Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Networks Against Time and Thanks to the Penn State School of Graduate Professional Studies

I have returned from the Philly area. I flew back to Bradley Airport at Hartford/Springfield this afternoon via USAIR and actually had legroom and a very pleasant flight.

Yesterday evening, I delivered a talk, "Networks Against Time: From Food to Pharma," at Penn State's School of Graduate Professional Studies. My host was Dr. Patrick Qiang, who is also my co-author of the book, Fragile Networks: Identifying Vulnerabilities and Synergies in an Uncertain World.
 The campus had done a super job publicizing my talk.

I focused on models that we had developed and are synthesized and summarized in our new book: Networks Against Time: Supply Chain Analytics for Perishable Products using optimization and game theory in a generalized network framework with arc multipliers to capture the physics/chemistry of the perishability of products over space and time from food to medical nuclear products to pharmaceuticals.

In my presentation, towards the end, I included a slide on our latest paper, which is a supply chain network model for disaster relief.

The audience was terrific -- interesting questions -- thanks -- and some came from Delaware and Maryland. It was wonderful to speak to an audience of academics and practitioners and even the INFORMS Philadelphia Chapter had advertised my presentation so it was great to have representatives from the chapter also in attendance.

Thanks to all those who came to my presentation and thanks to this Penn State campus for the hospitality!

I even got to meet with its Chancellor, Dr. Ctraig Edelbrock.

As I wrote in my previous blogpost, We Must Go On, I dedicated my talk to the Boston Marathon bombing victims. I had written that one friend was not accounted for. Since the post was written, I have heard that, at the 25th mile, which she had reached at just over 4 hours, she was told to stop running. This was good news on a horrific day filled with tragedy and complete senselessness and cruelty

On my flight today I especially appreciated the OpEd in The New York Times written by Thomas L. Friedman, Bring on the Next Marathon, And, the UMass Amherst sports teams doctor, Dr. Pierre Rouzier, was at the Boston Marathon as a medical volunteer -- his fifth time, and he assisted victims, as reported in today's Daily Hampshire Gazette. Also, my husband's cousin, is a faculty member at Harvard Medical School and an emergency room physician at Mass General Hospital.

Speaking of Chancellors and University Presidents, as a Radcliffe Fellow, I am a Harvard alumna, and we were emailed a message by the President of Harvard, Dr. Drew Gilpin Faust. In her letter, she concluded with: The Boston Marathon is an event that demands resilience. As we struggle to make sense of yesterday’s events, I urge all of us to draw on the strength of the Harvard community and the support of colleagues and friends.

The Chancellor of UMass Amherst, Dr. Kumble Subbaswamy sent out a message to UMass Amherst.

His concluding words in it were: In the days ahead we must stand together as a community to extend our support to all affected by this terrible tragedy.

Such events affect all of us as citizens of the free world.