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!