lovely lunch provided and closing remarks, and since I have had Visiting Professorships at both KTH in Stockholm and at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden it was delightful to meet the delegation from Sweden.
I had the pleasure of speaking in Santiago on January 15 and then at one of the regional venues in Valparaiso on January 17. At the former, I was part of a session on Making Sense of Complexity Through Simplicity that included Daniel Hurtado of the Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile,  Robert Sutor of IBM (who was born in Yonkers, where I obtained much of my schooling), and Brian Farrell of Harvard University. My talk in Santiago was on The Era of Supernetworks and it was livestreamed.
My presentation in Valparaiso was on Women in Science: A Personal Journey and the video can be accessed here (with Spanish translation). I expect that, as in previous years, all the talks in Santiago will be posted soon. Joining me in Valparaiso at the National Congress were the Nobel laureate Michael Kosterlitz, professor at my alma mater Brown University, Amber Case, and Floyd Romesberg and we enjoyed travel there and back with our great driver, Juan Carlos, and even had a tour of Valparaiso, which is a UNESCO site. Each talk was followed by a very stimulating panel and discussions.

At our event, 8 ambassadors of Latin American countries came to our talks and panels that followed and even joined us for lunch!
We were hosted in Valparaiso by Senador Chahuan and we thank him for the exceptional hospitality! 

I was thrilled when a group of girls showed up for my presentation in Valparaiso who are part of an award-winning national robotics team and also was absolutely delighted when Dean Juan Kuznar even mentioned the Stem Gems book, edited by Stephanie Espy,  in which I am featured, along with 43 other role models for young girls.
To the wonderful speakers, who are true trailblazers that I met and I will never forget; to the superb student volunteers and staff, and to the extraordinary organizers, a thank you from the bottom of my heart! You set new standards for intellectual exchanges and experiences! Also, many thanks to the wonderful journalists, including Macarena Pizarro of CNN Chile, who took the time to interview me.

Goodbye, beautiful Chile, and the fabulous Congreso Futuro! Till we meet again!
And, to add to the Chilean experience, last Saturday night at about 10:30PM as I was drifting off to sleep because of an early departure back to North America the next morning, my bed in the hotel room started shaking, and when I checked the Chilean news there had, indeed, been an earthquake in Coquimbo, registered at 6.7.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

New Year - New Country - Thanks to the Congreso Futuro in Chile

On the first day of the New 2019 Year I thought it appropriate to write about what I am very excited about - and that is my forthcoming trip to a country I have never been to before - Chile!

I have a connection to that country since for two years my room-mate at Brown University during my undergraduate days was a Chilean, Teresa Davila, who was also an Applied Math major and lover of Operations Research. This former ballerina was a member of the Brown women's crew (rowing) team while I ran track and cross country and also double majored.

The invitation to speak in Chile came last April with an email message and an official letter on behalf of Senator Girardi, President of the Senate's Future Challenges, Science, Technology and Innovation Commission in Chile, to participate as a Guest Speaker in the upcoming VIII Futures Congress (Congreso Futuro in Spanish), "a global flagship knowledge engagement event set to take place between the 14th-20th January 2019". Since the establishment of  the Futures Congress in 2011, it has become a major forum in Latin America for addressing the many challenges that humanity is faced with and brings together scientists and humanists to discuss how we can achieve a better future. Our itineraries are planned with great attention to detail with lunches and dinners organized as well as excursions for those interested.

I am so honored and thankful to be representing the Isenberg School of Management and the University of Massachusetts Amherst at the Futures Congress!

The Futures Congress takes place in Santiago, Chile, along with other locations in Chile and the venues are magnificent, as evidenced from past congresses.
I will have the pleasure of speaking in the thematic session: Shaping Our Lives, Discovering Simplicity in a Complex World with renowned scientists that I am very excited about meeting: Dr. Daniel Hurtado of Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Dr. Geoffrey West of Stanford University, and Dr. Robert Sutor of IBM!  I will give the talk: The Era of Supernetworks.

Subsequently, I will speak in Valparaiso at a full day event and the title of my talk there, which will be followed by a panel discussion, is: Women in Science: A Personal Journey. This event will take place in the Salón de Honor Congreso Nacional. I have thoroughly enjoyed preparing my talks and am in the final stages of polishing them.

Also speaking at the Futures Congress is the Nobel laureate in physics Dr. Michael Kosterlitz, who had an office across the hall from my office in Barus and Holley when I was a PhD student at Brown University! And, as for other serendipitous connections, Dr. Susan Fiske of Princeton University will also be speaking at the Futures Congress. She was formerly a faculty member at UMass Amherst and we have mutual close friends. I am sure that I will come across other speakers with which there are surprising and delightful connections!

It is truly remarkable how wonderful and linked the scientific community is even across disciplines - last year, Dr. Alyssa Goodman of Harvard University was a speaker at the Congreso Futuro. She co-directs the science program at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard where I have been a Science Fellow and have also spent most of my past two summers!

I have been brushing up on my Spanish, even during the holiday festivities during this past week and will be also speaking with my Isenberg School of Management Marketing colleague, Dr. Francisco Villarroel  Ordenes, who is now in Chile (but, sadly our times there will not overlap).

Many thanks to the organizers of the Congreso Futuro for inviting me. I am very much looking forward to what will be an extraordinary intellectual, social as well as cultural experience!

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Congratulations and Kudos to the Supernetwork Team at the Isenberg School of Management for a Great 2018 Year!

Every year, at this time, as the Center Director of the Virtual Center for Supernetworks, I prepare a Congratulations and Kudos piece on the Supernetwork Team.

2018 was another exceptional year for the Supernetwork Team, one in which we continued to make a global impact through fundamental network research with a wide range of applications and activities! It is an honor to highlight some of the accomplishments and achievements of the Center Associates of the Virtual Center for Supernetwork in the past year.
The book, Dynamics of Disasters: Algorithmic Approaches and Applications, which I co-edited with Professor Ilias S. Kotsireas of Wilfrid Laurier University in Canada and Professor Panos M. Pardalos of the University of Florida, was published by Springer. The collection of refereed chapters includes several papers presented at the Dynamics of Disaster conference in the summer of 2017 in Kalamata, Greece, by Center Associates, including: Advances in Disaster Communications: Broadband Systems for First Responders by Dr. Ladimer S. Nagurney of the University of Hartford, and A Variational Equilibrium Network Framework for Humanitarian Organizations in Disaster Relief: Effective Product Delivery Under Competition for Financial Funds, which I co-authored with  Dr. Patrizia Daniele of the University of Catania in Italy, Emilio Alvarez Flores of Cisco, and Professor Daniele's former doctoral student, Valeria Caruso. Also, while at the conference, a wonderful collaboration was initiated with Professor Tina Wakolbinger of the Vienna University of Economics and Business and her doctoral student Timo Gossler, which resulted in the paper,  How to Increase the Impact of Disaster Relief: A Study of Transportation Rates, Framework Agreements and Product Distribution, published open access in the European Journal of Operational Research, and co-authored with Professor Patrizia Daniele and me.

A big congratulations to Professor Tina Wakolbinger, who was selected as one of two keynote speakers for the 50th Anniversary Celebration  of the PhD Program of the Isenberg School of Management, which will take place on April 5, 2019. The other keynote speaker is Dr. Dennis Hanno, the President of Wheaton College in Massachusetts. I have organized a panel of our Management Science PhD alums, which will include Center Associate Professor Patrick Qiang of Penn State University Great Valley and Center Associate Dr. Padma Ramanujam of SAS!

Also, a delightful collaboration of four females, resulted in the paper, Cybersecurity Investments with Nonlinear Budget Constraints and Conservation Laws: Variational Equilibrium, Marginal Expected Utilities, and Lagrange Multipliers, Gabriella Colajanni (Professor Daniele's doctoral student), Patrizia Daniele, Professor Sofia Giuffre, and me, published in the International Transactions in Operational Research in 2018! Special thanks to Professor Patrizia Daniele for co-organizing an incredible conference: Variational Inequalities, Nash Equilibrium Problems and Applications, March 8-9, 2018, in Reggio Calabria, Italy, which took place in a castle! I had a marvelous time being a keynote speaker and taking part in this exceptional scientific conference.

Center Associates had numerous speaking engagements at conferences globally as well as many invited seminar talks. Professors Daniele, Wakolbinger, and Jose Cruz presented at the 29th European Conference On Operational Research, EURO2018, Valencia, Spain, July 8-11, 2018 and I had the pleasure, as did Doctoral Student Center Associate Pritha Dutta, to  present at the CORS Conference in Halifax, Canada!

And, speaking of doctoral students, congratulations also to Deniz Besik, on the acceptance of her paper, Tariffs and Quotas in World Trade: A Unified Variational Inequality Framework, in the European Journal of Operational Research, which was co-authored with Professor June Dong of SUNY Oswego and me. This work began last summer when I was back at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University as a Summer Fellow and it was tremendous to have Professors June Dong, Amir M. Masoumi of Manhattan College, and Michelle Li  visit, as well as my doctoral students Pritha Dutta and Deniz Besik. A big congratulations also to Deniz, who served as last year's President of the UMass Amherst INFORMS Student Chapter and, this past November, the chapter was recognized with its 12th consecutive award from INFORMS at the Annual Meeting in Phoenix for its activities. Very active officers include Doctoral Student Center Associates Pritha Dutta and Mojtaba Salarpour. Congratulations also to Pritha on the acceptance of two papers: Supply Chain Network Competition Among Blood Service Organizations: A Generalized Nash Equilibrium Framework, in press in the Annals of Operations Research, and Competition for Blood Donations, in press in Omega. Pritha successfully defended her doctoral dissertation proposal this past semester and also took part in the INFORMS Future Academicians Doctoral Colloquium just prior to the INFORMS Conference in Phoenix in November. Deniz also had a co-authored paper published in Chaos, which was an Editor's Pick.

Kudos to Center Associate Dr. Michelle Li on her move to Babson College as an Assistant Professor. Babson is considered the top entrepreneurial college in the world! Also, congratulations to her on the publication of the paper, The Sustainable Supply Chain Network Competition with Environmental Tax Policies, co-authored with Center Associates Professor Min Yu of the University of Portland and Jose Cruz of the University of Connecticut! In addition, congrats on the publication of our co-authored paper, Consumer Learning of Product Quality with Time Delay: Insights from Spatial Price Equilibrium Models with Differentiated Products, also with Dr. Yu, in Omega.

Kudos to Center Associate Dr. Sara Saberi of the Foisie School of Business at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) in Massachusetts, who is lead author of the paper, A Competitive Multiperiod Supply Chain Network Model with Freight Carriers and Green Technology Investment Option, with Center Associate Dr. Jose M. Cruz of the University of Connecticut, her colleague, Dr. Joe Sarkis, and me, which was published in the European Journal of Operational Research. Congratulations also to Dr. Saberi on the publication of her paper, Sustainable, Multiperiod Supply Chain Network Model with Freight Carrier Through Reduction in Pollution Stock in Transportation Research E! Sara is now conducting research with support from several grants and is an elected Officer of WORMS (Women in Operations Research and the Management Sciences).

Congratulations to Center Associate Dr. Shivani Shukla, of the University of San Francisco, who, along with Dr. Sara Saberi and Professor Ladimer S. Nagurney, and me, had the paper, A Game Theory Model for Freight Service Provision Security Investments for High-Value Cargo, published in the Economics of Transportation.

The INFORMS Phoenix conference, November 4-7, 2018 served as a terrific venue for many Center Associates to reconvene, with participants and speakers including Center Associates: Professor Patrick Qiang of Pennsylvania State University Great Valley,  Professor Amir H. Masoumi of Manhattan College, Professor Min Yu of the University of Portland, Professor Dmytro Matsypura of the University of Sydney in Australia, Professor Jose M. Cruz of the University of Connecticut, Professor Dong Li of Babson, Professor Sara Saberi, and Professor Shivani Shukla as well as Deniz Besik and Pritha Dutta. At the conference I was deeply honored in being selected and delivering the Omega Rho Distinguished Lecture: Networks to Save the World: OR in Action. Special thanks also to Lancaster University in England, where I not only gave a course last March, but also was the plenary speaker in September for the 60th anniversary conference: OR60, and at the Early Career Researcher Workshop. The OR Society kindly made a videotape of my plenary talk and it is now posted on youtube.

Below are links to examples of some of our recent publications:
Tariffs and Quotas in World Trade: A Unified Variational Inequality Framework
Anna Nagurney, Deniz Besik, and June Dong, in press in the European Journal of Operational Research.

A Game Theory Model for Freight Service Provision Security Investments for High-Value Cargo
Anna Nagurney, Shivani Shukla, Ladimer S. Nagurney, and Sara Saberi, Economics of Transportation 16: (2018), pp 21-28.

Anna Nagurney and Pritha Dutta, to appear in the Annals of Operations Research.

Competition for Blood Donations
Anna Nagurney and Pritha Dutta, in press in Omega. 

Thanks for the support! We wish everyone a Fabulous New 2019 Year!