Sunday, February 3, 2013

My Number 17 PhD Student to Successfully Defend Dissertation with Photos of the Celebration

In my previous post, I wrote about how to construct a great model with insights from Dr. Hal Varian, the Chief Economist of Google, who had also spent many years at UC Berkeley.

I noted that the doctoral dissertation defense of my 17th PhD student would soon be taking place. Indeed, I had chaired 16 doctoral dissertations to that point and am very proud of my former students!

So, for all of those out there who are dying of suspense as to the outcome -- the news is great!

Amir H. Masoumi successfully defensed his doctoral dissertation on Friday, February 1, 2013 at the Isenberg School of Management at UMass Amherst. His concentration was Management Science and the title of his dissertation: Supply Chain Management of Perishable Products with Applications to Healthcare. In his research,  he focused on centralized and decentralized supply chains with the former consisting of blood supply chains and the latter -- oligopolistic competition with brand differentiation of pharmaceutical products. His work is also related to medical nuclear supply chains and to food supply chains.

Coincidentally, after his defense, he told me that his lucky number has always been 17!

His dissertation committee consisted of Professor Hari Balasubramian of the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering at UMass Amherst, Professor Senay Solak of the Isenberg School, and Professor June Dong of the School of Business of SUNY Oswego.

The dissertation committee members are in the above photo with Amir H. Masoumi. (Professor June Dong teleconferenced in and we had to practice some disruption management since the communications went down for a few minutes -- Always have a backup plan!)

What really impressed me was not only how Amir thanked his fellow associates at the Virtual Center for Supernetworks that I direct but also how he acknowledged his colleagues at the award-winning UMass Amherst INFORMS Student Chapter, many of which showed up on a freezing Friday afternoon to listen to his presentation and waited outside the room until the committee finished asking him their questions.

Later, that evening, we celebrated his successful defense at Moti, a Persian restaurant in downtown Amherst. The food was delicious and the conversations had us roaring with laughter.
Thanks to all those who have supported a student in his journey to achieve his dream of becoming Dr. Amir H. Masoumi!

And, yes, his mother, back in his birthplace, had been praying for him all day and, when he texted her at 1:30AM her time with the good news, she was very relieved and very happy!