Saturday, December 19, 2015

Congratulations and Kudos to the Supernetwork Team for a Great 2015!

Every year around this time I prepare a new page for the Supernetwork Center site noting some of the achievements of its Center Associates over the past 12 months.

As the Center's Director, reflecting on the Associates' accomplishments is always enjoyable and helps us to synergize our energies as a team and to take on new challenges in the coming year.

2015 was an exceptional year in terms of grants, research accomplishments from humanitarian logistics to cybersecurity, awards and recognitions received, as well as impact of our work.  Below I provide a few of the highlights.
Center Associate Dong "Michelle" Li successfully defended her doctoral dissertation at the Isenberg School of Management on May 4, 2015 and the title of her thesis was  "Quality Competition in Supply Chain Networks with Applications to Information Asymmetry, Product Differentiation, Outsourcing, and Supplier Selection."  She is now an Assistant Professor of Supply Chains / Operations Management a the College of Business at Arkansas State University and was featured on her university's homepage.  The 400 page book, Competing on Supply Chain Quality: A Network Economics Perspective, authored by Michelle and me will be published by Springer in February 2016. In addition, our recent research on supply chain competition in quality and supply chain performance assessment and importance indicators appears in the following publications:
A General Multitiered Supply Chain Network Model of Quality Competition with Suppliers, Dong Li and Anna Nagurney, International Journal of Production Economics 170: (2015) pp 336-356, and

Center Associate Professor Tina Wakolbinger of the Vienna University of Economics and Business in Austria serves as  the Head of the Research Institute for Supply Chain Management there. Her research project funded by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) is on: Optimal Pricing and Contract Design in Humanitarian Logistics and will continue until 2016. A writeup on her research on humanitarian logistics appeared in scilog, a publication of FWF.  At the EURO conference in Glasgow, Scotland, July 11-14, 2015, she organized the invited session: Coordination and Cooperation in Humanitarian Supply Chains, at which Center Associates Professor Amir H. Masoumi of Manhattan College  presented a paper with Center Associate Min Yu of the University of Portland, and me entitled: "An Integrated Disaster Relief Supply Chain Network Model with Time Targets and Demand Uncertainty." The paper appears in the edited volume: Regional Science Matters: Studies Dedicated to Walter Isard, P. Nijkamp, A. Rose, and K. Kourtit, Editors, Springer International Publishing Switzerland (2015), pp 287-318. The Nobel laureate and renowned economist Paul Krugman also has an invited chapter in this volume.

Center Associate Professor Patrizia Daniele of the University of Catania had a very eventful year scientifically.  In addition to organizing the stream “Recent Advances in Dynamics of Variational Inequalities and Equilibrum Problems”, for EURO 2015, Glasgow, she was also a  Member of the Program Committee of the 2nd International Conference on Dynamics of Disasters, Kalamata, Greece, June 29 – July 2, 2015 and a Co-director of the International Workshop “Variational Analysis and Applications", Erice, Italy, August 28 – September 5, 2015.  I had the pleasure of co-organizing the Dynamics of Disasters conference, along with Professor Panos M. Pardalos of the University of Florida and Professor Ilias Kotsireas of Wilfrid Laurier University in Canada. Professor Wakolbinger was also on the Program Committee and presented a paper there.  I presented the paper: A Mean-Variance Disaster Relief Supply Chain Network Model for Risk Reduction with Stochastic Link Costs, Time Targets, and Demand Uncertainty, co-authored with Center Associate Professor  Ladimer S. Nagurney of the University of Hartford, which will appear in Dynamics of Disasters, I.S. Kotsireas, A. Nagurney, and P.M. Pardalos, Eds., Springer International Publishing Switzerland. Indeed, we are now in the process of editing a volume on the theme of the conference, under contract with Springer.

We completed our 4 year National Science Foundation (NSF) project on ChoiceNet: An Economy Plane for the Internet. This project was part of NSF's Future Internet Architecture (FIA) program with our grant titled: NETS Large: Collaborative Research: Network Innovation Through Choice.The University of Massachusetts Amherst was the lead and Professor Tilman Wolf, Associate Dean at the College of Engineering, and I collaborated with our colleagues at the University of Kentucky, NCState, and RENCI. Isenberg School Doctoral Student Canter Associate Sara Saberi was funded by this grant for two years. Sara last year was selected to take part in the doctoral colloquia at POMS, at INFORMS in Philadelphia, and at DSI in Seattle. She also received a WORMS (Women in Operations Research and the Management Sciences) Travel Award to attend the Philadelphia conference. She successfully defended her doctoral dissertation proposal in 2015.

In addition, we were very pleased to receive another grant from NSF, working again with Professor Tilman Wolf, at UMass Amherst. We continue to collaborate with our University of Kentucky colleagues. The new project, funded under the EAGER program,  is: EAGER: Collaborative Research: Enabling Economic Policies in Software-Defined Internet Exchange Points.

Center Associate Professor Patrick Qiang received tenure and was promoted to Associate Professor at the Graduate School of Professional Studies at Penn State University so big congratulations are in order!  He was the track chair in International Business at the NEDSI conference in Cambridge, MA in March 2015.

The INFORMS Conference in Philadelphia, November 1-4, 2015, served as a wonderful venue at which many of the Supernetwork Center Associates organized sessions and delivered papers, including: Professors Jose M Cruz of the University of Connecticut and Trisha Anderson of Texas Wesleyan University, who continue their great work on supply chains, sustainability, and corporate social responsibility, collaborating often with Center Associate Professor Zugang "Leo" Liu of Penn State University Hazleton. Professor Dmytro Matsypura of the University of Sydney Australia also presented at this conference as did Center Associates Professors Min Yu, Dong Li, and Amir H. Masoumi, and Doctoral Student Center Associates Shivani Shukla and Sara Saberi. 

And, at the INFORMS Philadelphia conference, the UMass Amherst INFORMS Student Chapter, which I have served as the Faculty Advisor of going on 12 years now received the Summa Cum Laude Award from INFORMS at a special ceremony. Many Center Associates, who have been doctoral students at the Isenberg School of Management, have served as officers of this Student Chapter.

Professor Cruz has had another truly exceptional year and in 2015 received the following awards from the School of Business at the University of Connecticut:
· 2015 PMBA OPIM Teacher of Year
· 2015 Distinguished Service Award
· Ackerman Scholar, 2014-2016.

2015 was a very significant year for our work in cybersecurity. Doctoral Student Center Associate Shivani Shukla was very busy presenting our latest cybersecurity research at a variety of venues. She was awarded a first prize for her poster by the Air Force Association on September 22, 2015 at UMass Lowell. The title of her poster presentation, which was joint with Professors Daniele, Ladimer S. Nagurney, and me, was: "A Game Theoretic Model for Cyberecurity Investments with Nonlinear Budget Constraints."

We published several papers on cybersecurity in 2015:

A Supply Chain Game Theory Framework for Cybersecurity Investments Under Network Vulnerability, Anna Nagurney, Ladimer S. Nagurney, and Shivani Shukla, in Computation, Cryptography, and Network Security, N.J. Daras and M.T. Rassias, Editors, Springer International Publishing Switzerland (2015) pp 381-398;

A Game Theory Model of Cybersecurity Investments with Information Asymmetry, Anna Nagurney and Ladimer S. Nagurney, Netnomics 16(1-2): (2015) pp 127-148;

A Multiproduct Network Economic Model of Cybercrime in Financial Services, Anna Nagurney, Service Science 7(1): (2015) pp 70-81.

Many thanks to the Supernetwork Team for another tremendous year!

Some additional highlights of our activities can be found on the Supernetwork Center's media page.

For our recent publications, click here.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Building a Great Community Through the UMass Amherst INFORMS Student Chapter

This week is final exam week at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and students and faculty are extra busy.

Nevertheless, as has been our tradition for the past 12 years,  at the end of each semester the great UMass Amherst INFORMS Student Chapter always hosts an end of the semester party.

Because last Friday there was the Isenberg School Reindeer Seminar party, we scheduled the student chapter party for today. Many thanks to the officers, especially to the President, Zana Cranmer, for making the party happen and for facilitating the logistics behind it. The chapter has the best officers and members who hail from both the Isenberg School of Management and the College of Engineering at UMass, with the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, especially the operations research faculty and students being well-represented, and the Management Science PhD students from Isenberg and the Operations and Information Management faculty. I have had the honor and true pleasure of being the Faculty Advisor to the Chapter for the past 12 years.

Even though some of our students had exams today - I also had to proctor my class's exam, and some of our members  also proctored exams, they showed up for the party.

The food was delicious. We brought two types of pierogies - cabbage and mushroom and potato andcheese, as well as kielbasy, and a tray of pastries. There were all sorts of vegetables, salads, breads, fruits, and many desserts plus apple cider.  We were so busy talking and eating that I did not manage to photograph the spread of foods.

We took a group photo.
And then it was time with a small ceremony to unveil our new poster for the bulletin board on the first floor of the Isenberg School of Management that the students had designed and had had printed. We had to remove two layers of previous posters (we felt like archaeologists) and the photos underneath made me quite nostalgic.
Some of the photos (I saved all of them) are featured below, and include images of such amazing people in Operations Research and the Management Sciences that we have hosted in our Speaker Series as Professor Ed Kaplan of Yale, the present President of INFORMS, Professor Richard Larson of MIT (who was Kaplan's advisor at MIT), Professor Georgia Perakis of MIT, and even Professor Dietrich Braess of Braess paradox fame.
And then we took a photo next to the new poster for the UMass Amherst INFORMS Student Chapter!
It's wonderful to have such a great community at UMass Amherst! Many thanks to the chapter officers for their hard work and for organizing events that are not only educational but also fun!

Happy Holidays to everyone and best of luck with the rest of the final exams!

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Great Book Signing Party for "Raising the Race" by Professor Riche' J. Daniel Barnes at Deerfield Academy

Yesterday, was the last day of classes at UMass Amherst for the Fall semester  and there were two special occasions - one was our Reindeer Seminar, which is a party at the Isenberg School of Management following the faculty and staff meeting. Both the Faculty meeting and Reindeer Seminar were filled with positive energy and the great sense of community that Isenberg is.

The other special event took place at Deerfiel Academy, another truly special educational institution at the high school level.

My husband and I were invited to a book party and signing there by Dr. Riche' J. Daniel Barnes. She is the author of the recent book, "Raising the Race," which was published by Rutgers University Press.

The book is about Black career women redefining marriage, motherhood, and community.

This was a party that we could not miss.

Not only is Dr. Riche' J. Daniel Barnes a professor at Smith College, but she is also a Bement School trustee (as is my husband), plus her husband, Mr. Darnel Barnes, was my daughter's Algebra II teacher at Deerfield Academy.  I knew she would be in great hands since he holds both undergraduate and Master's degrees from Georgia Tech with one Master's being in Operations Research!

The venue was the Caswell Library at Deerfield Academy and it was replendant with holiday decorations.

We enjoyed a reading by the author and the Q&A part. As a mother of 3 children I think that Dr. Daniel Branes should also write a book on how she managed to write this book!

The book we purchased, had it signed, and when I got back to Amherst I immediately started to read it.
It was great to see neighbors at the event, as well as Mr. Thomas-Anderson, another amazing teacher at Deerfield - of English - at the party. He was a Rhodes Scholar and I know of one former student, who is now a Professor at Northwestern University, who still has dreams about his vocabulary tests!
Dr. Margarita Curtis, the Head of Deerfield Academy, came up to chat with us, and I told her and thanked her about the great education my daughter received there. My daughter is now a college senior - hard to believe and is a STEM major - I could not be prouder.
The reception was also fabulous including the desserts!
Congratulations to Dr. Riche' J. Daniel Barnes on the publication of "Raising the Race!" Thanks for such a memorable evening.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Had a Great Time Speaking at MIT on Perishable Product Supply Chains from Food to Pharma

Yesterday I had the pleasure of delivering the Pierce Lab Seminar at MIT. My great host was Professor Carolina Osorio, who is doing fundamental research in transportation with wide impact in practice.

My seminar, Supply Chain Networks Against Time: From Food to Pharma, was given in Room 1-131 at 4PM and although it is the last week of the Fall semester both faculty and students came. MIT prepared the lovely poster announcing my talk. My presentation can be downloaded here.

Wandering the halls of MIT and the infinite corridor it was interesting to see how much had and had not changed since I had spent two years there. I had been back to give talks and also co-organized a workshop at the Sloan School in September 2014, as I have blogged about, but it was nostalgic to be back in Building 1! Many faculty still have the same offices and I got to see my former office in the Center for Transportation and Logistics.

The hospitality extended to me was wonderful and Professor Osorio's assistant, Rebecca Fowler, is a UMass Amherst grad, so that made my visit extra special..

After my seminar, which was preceded my meetings with faculty, I was treated to a delicious dinner at Kendall Square. Amazingly, 5 restaurants had to be called before a place was booked because so many high tech companies in Cambridge were renting entire restaurants for their holiday parties! We ate at the Commonwealth restaurant and my starter salad was exquisite!

The dinner conversation was also fabulous. We talked about business analytics, associated curricula at MIT in new degree programs that are being developed, the doctoral program at the Operations Research Center and a new one being established,  as well as strategies for promotion and tenure.

And the dessert to top off a perfect day included an apple and cranberry fruit cobbler (warm) with homemade vanilla ice cream on top!

The day and evening were so pleasant and so relaxing and I came back energized and very satisfied and happy.

Plus, I received some wonderful news upon my return to Amherst which I hope to share soon!

Monday, December 7, 2015

All Set to Speak at MIT on Supply Chain Networks Against Time: From Food to Pharma

I have been enjoying working on my presentation: Supply Chain Networks Against Time: From Food to Pharma, that I will be giving this coming Wednesday at MIT.

My host is Professor Carolina Osorio in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at MIT.

I will be speaking as part of the Pierce Lab Seminar Series.

The topic is very near and dear to me - without food or medicines for those who need them, people would not survive. Moreover, many of such "products" are perishable, so that poses extra challenges in terms of the associated supply chains,

I will be focusing on a series of models that we developed, emphasizing their generalized network structure with the use of arc multipliers since these products as they flow down the links of the supply chains perish accordingly. My plan is to highlight work that we have done on food, medical nuclear supply chains, and blood supply chains, as well as on electric power generation and distribution networks, plus a case study in the pharmaceutical industry. Some of the models we presented and solved numerically in a recent book of mine:
The last time I gave a talk at MIT was on September 19, 2014, when several colleagues and I co-organized the Workshop on Cybersecurity Risk Analysis for Enterprises at the Sloan School.

I was a Visiting Associate Professor at MIT in the same group that is hosting my talk on Wednesday as part of a great program that the National Science Foundation then had - Visiting Professorships for Women (VPW). My dissertation advisor at Brown University, Professor Stella Dafermos, had also held one of these NSF VPWs before me. I enjoyed teaching a course there in transportation, having an office in Building 1, and, the year after, upon the receipt of a UMass Amherst "Conti" Fellowship moved to the Sloan School as a Visiting Scholar. That Spring, sadly, Stella Dafermos passed way.

It will be great to be back at MIT to see operations researchers, engineers, and even some friends on the policy side!

I am very much looking forward to seeing colleagues and students there!

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Holiday Cookie Baking in a Kitchen Repaired After the Worst Winter in 180 Years!

Tis the season!

Nothing spells the holiday season to my family and me as the baking of cookies post Thanksgiving.

The cookies we give out to neighbors and friends as a thank you for their friendship throughout the year.

This year, it has been a bit challenging since some of you may recall that the winter of 2015 was the worst winter in Massachusetts in 180 years in terms of snow and record cold temperatures! Plus, there were many homes damaged in the Amherst area due to ice dams on the roofs, including ours.

Luckily, our contractor, who is great and likes us,  managed to repair both our family room and kitchen, both of which sustained major water damage through flooding last winter. Some of the major repairwork began in our kitchen on the first day that I was teaching this Fall and the flooding happened last March. The past few months have been an experience in terms of observing project management in action and all the things that can go wrong (it took 2 months for the new fridge to finally arrive after we placed the order) and also right (we loved the new kitchen floor and granite countertops although our daughter, who is majoring in geology, says that it is actually another kind of rock).

This baking season was the first in which we used our new stove and appliances and, frankly, it took a while to even find some of the baking trays and other items, which had been put away during the repair and remodeling work.

Last night we did the shopping for all the cookie ingredients and this morning woke up with a lot of enthusiasm and the plan in place.

As an operations researcher, I love to do things efficiently and, in that way, you can also get more done in the time allotted!

This morning, with great music in the background, the cookie baking project took place, and soon we will be delivering the first batch.

By lunchtime, most of the cookies were baked and that included the pecan sandies, cherry-centered almond cookies,  chocolate-dipped macaroons, mitten sugar cookies, nut chocolate rum balls, and raspberry jam filled Swedish cookies, the recipe for which I got from my wonderful administrative assistant, Wivvian, back at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden (where I spent the past 4 years as a Visiting Professor).

I love the logistics of baking cookies, from the shopping for the ingredients, to the project layout, to the baking, decorating, and delivery to our neighbors and friends!

It was interesting baking cookies in the new oven but the day was a success.