Thursday, November 5, 2009

Management of Water Resources, Optimization and Simulation

Tomorrow, November 6, 2009, we will be hosting Professor Richard Palmer, who is Head of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at UMass Amherst, in our Fall 2009 UMass Amherst INFORMS Speaker Series. He will be speaking at 11:00AM in the Isenberg School of Management and more information about Professor Palmer and his presentation, which will focus on optimizing water reservoir operations, can be found here.

Professor Palmer is relatively new to UMass Amherst having come from the University of Washington in Seattle. He received his PhD from Johns Hopkins University, which, coincidentally, is the same institution at which my doctoral dissertation advisor, Professor Stella Dafermos, received her PhD. In fact, they both received their PhDs from the very same department. Professor Palmer has done a lot of award-winning, fascinating research on the modeling of water resources and management and will be speaking tomorrow on both the use of optimization techniques and simulation in reservoir operations.

We are delighted that he accepted our invitation and we are certain that we will learn a lot from his presentation.

Last week we did not have a speaker (Professor Palmer is the fourth speaker in our series this Fall) and an undergraduate student of mine sent me a message that he was so disappointed since he learns so much from our speakers and he organizes his Fridays around the lectures. This was such a kind and thoughtful message to receive and makes the work involved in organizing, hosting, and following through with the Speaker Series all the more worthwhile! Also, I very much believe that great speakers spark students' interests in a discipline and that is one reason that I continue (for 11 semesters now) to be so involved in this Speaker Series in Operations Research / Management Science.

I would also like to bring to your attention the upcoming talk on November 20 by Professor Sam Bowles, whose co-authored article just appeared in Science on October 30, complete with a commentary co-authored by Professor Daron Acemoglu of MIT, who kicked off our Fall 2008 Speaker Series! NSF even released a press release about this research and you can read more about it here.

On December 4, we will be hosting the talk of Professor Brain Levine of the Computer Science Department who will speak on cyberforensics.

These talks are open to the public. The UMass Amherst INFORMS Student Chapter does a wonderful job of helping me to organize this Speaker Series.