Friday, December 29, 2017

It Was a Great Operations Research Year!

As the New 2018 Year approaches, and the holidays are behind us, it is only fitting to reflect on the past year.

It was a great Operations Research Year!

When I look back, some of the highlights that come to mind, and also bring on a big smile, include:

  •  Seeing my 19th PhD student, Sara Saberi, receive her PhD at UMass Amherst commencement ceremonies:

  • Celebrating with my former Isenberg School undergrad OIM student Karen Li, on her receipt of the 21st Century Leaders Award from UMass Amherst, and then having our paper published in Operations Research for Health Care. Joining Karen and me in the photo below are: Isenberg Dean Mark A. Fuller, Amherst Fire Chief Tim Nelson, and Associate Dean of Engineering Tilman Wolf.

  • Having dinner at the UMass Club in beautiful Boston last summer with 3 recipients of the INFORMS Judith Liebman Award: Dr. Amir H. Masoumi, Dr. Michael Prokle, and to be Dr. Thiago Serra:

  • Spending 2 months as a Summer Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University and getting to see many students (present and former), colleagues, and even relatives while living and working in Cambridge again; below I am with two of my doctoral students: Deniz Besik and Pritha Dutta.
  • Having my 20th PhD student, Shivani Shukla, successfully defend her PhD, and assume a tenure track Assistant Professorship in California: 

Enjoying speaking and seeing many friends and former students at numerous conferences including the humanitarian operations one in Vienna, Austria  (organized by my former doctoral student, Professor Tina Wakolbinger), the Dynamics of Disasters one that I co-organized with Professors Panos M. Pardalos and Illias S. Kotsireas in Kalamata, Greece, the fabulous IFORS conference in Quebec City, and the INFORMS one, which amazingly took place and was very successfully not that long after Hurricane Harvey hit Houston:


It was also a tremendous year for research for our supernetworks group with multiple publications in journals, interviews, and also publications in the popular press and interviews in the media.

And, of course, it was truly special to see our great UMass Amherst INFORMS Student Chapter being recognized with the Magna Cum Laude Award at the INFORMS Conference in Houston!

I wonder what kind of Operations Research adventures and discoveries 2018 will bring!