Thursday, January 22, 2009

Traffic, Jack Smith, and the Supernetworks Center

As an academic, one of the highlights of a semester is being able to host speakers and to see how students, faculty, and guests in the audience react. As the Faculty Advisor to the UMass Amherst INFORMS (Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences) Student Chapter, I oversee its Speaker Series. Last term, we had a wonderful lineup, including the best-selling author of the book, "Traffic," Mr. Tom Vanderbilt, whose blog, How We Drive, is a terrific read. His visit was written up recently in the Winter 2009 edition of "The Commonwealth." The student chapter has posted photos of Vanderbilt's visit and of the visits of other invited speakers.
Also, last Fall, we helped to host "the" Jack Smith, the former CEO and Chairman of the Board of GM and Delta. Jack Smith is a UMass Amherst alum, class of '60. Read about his visit and Q&A.
Hosting speakers of the caliber of Jack Smith and Tom Vanderbilt is always a joy but as an academic doing research and running the Virtual Center for Supernetworks brings its own special challenges and rewards. Read up on our center, compliments of Mr. Lou Wigdor, and for all the exciting activities in the Isenberg School, see the full edition of the 2009 Winter Commonwealth.