Saturday, July 6, 2013

And the Research Beat Goes on Brilliantly at the Isenberg School of Management

When I was a college freshman at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island,  I was not fully aware of the caliber and reputation of the faculty that I had in Applied Mathematics and other fields.

For example, I was taught calculus my freshman year by Professor Joseph LaSalle, one of the luminaries in dynamical systems, and,  from that point on, I knew that problem-solving, using math and optimization, coupled with computers, would be one of my passions. Spending (lots of) time visiting him during office hours to chat further inspired me.

I was extremely lucky and had some of the finest faculty in fields from operations research to economics to biology and other sciences to languages and literature (I think that loving to learn languages and even computer programming languages must be related to loving math).

My professors, when I was an undergraduate, and then a graduate student at Brown, were leaders in their fields and leadership came through research. They were pioneers in so many ways and gutsy (Stella Dafermos, my dissertation advisor at Brown, for example, I have written about on many occasions).

What I love about the Isenberg School of Management at UMass Amherst, in addition to our wonderful students, from our undergraduates to our PhD students, is the research that takes place here.

You can get a sense of some of the exciting research that goes on by accessing the latest edition of the Isenberg School's  Research Beat, which was put together by our terrific Associate Dean, Dr. Jane K. Miller.

Great research creates outstanding synergies with teaching and education and, after my return from Sweden, as part of my sabbatical, I was delighted to see the transformed display next to the Isenberg School's gorgeous atrium that features some of the recent faculty accolades that I captured in the photos below.

It was great to see our latest book, Networks Against Time: Supply Chain Analytics for Perishable Products, also displayed!

The Isenberg School has departments ranging from Accounting and Management and Marketing to my newly formed (after the split of the Department of Finance and Operations Management due to our growth) Operations & Information Management Department to the Mark H. McCormack Department of Sport Management and the Hospitality & Tourism Management Department. For all of you analytics types out there, you can see the cool applications and possibilities, I am sure!

We have 6 named chaired professors (I am forever grateful to be the holder of the John F. Smith Memorial Professorship in Operations Management) and have numerous books that the faculty and even staff have authored. 

In addition, and this is a sign, in part, of the esteem held by peers, we (especially members of my department) have also been successful in having had sustained research funding support, which is not common in many business schools, but further attests to research emphasis and productivity. Research grants for the year are also included in the Research Beat, along with editorial roles of faculty.

Finally, it is the research that you do and the impact that it has that truly matters and since I am such a proud academic mom, I have to share with you a photo emailed jto me just yesterday, which was taken in Vienna, Austria, just after the EURO INFORMS Conference in Rome, Italy, and before the International Symposium of Logistics with the theme of Resilient Supply Chains in an Uncertain Environment, in which my former doctoral student, Professor Tina Wakolbinger is on the local committee. The Vienna conference begins tomorrow.
(l-r) Thomas Nowak, PhD student of Professor Tina Wakolbinger, Professor Fuminori Toyasaki of York University, Professor Tina Wakolbinger of the Vienna University of Economics and Business, Professor Dmytro Matsypra of the University of Sydney, and Professor Jose M. Cruz of the University of Connecticut.

All the above Professors were my PhD students in Management Science at the Isenberg School and now are educating another generation of students on three continents. You may find their dissertation abstracts on the Supernetworks Center website.  Plus, all in the photos above, except for, of course, Thomas, who is still a PhD student, have tenure at their respective universities. He will be my first official academic grandson since Tina was my academic daughter.

The Research Beat Goes On and this is Great!