Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Will Our Speaker Make It - Drama of Extreme Weather Events and Transportation Disruptions

*************An Update*******************

Dr. Laurie Garrow has had to cancel her presentation this Friday at the Isenberg School because of the major weather events in Atlanta and headed our way with thousands of flights cancelled.

The latest weather news is hard to miss with CNN's headlines with descriptions such as potentially catastrophic event. And this forecasted icestorm follows only two weeks after the snowstorm in Atlanta that brought the city to a halt with big political ramifications as well.

I am teaching my Humanitarian Logistics and Healthcare class at the Isenberg School this semester and we certainly have had a lot of interesting real-life events to discuss, almost in real-time!

This Friday, we are to host Dr. Laurie Garrow of Georgia Tech, who is also the immediate Past President of the Transportation & Logistics Society of INFORMS.

She is to be speaking in our UMass Amherst INFORMS Speaker Series, which I help our great students to organize.

Georgia Tech closed on Tuesday and I see that it is also closed today, Wednesday, February 12.

USA Today has the headlines:

Most Atlanta flights axed for Wednesday as cancellations soar

and I heard, yesterday,  from Dr. Garrow that several of her flights were cancelled on Delta for tomorrow, when she is planning on flying to our area so that she can speak on Friday. She managed to rebook and has reservations on a mid-afternoon flight. Now the weather in western MA will not be propitious tomorrow either.

 The costs to travellers this January because of the flight disruptions has been immense. 

We will have to wait and see -- Will the show go on? We were planning on a nice reception prior to her talk at the Isenberg School (some of you many have noticed that this Friday is also Valentine's Day).

We in operations research and management science are good at disruption management so, provided that UMass Amherst is still open, we hope to still have some event, if only a small substitute.

We will keep you informed and, in the meantime, stay safe, wherever you may be!