Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Wonderful to Be Back at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University

This Summer I am a Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study (RIAS)  at Harvard University. I was a Science Fellow at RIAS in 2005-2006, which was a momentous year since, that year, the Dean of Radcliffe, Dr. Drew Gilpin Faust, was named the first female President of Harvard University and succeeded Dr. Larry Summers. She has had a fabulous tenure as President of Harvard and the new Harvard President will be Dr. Larry Bacow.

Some faculty enjoy taking a break over the summer, I enjoy being challenged. Last summer, I also was a Fellow at RIAS and loved the experience. I was honored when I was invited back.

The Fellows have offices in Byerly Hall, which is situated in the beautiful Radcliffe Yard.
I must say that my experience this summer began when I returned to Radcliffe on May 25, 2018, for the truly special Radcliffe Day, at which Hillary Clinton was awarded the Radcliffe Medal and the day was filled with wonderful panels, talks, including speeches by Madeleine Albright and Hillary, of course,  and a delicious lunch, with the Dean of Radcliffe, Dr. Liz Cohen, officiating and she did a stupendous job!

I was delighted to see several of the Radcliffe Fellows in my 2005-2006 cohort at Radcliffe Day, including Science Fellows Rina Dechter of UC Irvine and Diane Souvaine of Tufts, both computer scientists, so we took the photo in the garden below as a memento. Diane is now the Chair of the National Science Board - very impressive!

During my Summer Fellowship at Harvard University, I am working on a project very near and dear to me: Perishable Product Supply Chains from Food to Blood.

I have a standing desk in my office, which I love
and, in addition, to interacting with other fellows and even meeting students working with fellows (today I had lunch with a female computer science major at Harvard who is from Amherst and went to Amherst High School!), I always enjoy hosting visitors since Cambridge/Boston is such an international magnet.

On May 28, 2018, I had the pleasure of showing Professor Kei May Lau, a distinguished professor from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST), who was in town attending a conference at MIT, the lovely sunken garden at Radcliffe. Kei May was a Professor at UMass Amherst before moving to HK and is a dear friend.
And, in just a short time, I have solved some problems, revised and resubmitted a paper to a journal with several co-authors from different countries, and have finalized the book: Dynamics of Disasters: Algorithmic Approaches and Applications, that I co-edited with Illias S. Kotsireas and Panos M. Pardalos, which is now in press with Springer Publishing International Switzerland. I also (and it was so convenient) had the pleasure of taking part in the Isenberg School's Business Leadership Awards gala at the Colonnade Hotel in Boston last Thursday. The photo below is with several of my former students (now alums) and colleagues, including the Isenberg School Dean Mark A. Fuller, who is stepping down after 9 years of terrific leadership of our business school at UMass Amherst.
More adventures await! Many thanks to the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study for the wonderful support of extraordinary intellectual life!