Thursday, December 21, 2023

Congratulations and Kudos - Virtual Center for Supernetworks in 2023

As the Founding Director of the Virtual Center for Supernetworks, which was established at the Isenberg School in 2001 (shortly before 9/11), I find it important, as another year draws to a close, to reflect upon the achievements of the Center and its Associates during these challenging times.

2023 was a remarkable year, in which we celebrated 15 Virtual Scholars in Ukraine, part of the UMass Amherst - Kyiv School of Economics (KSE) partnership. In the spring 2023, we had the honor and pleasure of helping to host the visit of the President of KSE, Dr. Tymofiy Mylovanov in February and the visit of the Rector of KSE, Dr. Tymofii Brik, in May, at which we also took part in a symposium featuring faculty hosts at UMass Amherst and the Virtual Scholars in Ukraine. Many thanks to the International Programs Office at UMass Amherst, including Vice Provost for Global Affairs Dr. Kalpen Trivedi, and to the Isenberg School and the Provost's Office for the outstanding support of this very important program that helps to reduce brain drain from Ukraine.

For the EJOR paper, "Multicommodity International Agricultural Trade Network Equilibrium: Competition for Limited Production and Transportation Capacity Under Disaster Scenarios with Implications for Food Security," Dana received the inaugural prize from my OIM department, for this A level publication with a monetary award of $750. In May, 2023, Center Associates Professors Deniz Besik and Pritha Dutta and I published the paper, "An Integrated Multitiered Supply Chain Network Model of Competing Agricultural Firms and Processing Firms: The Case of Fresh Produce and Quality," in EJOR.

And, with Professor Elena Besedina of KSE, we published a paper in Operations Research Forum. Much of our research with colleagues in Ukraine focuses on agricultural supply chains and impacts of Russia's war on them with the importance of alternative routes for exports quantified as well as the use of various policies for international trade enhancement.

We welcomed a new Center Associate, Dr. Gabriela Colajanni, with whom, and with Center Associates Professor Patrizia Daniele and Professor Ladimer S. Nagurney, we have been actively publishing on UAVs (drones).

Our research papers can be found on the Supernetwork Center website.

In addition, as part of the partnership, UMass Amherst welcomed 4 female undergraduate students from KSE! We hosted a special panel with them through the auspices of the UMass Amherst INFORMS Student Chapter and there is now even a video of an additional interview posted on the chapter's youtube channel. It has been an extraordinary experience interacting with these remarkable ambassadors for Ukraine as they enjoy their experiences at UMass Amherst very much. Our great Isenberg School Dean Anne P. Massey even hosted a lunch in their honor.

And, this past summer, I had the honor of co-organizing another Dynamics of Disasters (DOD) conference, which took place in Piraeus, Greece, and attracted conferees from many different countries. We are now in the process of editing the Proceedings volume. 

Speaking of books, I was thrilled that my Labor and Supply Chain Networks was published by Springer in 2023. It's wonderful to see al the libraries that now carry it.

Shortly after the DOD conference, and with a lovely meeting with Center Associate Professor Patrizia Daniele and her family in Madrid, I headed to the IFORS conference in Santiago, at which I delivered a keynote talk. It was wonderful to see colleagues from around the globe at this conference.

INFORMS in Phoenix served as a reunion for several of us, and it was wonderful to see Center Associates Professors Deniz Besik, Dmytro Matsypura, and Shivani Shukla there with Professor Zugang Liu also taking part. At this conference the UMass Amherst INFORMS Student Chapter was recognized with the Magna Cum Laude Award. I have had the honor of serving as the chapter's Faculty Advisor since 2004, whehn the chapter was established.

And big congratulations are in order to Center Associates Shivani Shukla and Dong "Michelle" Li, both of whom were recognized with promotion and tenure this year at their respective institutions of the University of San Francisco and Babson College.

Congratulations also to Center Associate Sara Saberi of  WPI, who was appointed the Norton Assistant Professor in 2023.

We continue to be very engaged with the media - some of our writings can be found here and interviews here.

For photos of various Center activities please see

Thank you for the support. Let's work together to make 2024 a better year than 2023 with all the pain and suffering now on our planet.