Wednesday, June 21, 2017

My Talk on Game Theory for Disaster Relief and Blood Supply Chains at Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University

Today is the first day of summer and it is a glorious day in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

It is also a perfect day for my presentation on Game Theory Network Models for Disaster Relief and Blood Supply Chains.
I am at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study (RIAS) at Harvard University as a Summer Fellow (and was a Fellow 2005-2006). It is truly special to be back at RIAS, which now has Byerly Hall remodeled for all the Fellows which hail from around the globe and represent numerous disciplines. The energy, enthusiasm, and collegiality among the Fellows is truly special. In the summer there are talks given at lunches and the menu for mine is exquisite with two of my favorite food groups: salmon and baklava!

It is challenging to prepare a talk, which is on a technical subject, since I specialize in operations research and math modelling, to a general audience. I like such challenges and presented at RIAS back in 2005-2006. I have also done such presentations at the Rockefeller Foundation's Bellagio Center on Lake Como as well as at the World Science Festival in NYC  and at one of the New York Times' EnergyforTomorrow events. In addition, I enjoyed giving a Distinguished Faculty lecture at UMass Amherst a while back when I received the Chancellor's Medal.

My presentation can be downloaded here.

It was wonderful to have scientists, mathematicians, anthropologists, literature specialists, and others at my talk. Thanks to RIAS for such an amazing Fellowship Program!
Also, I could not resist taking a photo with a Radcliffe staff member who was here when I was a Science Fellow in 2005-2006.

And a special surprise was seeing so many of my books on a shelf in the seminar room today!

Friday, June 16, 2017

The Isenberg School of Management Rocks Boston

Yesterday, the fifth annual Isenberg Business Leadership Awards Dinner took place at the Colonnade Hotel in Boston.

Since I am now a Summer Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University and now living in Cambridge, this made for an easy commute to this special event. My husband and I took the Red line and then the Green line which dropped us off right in front of the hotel.

There were over 300 alums, faculty, administrators, special guests, and even students at this gala evening.

We were there to honor two special Isenberg School alums and honorees: Earl Stafford, an executive, entrepreneur, and philanthropist, and Nick Markey, a CPA with Deloitte.
 The menu was exquisite as was the actual food.
What made this Business Leadership Awards dinner truly special for me was seeing two of my former MBA students, now very successful executives, Kevin Koswick and Vinnie Daboul, whose daughters are now Isenberg School alumna, as well!

It was also terrific to hear the speakers, including our outstanding, super energetic Dean, Dr. Mark A. Fuller, whose exceptional leadership has propelled the Isenberg School of Management in the various rankings. We are also in the midst of a very exciting addition to the infrastructure of the school with a $62 million addition of a Business Innovation Hub.

The Boston Globe had the featured ad below in yesterday's edition, which the Dean noted. It recognized that 66% of the graduating seniors of the Isenberg School gave to the school - quite the accomplishment and all their names were listed!

Also present at the gala dinner was our fabulous UMass Amherst Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy and Professor Dick Simpson who taught accounting at the Isenberg School passed the age of 80!
There were several Operations and Information Management alums at our table as well as Finance alums and the jobs our students get are so impressive - with top companies such as EY, Deloitte, JP Morgan, IBM, to name just a few, and even SpaceX (one of Elon Musk's companies).
It was terrific to see many of my Isenberg School colleagues, including a great turnout from the McCormack Department of Sports Management, with Associate Dean Lisa Masteralexis, Professor Steven McKelvey, Professor Nefertiti Walker (our new Director of Diversity and Inclusion), all bringing their exceptional professionalism and smiles to this event.
Plus, what would an evening be without our Marketing colleagues, Professor Bruce Weinberg, Head of the Marketing Department, and Professor Easwar Iyer, joined by several alums.
And, as we exited from a lovely evening and terrific networking event, we were offered the Annual Dean's Report.
In it, I was thrilled to see Hailey Cockrum, who was one of our amazing Operations and Information Management majors, and who graduated in May 2017. Hailey took both my Transportation and Logistics class and my Humanitarian Logistics and Healthcare class. She is the one now working at SpaceX in LA.
 The Isenberg School Rocked Boston!

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Green Spaces At and Near Harvard University

It's been a terrific week and I am enjoying being back at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University very much. Byerly Hall is where the Fellows, including the Summer Fellows, have their offices, and my office overlooks a fountain and a garden.

Since I am a tree hugger and it is now June it is wonderful to discover and to enjoy special places in Cambridge and Boston that are green! I continue to do research on sustainability and have also published on the design of sustainable supply chains for sustainable cities.

Besides the Cambridge Common, featured below,
I find the Harvard Business School, with its lovely collection of buildings, surrounded by beautiful landscaping and flowers a true gem.
A favorite discovery of mine, while taking a walk on Brattle Street, is the Mount Auburn Cemetery, which is a national landmark, and not only the burial place of numerous historical figures, but also an expanse of lovely gardens, fountains, and architecture. I saw a turkey, a bunny, and multiple chipmunks and was serenaded by birds during a walk there last week.
Another favorite green space is the public garden in Boston, which is an absolute delight.
And, after explorations and soaking in the beauty of green spaces as well as the fragrant air, it is always terrific to come back to Radcliffe where the painting below hangs outside my office.
Green spaces add so much to the quality of life in cities.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Back at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard

It is great to be back at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University!
I was a Science Fellow in 2005-2006 at Radcliffe and am now back as a Summer Fellow. 2005-2006 was a dramatic year in which Larry Summers stepped down as President of Harvard and the Dean of Radcliffe, Drew Gilpin Faust, became the first female President of Harvard.

The Radcliffe Yard is beautiful and there is now a lovely building, Byerly Hall, in which all the Fellows have offices. Back in 2005-2006, many of the Science Fellows had offices in Putnam House on Brattle Street.

I have a view from my Harvard office of a fountain and garden that remind me of being back at Oxford University, where I was a Visiting Fellow at All Souls College last year during the Trinity term. 

While a Fellow at Radcliffe I am working on a project on game theory and disaster relief and also on blood supply chains. I will be presenting on my project at Radcliffe on June 21, the first day of summer!

I am very excited about meeting the other Summer Fellows and am delighted that my colleague, Andrea  Nahmod from UMass Amherst, is also a Summer Fellow!

I love interdisciplinary research and being in a truly special place such as the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, surrounded by scientists, novelists, artists, historians, sociologists, anthropologists, and even an archeologist, one can't help but be inspired.

Thank you, Radcliffe, for this great opportunity! It is terrific to be back. 

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Sustainable Supply Chains to Save Our Planet Through Operations Research

This has not been a good day with President Trump announcing, as had been expected (but we were hoping otherwise), that the US is quitting the Paris Climate Pact. This puts US at odds with over 190 nations that had signed this pact. 

Frankly, I feel physically repulsed and ill by his decision, which is contrary to that of not only many world leaders but also top executives and even some of his very own advisors. I guess for some, breathing clean air and having their children breathe clean air, too; having clean water, and a diversity of species, and not dealing with more  turbulent weather, uncertainty, and possible food insecurity due to climate change, does not matter. This is so ironic, since the green economy can actually be a very successful economy and can generate jobs and is doing so (as the Chinese have even started to figure out). The costs of not slowing down climate change will be immense and are already upon us.

I do have some hope, however, in leaders from certain industries in the US as well as on the state levels (including California, New York, and Massachusetts) that progress will, nevertheless, be made to reduce pollution and emissions and to combat climate change.

In addition, I have hope because of students and this generation as well as a community of academics and practitioners that has a passion for sustainability and saving our planet.
Our most recent work on supply chains and sustainability, we will be presenting at the MSOM meeting this month. There we will present the paper,  A Competitive Multiperiod Supply Chain Network Model with Freight Carriers and Green Technology Investment Option, which was co-authored by Professors Sara Saberi and Joe Sarkis of WPI, Professor Jose M. Cruz of UConn, and me. In this work, we construct a model with multiple manufacturers, retailers, and freight carriers who maximize the net present value (NPV) of their investments in ecologically friendly technology. Future production, inventory, transaction, and transportation costs savings are used to help fund investments. The environmental impact of production, inventory, transportation, and consumption of products in the supply chain network are all integrated. The tradeoff between the initial technology investment and its ecological footprint effect are considered for the supply chain planning period. This is a large-scale multiperiod game theory problem for  a supply chain of multiple echelons, which we provide theoretical results for an extensive numerical results with policy implications.

We have also published on design of sustainable supply chains:  Design of Sustainable Supply Chains for Sustainable Cities, Anna Nagurney,   Environment & Planning B 42(1): (2015) pp 40-57 and Sustainable Supply Chain Network Design: A Multicriteria Perspective, Anna Nagurney and Ladimer S. Nagurney, International Journal of Sustainable Engineering 3: (2010) pp 189-197.

Also, topics related to transportation have been a theme in our sustainability research:   Environmental Impact Assessment of Transportation Networks with Degradable Links in an Era of Climate Change, Anna Nagurney, Qiang Qiang, and Ladimer Nagurney, International Journal of Sustainable Transportation 4: (2010) pp 154-171 and  Environmental and Cost Synergy in Supply Chain Network Integration in Mergers and Acquisitions, Anna Nagurney and Trisha Woolley, in Sustainable Energy and Transportation Systems, Proceedings of the 19th International Conference on Multiple Criteria Decision Making, Lecture Notes in Economics and Mathematical Systems, M. Ehrgott, B. Naujoks, T. Stewart, and J. Wallenius, Editors, Springer, Berlin, Germany (2010) pp 51-78.

Electronic recycling has also been a theme of several papers of ours, including:   When and for Whom would E-waste be a Treasure Trove? Insights from a Network Equilibrium Model of W-waste Flows, Tina Wakolbinger, Fuminori Toyasaki, Thomas Nowak, and Anna Nagurney, International Journal of Production Economics 154: (2014) pp 263–273.

Food, given the costs associated with waste, has obsessed us in our research, with an example being:  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.

Other sustainable supply chain research of ours has included work on fashion supply chains: 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 and Sustainable Fashion Supply Chain Management Under Oligopolistic Competition and Brand Differentiation, Anna Nagurney and Min Yu, International Journal of Production Economics, Special Section on Green Manufacturing and Distribution in the Fashion and Apparel Industries 135: (2012) pp 532-540.

Finally, in addition to several books that I have written on sustainability, with examples highlighted here,  we have also written on sustainability issues in healthcare in the papers: 
Securing the Sustainability of Global Medical Nuclear Supply Chains Through Economic Cost Recovery, Risk Management, and Optimization, Anna Nagurney, Ladimer S. Nagurney, and Dong Li, International Journal of Sustainable Transportation 9(6): (2015) pp 405-418 and Supply Chain Network Design of a Sustainable Blood Banking System, Anna Nagurney and Amir H. Masoumi, in Sustainable Supply Chains: Models, Methods and Public Policy Implications, T. Boone, V. Jayaraman, and R. Ganeshan, Editors, Springer, London, England (2012) pp 49-72.

We have also published on policies and energy and the environment with an example of that research being:  Spatially Differentiated Trade of Permits for Multipollutant Electric Power Supply Chains, Trisha Woolley, Anna Nagurney, and John Stranlund, in Optimization in the Energy Industry, J. Kallrath, P. Pardalos, S. Rebennack, and M. Scheidt, Editors, Springer, Berlin, Germany (2009) pp 277-296.

Sustainability of our supply chains has never been more essential.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Super Exciting Operations Research Conferences This Summer

This promises to be a very exciting summer with multiple Operations Research conferences on the horizon. There are even others and I wish that my supernetwork team could present at all of them.

The first one at which we will have a paper is the MSOM 207 Conference at the UNC Kenan-Flager Business School, which should be a lovely venue. MSOM stands for Manufacturing & Service Operations Management. The conference will take place June 20-21 and the full program is now online.


At the MSOM conference,  we will be presenting our latest research on sustainability: A Competitive Multiperiod Supply Chain Network Model with Freight Carriers and Green Technology Investment Option. Dr. Sara Saberi of the Foisie School of Business at WPI will present this paper, which is co-authored with  Professor Jose M. Cruz of UConn's School of Business, Professor Joe Sarkis, the Head of Sara's Department and also one of the most highly cited researchers in 2016, and me. We had the pleasure of hosting Professor Sarkis at the Isenberg School of Management through the UMass Amherst INFORMS Speakers Series. He gave a fabulous talk on greening the supply chain.  Sara received her PhD in Management Science from the Isenberg School in 2016 and Jose did so in 2004.  I was honored to chair their doctoral dissertation committees.

Shortly thereafter, I will be off to Europe, first to speak at the EURO HOpe Conference, which is organized by the EURO Group on Humanitarian Logistics and the Vienna University of Economics and Business, with Professor Tina Wakolbinger, also an Isenberg PhD alumna in Management Science, class of 2007. At this conference, I will present the paper, A Generalized Nash Equilibrium Network Model for Post-Disaster Humanitarian Relief, which I co-authored with Emilio Alvarez Flores and Professor  Ceren Soylu, and which was published in Transportation Research E 95: (2016), pp 1-18. Emilio graduated with honors from the Isenberg School in 2016.

Then it will be time to travel to Greece, where I have co-organized the 3rd Dynamics of Disasters conference with my super colleagues: Professors Ilias S. Kotsireas of the Wilfrid University in Canada, Panos M. Pardalos of the University of Florida, and Fuad Aleskerov of the National Reearch University Higher School of Economics in Russia. We are putting the final touches on the program but you can see the exciting talk topics here.


At this conference, we will have the pleasure of presenting the paper, A Variational Equilibrium
 Framework for Humanitarian Organizations in Disaster Relief: Effective Product Delivery Under Competition for Financial Funds. This paper is joint work with Professor Patrizia Daniele of the University of Catania in Italy, my long-time collaborator and also member of the Supernetwork Center team, Emilio Alvarez Flores, and Patrizia's student, Valeria Caruso. It will be fabulous to see these collaborators at an exotic venue. I will also deliver the paper,  A Multitiered Supply Chain Network Equilibrium Model for Disaster Relief with Capacitated Freight Service Provision.

Then it will be back to Massachusetts and before you know it, it will be time to go to the IFORS Conference in Quebec City, Canada.
 There we will have two papers for presentation.  The first paper, A Game Theory Model for Freight Service Provision Security Investments for High-Value Cargo, is co-authored with Shivani Shukla, who recently successfully defended her PhD in Management Science at the Isenberg School, Professor Sara Saberi, mentioned above, and also Professor Ladimer S. Nagurney, who will present the paper. The second paper is on our recent work on blood supply chains with Professor Amir H. Masoumi of Manhattan College and Professor Min Yu of the University of Portland in Oregon. They also were my former PhD students at the Isenberg School of Management and it is wonderful to continue our collaborations on perishable product supply chains and healthcare!

 For those, interested, you can find the titles and abstracts of my former PhD students' (more recent ones) doctoral dissertations on the Supernetwork Center site. 

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Thank You Notes That I Treasure

Graduations and accompanying celebrations for 2017 are now over but the joyousness of these special occasions lingers. 

In the past few weeks other special events have included multiple PhD dissertation defenses, a dissertation proposal defense, and an undergraduate honors thesis defense. Tomorrow I have another PhD dissertation defense and then it will be over with defenses for a while. I chaired two of the five committees and was a committee member for the others.

With the above momentous happenings and, since also it is the end of the year, as a faculty member, I thought it fitting to write on the very special thank you notes that I have received from graduating students, present students, and even from some of their family members.

One favorite message came via Twitter from a student I taught years ago, and it said: "@Supernetworks - Thank you for making a difference in so many lives."

Nothing makes a faculty member happier than getting feedback on one's impact. The above "Thank you" I will always treasure.

The same goes for the lovely note cards that I received, some of which are in the photo above.

In one of them a student wrote: "If it weren't for you, I would not be where I am today, and for the future. Your 597LG class (Humanitarian Logistics and Healthcare) will always be the most influential class that directed my path for my future.... I've learned and thought about ideas more than I ever have, truly pushing the boundaries of research. .. You've taught me to be fearless, and to succeed in face of challenge."

A message from another student stated: "You have really encouraged my love for supply chains and logistics. You serve as a role model for me not only for all that you have accomplished, but how you represent yourself as a women in the industry."

And a message from a father touched me deeply:  "I look back to my daughter's journey from the day she joined the business school till this day & observe with great satisfaction the progress she has made during this period despite several difficulties in studying at an unknown location and country...

This, Madam, could not have been possible without your able guidance & the opportunities & conducive environment provided by you and the University... My daughter's achievement is therefore dedicated to you, Madam, & I would like to thank you for all your efforts  in bringing her to this higher pedestal of learning."

On dreary days, I will look again at the Thank You notes to remind myself of the truly special role that we as university faculty have. The memories of the students and how deeply they enriched my life will never leave me. They are all part of my academic family!

And just yesterday, I wrote and mailed 3 Thank You cards to a colleague, a former student, and to a relative!