Sunday, March 12, 2023

We Celebrated the Distinguished Career of Panos Pardalos at the PanOptiC Conference on Global Optimization at the University of Florida

On March 9 and 10, 2023, the PanOptiC Conference on Global Optimization took place at the University of Florida Gainesville. The conference was organized to celebrate the distinguished career of Professor Panos M. Pardalos.

The conference was excellent and brought speakers together from many countries. The full program can be downloaded here.

Panos (if I may) has chaired the PhD dissertations of 71 students, which is an incredible accomplishment and has an h-index of 105! His nurturing of students, colleagues, both junior and senior, and his warmth and entrepreneurial spirit in the founding of journals and book series are truly laudable. He has co-directed the Center for Applied Optimization at the U. of Florida for many years and Bill Hager presented him with an award at the banquet this past Thursday,  along with a testimonial. Many of his former PhD students and friends were in attendance. Panos also spoke as did his former PhD students Vladimir Boginskii and Clayton Commander (who has both a PhD and an MD).

It was exciting to have John Birge and Nick Sahinidis (both members of the National Academy of Engineering) give the keynote talks.

It was extra exciting for me to be at this conference since my PhD student Dana Hassani and I were presenting our work with colleagues at the Kyiv School of Economics (KSE) - Oleg Nivievskyi and Pavlo Martyshev through the partnership that UMass Amherst established with KSE.

In our presentation, I had included two collages of events with Pardalos from Greece to Bellagio in Italy as examples with many colleagues and even students in the images.

It was great to see the display of books by Springer at the conference. The display included my new Labor and Supply Chain Networks book as well as the latest Dynamics of Disasters book that I co-edited with Ilias Kotsireas, Panos Pardalos, and Arsenios Tsokas. It was wonderful to see our Editor Elizabeth Loew of Springer!

I leave you with some additional photos of wonderful colleagues including Dionne Aleman from the University of Toronto and Sandra Eksioglu from the University of Arkansas!

And, since Florida is know for its gators, I include some images of the campus.

We are lucky to have such an amazing scientific scholar and human being in our discipline. Thank you, Professor Panos M. Pardalos!

Monday, February 27, 2023

The Visit of the President of the Kyiv School of Economics (KSE) Tymofiy Mylovanov to UMass Amherst

On February 22, 2023, we had the honor and pleasure of hosting Tymofiy Mylovanov, the President of the Kyiv School of Economics (KSE), at UMass Amherst. He had left Ukraine about 10 days earlier, after successfully crossing the border. 

This visit was extremely meaningful since, in wartime, UMass Amherst had signed a series of memoranda with the Kyiv School of Economics with UMass Amherst releasing this press release on the partnership. 

The visit was planned with great attention to detail by the International Programs Office, under the leadership of the Vice Provost for Global Affairs,  Kalpen Trivedi. Special thanks go to his Executive Assistant, Kim Stender, for finalizing an itinerary that included Vice Provost Kalpen Trivedi, Provost Tricia Serio, Emeritus Provost John McCarthy, Isenberg Dean Anne P. Massey, the Dean of the School of Social and Behavioral Sciences Karl Rethemeyer, and the Interim Dean of the College of Natural Sciences Nate Whitaker! UMass Amherst released this article on his visit and the timing could not have been better because the day after UMass was closed due to inclement weather!

There were multiple brainstorming sessions that took place with faculty and additional administrators. The conversations were moving and very inspiring. UMass Amherst is helping to reduce Brain Drain from Ukraine by funding 15 Virtual Scholars that have been matched with Faculty Hosts at the Isenberg School (we have 9 and room for 1 more); the School of Social and Behavioral Sciences has 5; and the College of Natural Sciences has 1.  All the Virtual Scholars remain in Ukraine and the Faculty Hosts are working in collaboration with them on multiple fascinating projects, many of which are also relevant to the recovery and reconstruction of Ukraine. This support also shows the scholars that they are not alone. The research collaborations have already generated papers that have been submitted to journals as well as submissions to conferences! On November 30, 2022, the Isenberg School welcomed its Virtual Scholars through a special event that I had blogged about. The majority of the Virtual Scholars in Ukraine joined us via Zoom from a bomb shelter at KSE.  The Isenberg School wrote up this special event and our Virtual Scholars program. The School of Social and Behavioral Sciences is working on its welcome event for its Virtual Scholars, which we expect to take place in March. We are also planning a Virtual Symposium this spring featuring all the Virtual Scholars who are part of the UMass Amherst - KSE partnership. It is important to note that the Virtual Scholars include faculty from KSE, from the Ukrainian Catholic University in Lviv, the National University of the Kyiv Mohyla Academy, Volodymyr East Ukrainian National University, the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, and even an advisor to the Ukrainian government.

It was wonderful to have President Mylovanov join Ken Reade of the International Programs Office, Bogdan Prokopovych, a Ukrainian colleague of mine at the Isenberg School, and me for lunch at The Commonwealth Restaurant at UMass Amherst.

We were able to get President Mylovanov to the airport for the next leg of his journey and are pleased to report that he has now made it back to Ukraine. Earlier today, I was at a Zoom meeting of the Co-Chairs of the Board of Directors of KSE, and Mylovanov joined us from a vehicle that he was in while in transit in Ukraine. Looking forward to more joint initiatives through the truly unique partnership between UMass Amherst and KSE.

I leave you with a photo collage constructed to capture this historic visit. Looking forward to others and, of course, to victory for Ukraine and peace.

Thanks to all who made this visit a reality and so very productive and inspiring! Much good can be accomplished by working together.

Saturday, February 11, 2023

Reflection on the 1 Year Anniversary of Russia's Major Invasion of Ukraine

This is an extremely difficult post for me to write but it is important to do so and not to be silent.

I remember the morning of February 24, 2022 vividly. I was about to teach my Humanitarian Logistics and Healthcare class at the Isenberg School and the guest speaker, Dr. Denise Sumpf,  Head of the UN Resident Coordinator Office and Senior Development Coordination Officer in Armenia, was a bit late. She was speaking to my class via Zoom and had just taken part in a UN Security Council meeting because of Russia's major invasion of Ukraine. It was a guest lecture on her experiences working for the UN and she also spoke about Nagorno Karabakh with interspersed comments on the invasion of Ukraine. Some background on her talk and those of others in my course is here.

Ukraine,  a sovereign nation in Europe, was being invaded and attacked by its neighbor - Russia. 

I was shaken to the core as were all of my Ukrainian relatives and many friends.

This past year has been unlike any other that I have experienced - filled with concern, trepidation, and outright terror. As an academic and as a daughter of WWII refugees from Ukraine, who was born in Canada, I had heard many stories from my parents and relatives who had to flee the Nazis and Soviets. I felt it essential to do what was possible. Not to act or to speak out was not an option. I might add that my brother had entered hospice in February 2022, while battling cancer, which made the year even more challenging. We laid him to rest in September.

Shortly after the major invasion (and I might add that Russia had already taken parts of eastern Ukraine and Crimea in 2014 illegally), which is de facto a war, I was contacted by reporters and the first interview that I did was published on February 28, 2022. The article, entitled, "'I fear a cultural genocide'; Ukrainians in Western Mass. watch, worry and help," was written by Jim Kinney for The Springfield Republican and published also on

The media interviews continued and I felt it was my responsibility to respond and to inform on topics related to the war that I felt knowledgeable about from impacts of the war on agricultural supply chains and food insecurity to issues of refugees as well as higher education. I had already been contacted by several international media outlets in January 2022 and said that I believed that Putin would invade Ukraine and why.

Some of  the interviews, which include those with The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, and other print media can be found here.

Interviews for radio and TV programs can be accessed here.

Letters to the Editor and OpEds that I wrote can be read here.

Shortly after the major invasion, I was elected Co-Chair of the Board of Directors of the Kyiv School of Economics (KSE) in Ukraine and, already in late February, I was fielding messages from administrators and faculty there. I have served for several years on the International Academic Board of KSE and also on its Board of Directors. These are service activities that are very meaningful to me. The last time that I was in Kyiv was for a board meeting in September 2019 and I blogged the wonderful experience. It is such an honor to work with my fellow Co-Chairs: Olena Bilan, Oleksandr Kravchenko, and Makar Paseniuk. We meet regularly during this extremely challenging period in the history of Ukraine. 

KSE has done a truly remarkable job sustaining education and even innovating during this wartime period. Plus KSE, through the KSE Foundation, has been involved in major fund raising for disaster relief that includes the building of bomb shelters for schools.  I commend all the faculty and students there, along with the top administrators: KSE President Tymofiy Mylovanov and KSE Rector Tymofii Brik. 

In September 2022, my husband and I had the honor of taking part in the conference and fundraiser organized by KSE, which took place in NYC at the Harvard Club, that I also blogged about. It was extraordinary to see KSE faculty such as Oleg Nivievsky and Nataliia Shapo there, as well as Tymofii Brik and Svitlana Denysenko. My KSE colleagues are authors of extremely important white papers during wartime and regularly speak to the international media. 

The deaths, destruction, terror, and atrocities perpetrated by the Russians continue to inflict an immense cost to Ukrainian lives, culture, the environment, and the safety and security not only of Europe but the free world.  Thanks to all in the free world who have provided significant support of Ukraine and continue to do so as it defends its land and its people. The costs to infrastructure alone due to the war are horrific. The resilience of Ukrainians, their resolve and dedication to defending their lands and way of life against the invaders and terrorists are awe-inspiring.

The University of Massachusetts Amherst established a truly special partnership with KSE with signed memoranda in March and July. Kudos to Provost Emeritus John McCarthy and Vice Provost for Global Affairs Kalpen Trivedi for spearheading this effort with immense support also from Isenberg Dean Anne P. Massey and KSE Rector Brik. Extra thanks to colleagues: Ina Ganguli, Bogdan Prokopovych, and Lauren McCarthy.  A press release on the partnership can be read here. A substantive outgrowth of this partnership is the Virtual Scholar Program where scholars in Ukraine work with faculty at UMass Amherst for a 5 month period with financial support. We now have 9 Virtual Scholars working with faculty at the Isenberg School; 1 with a faculty member in the Math/Stats Department, and 5 Virtual Scholars in Ukraine working with faculty in the School of Social and Behavioral Sciences.

On November 30, we held a welcome event for the Isenberg placed Virtual Scholars with a wonderful writeup on the event done by the Isenberg School. Our colleagues in Ukraine were at a bomb shelter at KSE for the event. The courage, resilience, and dedication of academics, students, practitioners, and defenders in Ukraine is heroic. The slide deck of my introductory remarks, which include those from Dean Massey, can be found here.

And, in December, I wrote an invited article for the INFORMS magazine ORMS Today, with photo on its cover, "Operations Research for the Recovery and Reconstruction of Ukraine."

With the support of many, and fueled by adrenaline, I completed my book, "Labor and Supply Chain Networks, which was published by Springer Nature in January 2023. The preface and acknowledgments are available for free download. The book is dedicated to: essential workers and to those fighting for freedom in Ukraine, with deep gratitude for your heroism. 

Last April, the Shevchenko Scientific Society held an all day remarkable expert-a-thon that I spoke at.

My slide deck can be viewed here. The full 8 hour expert-a-thon program, with an introduction by Dr. Halyna Hryn, who is President of the Shevchenko Scientific Society, and is at the Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute, can be viewed on youtube. We raised funds for the Shevchenko Emergency Fellows and I had the great honor to be on the selection committee. 

The first round of 50 Shevchenko Emergency Fellows has been announced. We hope that the pain and struggles that the artists, poets, historians, linguists, scientists, and other creative folks that were selected Fellows are reduced at least, in part, with some funding that should support their work. Reading their applications was heartbreaking and the need is so great!

Research with the UMass Amherst - KSE Virtual Scholars is now taking place and a symposium is planned for this spring. The work that is being done is timely and highly relevant and energizing for all concerned. The Virtual Scholars are dealing with missiles, blackouts, and Internet disruptions, and their persistence and integrity and love of Ukraine are a bright light to us all during these very dark times.

All that needs to be done is that Russia leave Ukraine, return all of its lands, and stop the killing and destruction and stay out of Ukraine.  Ukraine is part of Europe and its people deserve freedom and peace. This horror in the 21st century must end. 

On February 10, we witnessed an amazing performance by the Lviv National Philharmonic Orchestra of Ukraine at the Fine Arts Center at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. There were 1,000 in the audience and the orchestra was welcomed with a standing ovation and remarks even made by our western Massachusetts state rep Mindy Domb that moved me. She spoke against the aggression of the Russians against Ukraine and that we all Stand with Ukraine! Below are photos taken towards the end of the concert.

It was so special to see at this concert several of the administrators at UMass Amherst that supported our partnership with KSE as well as colleagues who helped so much with the Virtual Scholars Program. I am so grateful to the Isenberg Dean Ann P. Massey, to Provost Emeritus John McCarthy, and to Provost Tricia Serio, as well as to Dean of the Natural Sciences at UMass Amherst Nate Whitaker for the conversations at the reception and the intermission. Together, we can do so much good and those suffering in Ukraine need to know that they are not alone. #SlavaUkraini! Thank you!

Thursday, February 2, 2023

Thrilled to be Appointed Chair of the Magazine Editorial Advisory Board (MEAB) of INFORMS

Professional magazines inform, educate, and entertain and help one to network and to keep on top of developments in one's field. From professional magazines, one can learn about events and conferences, and honors that members have received as well as professional appointments. 

I was thrilled to be approved by the INFORMS Executive Committee to Chair the Magazine Editorial Advisory Board (MEAB). The Executive Committee was gracious to delay the start of my appointment to January 1, 2023 because of Russia's major invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022. Thanks to Cole Smith, the past INFORMS VP of Publications, for shepherding the motion for this! My readers know that my first language is Ukrainian and I serve as a Co-Chair of the Board of Directors of the Kyiv School of Economics (in addition to my chaired professorship appointment at the Isenberg School of Management).

I have very big shoes to fill - Professor James Cochran of the University of Alabama is my predecessor and served as Chair of the MEAB for many years!

Today, I had the pleasure of meeting with Kara Tucker, who is the Editor of the INFORMS magazines: ORMS Today and the Analytics Magazine, as well as Analytics eNews. She also oversees the student membership magazine ORMS Tomorrow. Kara had met with Jim Cochran, Matt Walls, who is the Director of Publications at INFORMS, and me at the Indianapolis INFORMS Annual Meeting, which took place in October 2022 to provide some guidance. We had a terrific brainstorming session.

Below, I display a photo of the two most recent issues of ORMS Today, which are cover to cover reads! I was deeply honored to have written the cover article on Ukraine for the October 2022 issue.

As Chair of MEAB, I will also have voting privileges as a Member of the INFORMS Publication Committee, whose VP is Chris Tang.

Information on ORMS Today, including issues, can be found here.

Information on Analytics Magazine is available here.

ORMS Tomorrow info can be found here.

I think that you might enjoy the essay, "Great Reasons to Write for INFORMS Magazines," by Jim Cochran in ORMS Today!

Below is a list of those who are serving on the MEAB with the names in yellow having their terms now  ending. The composition of the MEAB is very impressive with international representatives from academia and industry. Thanks to all for their service! I am in the process of  filling the 3 slots and am delighted that Trilce Encarnacion of the University of Missouri St. Louis will be filling the slot vacated by Shannon Harris. Also, Jun Zhuang of the University of Buffalo will fill in the slot vacated by Andy Hall. Looking forward to an exciting time supporting the great INFORMS magazines.

Laura Kornish (University of Colorado-Boulder) – marketing science

Andy Hall (Marymount University) – military, security, and analytics 

Shannon Harris (Virginia Commonwealth University) – MIF, WORMS, and analytics 

Catherine Cleophas (University of Kiel) – transportation and logistics 

Carlos Paternina-Arboleda (San Diego University) – international activities

Gokce Esenduran (Purdue University) – manufacturing and service operations management 

Yao-Hsuan Chen (MSD Research Laboratories) – health applications 

Akshay Gupte (University of Edinburgh) – computing and optimization 

Emily McIntosh (Ernst & Young) – artificial intelligence and machine learning 

James Cochran (University of Alabama) – emeritus member.

Saturday, January 28, 2023

The Terrific UMass Amherst - Kyiv School of Economics (KSE) Partnership and Virtual Scholars in Ukraine

It has been almost two months since we held our welcome event for the Virtual Scholars in Ukraine who are being supported as part of the partnership established between the University of Massachusetts Amherst and the Kyiv School of Economics (KSE), with the Isenberg School of Management hosting the event. Below is a screenshot of our welcome event that took place on November 30, 2022. Many of the Virtual Scholars were in a bomb shelter at the Kyiv School of Economics. Impressively, the technology worked and the event was truly special. 

During the welcome event, we heard welcome remarks from Rector Tymofii Brik of KSE, the Vice Provost for Global Affairs at UMass Amherst Kalpen Trivedi, and the Isenberg School of Management Dean Anne P. Massey. I have posted the slide deck of my remarks.

The Isenberg School of Management presently has 8 Virtual Scholars in Ukraine working with Faculty Hosts with more Virtual Scholars on the horizon. The Isenberg School published this nice article on the welcome event. More information on the partnership, which, I believe, is an exceptional one and a model that other universities can emulate, can be found in the press release issues by UMass Amherst.

The PIE News - thanks to Maureen Manning - provided additional coverage of this partnership.

I am grateful to KSE Rector Brik and to UMass Amherst Provost Emeritus John McCarthy plus Vice Provost for Global Affairs Kalpen Trivedi and to Isenberg School Dean Anne P. Massey for providing the incredible support for this partnership. Thanks also to the Isenberg School Selection Committee: Associate Dean George Milne, Finance Department Chair Nikunj Kapadia, and Professor Bogdan Prokopovych for assistance with selecting the Virtual Scholars and helping with the Faculty Host "matches."

Special acknowledgment of my Isenberg School colleagues from Operations and Information Management (OIM), Finance, Management, Marketing, and Hospitality and Tourism Management (HTM) for being Faculty Hosts. They, along with the Virtual Scholars, are listed below with the projects also noted.

Elena Besedina, from KSE, will be researching non-tariff trade barriers and impacts on Ukrainian agriculture. Host: Anna Nagurney, OIM

Nina Chala, at the National University of the Kyiv Mohyla Academy, is working on the motivation of consumer choice when consumer goods are produced using green energy. Host: Alicia Johnson, Marketing

Yuriy Dyachenko is at the Volodymyr Dahl East Ukrainian National University (his university was bombed) and he also holds an appointment at the National University of the Kyiv Mohyla Academy. His project is on improving business and public security using behavioral economics. Host: Muzzo Uysal, HTM

Iuliia Kuntsevych, at KSE, will study how business processes can be better managed and enhanced for greater efficiency. Host: Nora Junaid, OIM

Pavlo Martyshev, at KSE, is working on measuring the economic efficiency of alternative ways of exporting agricultural products from Ukraine. Host: Anna Nagurney, OIM

Viktor Maziarchuk is an advisor to the chairman of the Accounting Chamber of Ukraine. His project is on the influence of the war in Ukraine on the state budget and peculiarities of MPs' (Members of Parliament) amendments to the state budget and budget efficiency. Host: Anya Mkrtchyan, Finance

Maksym Obrizan, at KSE, is using the household budget survey (HBS) of Ukraine for 2020 (and later years when they become available) in order to identify the determinants of catastrophic health expenditures before the war. Host: Ina Ganguli, Management and Economics

Pavlo Prokopovych, at KSE, will investigate whether his approach for the existence of equilibria in Bayesian games can be used in first price auctions with a reserve price. Host: Anna Nagurney, OIM.

The challenges are immense now in Ukraine and that includes higher education with the missiles, blackouts, and Internet disruptions. Nevertheless, the research made possible through the support for the Virtual Scholars continues and it is heartwarming to see the friendships that are being made and the scientific investigations that are being conducted. I am delighted and inspired that already there are two papers completed and submitted to journals and a paper that will be presented at a conference next month. Other papers are being worked on and the excitement that the collaborations are generating are great to hear about! Plus, a Virtual Scholar, just this past week, spoke about his work at the Ukrainian Catholic University in Lviv and acknowledged support from the fellowship that he holds.

Support for higher education in Ukraine is essential in wartime and critical for the recovery and rebuilding of Ukraine. Research that the Virtual Scholars and their Faculty Hosts are conducting will be instrumental in rebuilding better and more sustainably and also giving us deeper insights on topics ranging from agricultural supply chains and Ukrainian exports, various trade policies, the impacts of war on science in Ukraine, financial budgeting during wartime, advances in game theory, and even how to teach better with Excel!

And there will be more news soon on 5 Virtual Scholars placed with Faculty Hosts at the School of Behavioral and Social Sciences at UMass Amherst, another Virtual Scholar for the Isenberg School, and one for the Math/Stats Department at UMass Amherst! This partnership program is providing support and strengthening networks of scientific collaborations across continents in wartime. I am so proud of my home university - the University of Massachusetts Amherst. This partnership is deeply meaningful to me since my first language is Ukrainian and, since the major invasion of Ukraine by Russia on February 24, 2022, I was elected Co-Chair of the Board of Directors of KSE.

Thursday, January 12, 2023

My "Labor and Supply Chain Networks" Book is Published!

I was delighted to receive a shipment of my new book, "Labor and Supply Chain Networks," yesterday. The book was published by Springer Nature and contains 12 chapters, with Acknowledgments, Preface, and an Appendix.

Writing this book was a true labor of love. The book is dedicated to: essential workers and to those fighting for freedom in Ukraine, with gratitude for your heroism. It is the result of many years of  research and writing, accompanied by adrenaline during the COVID-19 pandemic and now the war on Ukraine. 

Springer has produced both hardcopy and online versions, with more information available on the Springer website for the book. I am indebted to Elizabeth Loew of Springer for her outstanding shepherding of this book project with publication even ahead of schedule!

The front matter for the book, with the Preface and the Acknowledgments, is available for free download. In the Acknowledgments, I thank the great Isenberg School Dean Anne P. Massey, the two Operations and Information Management Department Chairs: Professors Bob Nakosteen and Senay Solak, over the period that this book was written, as well as the Vice Provost for Global Affairs at UMass Amherst Kalpen Trivedi, for his leadership of international programs. With the war in Ukraine still raging, and with my service for the Kyiv School of Economics (KSE) in Ukraine a very important part of my life, both professionally and personally, I also thank the President of KSE Tymofiy Mylovanov and Rector Tymofii Brik plus KSE colleagues Oleg Nivievskyi and Nataliia Shapoval, who have done extraordinary work on documenting the impacts of the war. 

Collaborators throughout this challenging time have made work fascinating and enjoyable. I am indebted to Professor Ladimer S. Nagurney of the University of Hartford, Professor Patrizia Daniele of the University of Catania in Italy, Professor Tina Wakolbinger of the Vienna University of Economics and Business, Professor Deniz Besik of the University of Richmond, Professor Sara Saberi of WPI, Professor Pritha Dutta of Pace University, and Professor Mojtaba Salarpour of Texas A&M Commerce. All are Center Associates of the Virtual Center for Supernetworks that I founded in 2001 and continue to direct. Acknowledgments are also extended to my long-time collaborators on Dynamics of Disasters conferences and co-edited volumes: Professor Panos M. Pardalos of the University of Florida and Professor Ilias S. Kotsireas of Wilfrid Laurier University in Canada. I also thank my PhD student Dana Hassani.

Of course, writing a book requires a great deal of focus and time and dedication, and I am so thankful to my family for their support. And, in the pandemic, having a professional society such as INFORMS that helped us to stay connected and informed and also advocated our work to the media and government, was incredible supportive and sustaining.

Workers need to be valued, supported, recognized, and paid for their contributions. Supply chains would collapse without them, as we have seen. I hope that my book, which contains chapters on both profit-maximizing firms and non-profits, including blood service organizations and those in emergency response and disaster management, helps in decision-making as well as policy-making. I believe that students will also appreciate and gain value from the material therein.

I hope that this book will inspire further research as well as implementation in practice of results therein from wages that should be paid to laborers to the productivity investments that should be made for the benefit of workers, consumers, firms, and organizations.

After all, as I wrote in my ORMS Today invited essay (thank you, INFORMS): In the End,  It's All About People!

Saturday, December 17, 2022

My IFORS Distinguished Lecture and the Fabulous CLAIO 2022 Conference in Buenos Aires, Argentina

I am back from Buenos Aires, where I had the great honor of giving the IFORS Distinguished Lecture (IDL) at the CLAIO 2022 Conference, which took place in beautiful Buenos Aires, Argentina from December 12-15.

Professor Emilio Carrizosa of the University of Seville in Spain was very kind in sending me the photo below from the beginning of my lecture, which was on December 13.

The venue for the conference was the stunning Infinity Building at the University of Buenos Aires with lovely atriums. I was amazed at the different countries that the conferees came from.

I would like to thank Professor Javier Marenco for all the courtesies extended to me and for all the logistics and arrangements. Thanks also to Manuela Blaum. The conference website can be accessed here.

My IDL entitled: "Human Migration Networks: How Operations Research Can Assist with Refugees and Supply Chain Network Labor Shortages,"  I dedicated to essential workers, who did so much for us during the pandemic, and to those fighting for their freedom including those in Ukraine. 


As the daughter of WWII refugees from Ukraine, I am very passionate about developing rigorous frameworks that can assist policy-makers in decision-making associated with human migration flows.

In my lecture, I emphasized the importance of multidisciplinary perspectives for addressing issues associated with human migration across national boundaries due to climate change, conflicts, violence and wars, as well as poverty and the desire of certain migrants to attain greater economic opportunities and prosperity.  I have been developing mathematical models of human migration networks since 1989 and, with a greater intensity in the pandemic,  have been working with collaborators through the Virtual Center for Supernetworks that I  founded in 2001 and continue to direct. 

Between 11 March 2020, when the WHO declared COVID-19 a pandemic, and February 22, 2021, nearly 105,000 movement restrictions were implemented around the world, according to the International Organization for Migration. Many of the migrants take dangerous routes and multiple modes of transportation, some of which are hazardous. The models that I described include various policy interventions  by governments. I noted  that the proper allocation of quantifiable subsidies by governments can lead to a societal optimum. I also spoke about multiple refugee crises now on the planet including the largest since WWII - that of the refugees fleeing the war in Ukraine.

My slide deck can be accessed by clicking on the link.

I am grateful to amazing collaborators with whom research on human migration networks continues - including Professor Patrizia Daniele and Giorgia Cappello of the University of Catania in Italy, Professor Ladimer S. Nagurney of the University of Hartford, as well as new collaborators, Professor Fabio Raciti, also of the University of Catania. and Professor Mauro Passacantando of the University of Milan-Bicocca. The latter two became collaborators after the wonderful ODS conference in Florence!


In addition, I  discussed models that integrate supply chain networks with labor and human migration in order to gain insights as to the potential benefits of companies' investments in attracting international labor. The models allow for different wages to be paid for various supply chain activities including production, transportation, storage, and last mile deliveries. In addition, the models permit distinct wages for domestic versus international migrant labor and also include the impacts of honesty in informing international migrants of their wages or not. Capacities on domestic labor are included to capture existing shortages in different sectors. The case study consists of one of the most expensive food products - that of truffles. The numerical results show that governments need to make sure that workers are paid the wages that they deserve.  Governments also need to make sure that international migrants are paid the same wages as domestic workers as emphasized by UN Sustainable Development Goals.  I highlighted other recent research, which establishes that companies can improve upon their profits by paying workers what they deserve to be paid. I argued for a holistic approach to supply chains and one that must include the most important resource - that of labor.


In my excitement, I mentioned my new book, "Labor and Supply Chain Networks," which will be published next month by Springer.

I was presented with an award plaque with clock, a certificate, as well as an honorarium.

I was delighted to meet faculty and students from Mexico, a colleague from Ecuador and even a friend - Professor Raghu of the University of Maryland was at CLAIO 2022!


It was an especially exciting time to be in Buenos Aires since on Tuesday, shortly after my Distinguished Lecture, Argentina beat Croatia to advance to the final match in the World Cup. 

It was extraordinary that I personally was able to have wonderful conversations with conferees from: Argentina, Brazil, Denmark, Ecuador, France, Germany, Mexico, Scotland, and the US!

It is truly special to be an Operations Researcher with colleagues around the globe having significant positive impact on addressing so many societal and economic problems.

The list of previous IFORS Distinguished Lecturers is available here. I am amazed at how many I actually know and I cite quite a few, including the Nobel laureate John Nash since we do a lot of game theory models for supply chains.

I would like to also express my appreciation to the Argentinians for their warmth and hospitality and the great food at the cafes and bakeries. I was even let into a lovely museum with a garden for free!

My flights on Delta, including the 10 hour ones to Buenos Aires from Atlanta and back were comfortable and on time!

I leave you with some additional photos taken while in Buenos Aires.

And tomorrow is the final match of the 2022 World Cup with Argentina versus France!