Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Congrats to ISO Midwest -- The 2011 Edelman Prize Winner!

Yesterday, I gave a seminar at the Management Sciences Department at the University of Waterloo in Canada. My hosts were simply fabulous and I so much appreciate their attention to detail, from hiring a van shuttle to/from Pearson airport in Toronto for me, for the fabulous lunch at the Faculty Club, and the wonderfully scheduled meetings with faculty and with students. I even got a great night's sleep the night before at the Waterloo Inn. I especially thank Dr. Fatma Gzara for making my visit to Waterloo so pleasant.

In my seminar yesterday afternoon, "Supply Chain Networks: Challenges and Opportunities from Analysis and Design," I spoke on our work on supply chains from electric power generation and distribution ones, results for which were published in Naval Research Logistics in 2009 to our more recent work on critical needs supply chains. I also highlighted some of our research on fast fashion supply chains and work that we are doing on perishable supply chains in healthcare. I also brought into the discussions some of our recent results on the Braess paradox.

There are so many universities in the Toronto area and I heard that about one third of the population in Canada lives in this part of Ontario! Some students from Wilfrid Laurier University (we could see it from the seminar window) marched over to my talk (and it took them about 6 minutes).

Last night, at the Pearson airport, prior to my flight back from Toronto to Hartford/Springfield, I met a manager who had just arrived from Shanghai and works for a high tech company in Connecticut which, among its products, manufactures high tech equipment for the apparel and fashion industry. Our 18 seater Beech airplane provided each of the 8 passengers on board with both an aisle and window seat (the solitary steward was almost double-overed standing up in it and there was no drink service). We continued our conversation during the flight which had some turbulence but nothing compared to that in two of my favorite movies: "Planes, Trains, and Automobiles," and "Airplane."

Now, I hear, that on the same day that I was speaking about our research that modeled the New England fuel and electric power market, using ISO New England data, INFORMS announced that the 2011 Edelman Prize Winner is ISO Midwest! Coincidentally, while at Waterloo, I spoke with Professor J. David Fuller who told me about the book that he is writing with Gabriel and Hobbs and others on energy and he will be including a section on variational inequalities in it! Professor Bookbinder and I also had a chance to then discuss the future challenges of global supply chains (obviously, the triple disaster in Japan entered our conversation and also my seminar presentation).

Congratulations to ISO Midwest -- the link to the youtube posting of the award ceremony and the official INFORMS press release can be accessed here. In fact, all of this year's finalists deserve congratulations.

Just think, where would we be without electric power and reflect on the citizens of Japan, who, in addition to their already severely disrupted lives after the earthquake / tsunami / nuclear disaster, are now subjected to rolling power blackouts and even elevated radiation in the food, tap water, etc. Today, the nuclear disaster was elevated to a level 7, the highest level, as was Chernobyl.