Sunday, December 20, 2009

Learn More About Innovation and Scientific Research in South Africa and Beyond, the Smart Grid, Vaccines, Robust Optimization, and Supply Disruptions!

In the Northeast we have had a major snowstorm and it is a winter wonderland! The course grades have been submitted and before we catch our breaths, it gives me great pleasure to announce the Spring 2010 UMass Amherst Speaker Series in Operations Research / Management Science. Please be sure to mark your calendars and to join us,if you can. This series is now in its 12th semester of continuous operation and is open to the public. All talks take place at the Isenberg School of Management at UMass Amherst on scheduled Fridays in Room 112 from 11AM until noon.

I can share testimonials of audience members who have written to me and who have taken the time to thank me regarding our past speakers. Let it suffice to say that when undergraduates, grad students, faculty, and those from industry who have come to hear our speakers say that on Fridays when there is no speaker they are so disappointed -- that is the greatest praise. Speakers not only educate but inspire and open our eyes to new perspectives.

The Spring 2010 lineup will begin with a presentation on February 19, 2010 by Professor Mzamo Mangaliso of the Isenberg School on scientific innovation and research with experiences in South Africa. Professor Mangaliso served as the President of South Africa's counterpart of the US National Science Foundation and this talk is certainly going to be fascinating and very informative.

On March 5, 2010, we will be hosting Mr. Richard Brooks of ISO - New England, who will be speaking on the development of the smart grid, a topic not only timely but extremely relevant to consumers and businesses.

On April 2, 2010, Professor Sheldon Jacobson of the University of Illinois will be sharing with us his research on pediatric vaccines, their pricing and stockpiling issues. Professor Jacobson's visit is co-sponsored through the INFORMS Speakers Bureau. For more information on INFORMS, and its elegant new website, please click here.

Professor Dimitris Bertsimas of the Sloan School at MIT will be speaking on April 23, 2010. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and has garnered numerous awards for his research. He will be speaking on robust optimization. His talk is co-hosted by the Finance Seminar Series at the Isenberg School.

On April 30, 2010, Professor Mehmet Gumus of McGill University in Montreal, Canada will be presenting his research on supply disruptions and selection of optimal suppliers.

We may also have an additional speaker on March 26, 2010, from abroad, but are waiting for final confirmation.

Full information on the titles, abstracts, and short bios of the above speakers is now available on the Speaker Series website.

As one departmental chair from outside the Isenberg School said to me, this speaker series is not only educational, but we are also providing a community service -- the talks in this series are not to be missed.