Saturday, May 11, 2024

Congratulations to the UMass Amherst INFORMS Student Chapter and to its Officers!

The end of the academic year is filled with all sorts of celebratory events as well as award ceremonies. 

The academic life is intense but extremely rewarding.

I have served as the Faculty Advisor of the UMass Amherst INFORMS Student Chapter since its founding in 2004 and next Fall we hope to mark its big 20th Anniversary! This Chapter is an outstanding collaboration between the Isenberg School of Management and the College of Engineering.

This past Thursday evening, after the classes were over with at UMass Amherst, we hosted the end of the semester party at the Isenberg School of Management.

The students did a great job, under the leadership of this year's Chapter President, my PhD student, Dana Hassani, in organizing the event, which included ordering food from award-winning UMass Dining and Catering.

Professor Ladimer S. Nagurney and I brought several types of varenyky / pierogies (warm and buttered) and Polish sausages plus delicious Italian and Polish cookies.

Attendance of faculty and students was outstanding at this party, which demonstrates the warm and inclusive community that we have built at UMass Amherst of operations researchers!

At this party, we recognized both this year's and last year's incredible Chapter Officers with Outstanding Award Certificates that were framed. The Chapter has accomplished so much in terms of hosting speakers, leaders, and even panels plus their role in building community through social events, such as this party, are so very much appreciated.

Congratulations to the Chapter Officers, who received their Outstanding Service Awards and were able to attend: Dana Hassani, Ogechi Vivian Nwadiaru, Samirasadat Samadi, Paola Furlanetto, Sindhoora Prakash, Yukti Kathuria, G. Busra Karkili, and Ismael Pour. Yiwen Wang, Josh Gladstone, and Semih Boz were also recognized for their great service to this INFORMS Student Chapter. 

Service as a Chapter Officer builds many skills, including leadership. And, for those students (many of the members are PhD students) who enter academia after receiving their doctorates, service activities are important, along with excelling at research and teaching. Universities run on those three "pillars."

Thanks to all the faculty: Professors Arzum Akkas, Bogdan Prokopovych, Ahmed Ghoniem, Agha Iqbal Ali, Erin Baker, Hari Balasubramanian, and Chaitra Gopalappa that were able to join us for the party. Thanks also to Professors Senay Solak, Peter Haas, and Ana Muriel for their terrific engagement with our students and chapter activities!  It was extra special that two of the exchange students from the Kyiv School of Economics (KSE) in Ukraine: Asta Motrenko and Marharyta Nechytailo came and enjoyed the varenyky and the warm conversations very much. You can read here about a panel that they spoke at which was organized by this Chapter with support also provided by the International Programs Office.

I am very grateful to Dean Anne P. Massey and to Vice Provost Kalpen Trivedi for their superb support of our students.

On the UMass Amherst INFORMS Student Chapter website you can find information about the chapter as well as news items and many photos.