Thursday, December 29, 2016

Congratulations and Kudos from the Supernetwork Center at the Isenberg School of Management

The snow is falling heavily and it is a great time during which to reflect on the 2016 year.

Every year at this time, as the Director of the Virtual Center for Supernetworks at the Isenberg School of Management at UMass Amherst,  I write up a Congratulations and Kudos page, which is posted on the center site. It allows the supernetwork team to look back at some of the accomplishments of the year.

For those of you who may have missed it, it is reposted below, with additional links added. Many thanks for the support and Happy New Year!

2016 was a year to remember! With this message it gives me great pleasure as the Center Director to summarize some of the accomplishments and achievements of the Center Associates of the Virtual Center for Supernetworks!

The book, Competing on Supply Chain Quality: A Network Economics Perspective, co-authored by Center Associate Dong Li and me, was published in June 2016. It is the second book in the Springer Series in Supply Chain Management edited by Professor Chris Tang of UCLA. The book was nominated for LES PLUMES DES ACHATS & SUPPLY CHAIN REMISE DES PRIX DE LA SECONDE EDITION, an award given in France to the best supply chain book of the year.

Also, in 2016, the book, Dynamics of Disasters: Key Concepts, Models, Algorithms, and Insights, co-edited by Professor Ilias S. Kotsireas, me, and Professor Panos M. Pardalos, was published by Springer. The co-editors organized the 2015 Dynamics of Disasters conference that was held in Kalamata, Greece, and this volume, consisting of 18 refereed chapters, contains papers presented at the conference, along with contributions from other experts, including several that I had hosted at the Isenberg School of Management. The volume's contributors include both academics and practitioners; several from the United Nations. I have two chapters in the book, one on freight service provision, and another chapter on an integrated disaster relief model with stochastic link costs, co-authored with Center Associate Professor Ladimer S. Nagurney of the University of Hartford.
Center Associate Ladimer S. Nagurney had spent the 2015-2016 academic year on sabbatical as a Visiting Professor at the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

I was very honored to be a Visiting Fellow at All Souls College at Oxford University, considered the top university in the world. I spent the Trinity term there (for about two and a half months) and was one of twelve Visiting Fellows during that term representing fields from economics to anthropology. I was provided with an apartment, a beautiful office with a view of a fountain and garden. There, I was able to complete several papers on supply chains, as well as the co-editing of the Dynamics of Disasters volume. While at Oxford, I had the chance to travel to London to see Center Associate Dr. Stavros Siokos, Managing Partner at Astarte Capital Partners, at a special dinner that he hosted for Professor Ladimer S. Nagurney, our daughter, and me at the Royal Automobile Club.

Research continued not only on supply chains, disaster relief, the Braess paradox, as well as various Internet-related topics, including work funded on an NSF EAGER grant that I am working on with Professor Tilman Wolf of the College of Engineering and collaborators at the University of Kentucky. In addition, research continues on the development of models to provide Internet services to rural and poor regions with collaborators in Colombia. 

Congratulations to Center Associate Sara Saberi who successfully defended her doctoral dissertation, Network Game Theory Models of Services and Quality Competition with Applications to Future Internet Architectures and Supply Chains, in 2016. She is now an Assistant Professor at the Foisie School of Business at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) in Massachusetts.

Congratulations also to Doctoral Student Center Associate Shivani Shukla, who successfully defended her doctoral dissertation proposal: Game Theory for Security Investments in Cyber and Supply Chain Networks, in October 2016. Shivani received the Outstanding Doctoral Student Teaching Award, Isenberg School of Management, University of Massachusetts Amherst, 2016. She also was selected for, and took part in, the INFORMS Doctoral Student Colloquium at the Annual Meeting in Nashville, Tennessee in November and the Production and Operations Management Society (POMS) Doctoral Consortium, Orlando, Florida in May. Her paper, "Multifirm Models of Cybersecurity Investment Competition vs. Cooperation and Network Vulnerability," that we co-authored was accepted for publication in the European Journal of Operational Research.
Doctoral Student Center Associate Deniz Besik was very active as an officer of the UMass Amherst INFORMS Student Chapter and the chapter was recognized with its 11th award, in as many years, at the INFORMS Annual Meeting, with the Cum Laude Award. Additionally, it was a great honor to be recognized at the INFORMS Annual Meeting with the inaugural Distinguished Service Award from INFORMS. 

The INFORMS conference served as a great venue for many Center Associates to reconvene, with presenters including Center Associates Professor Ding Zhang of SUNY Oswego, Professor Patrick Qiang of Pennsylvania State University Great Valley, Professor Zugang Liu of Pennsylvania State University Hazleton, Professor Trisha Anderson of Texas Wesleyan University, Professor Amir H. Masoumi of Manhattan College, Professor Min Yu of the University of Portland, Professor Dmytro Matsypura of the University of Sydney in Australia, Professor Jose M. Cruz of the University of Connecticut, Professor Dong Li of Arkansas State University, Professor Sara Saberi, and Doctoral Student Center Associates Shivani Shukla and Deniz Besik. It was Deniz's first INFORMS conference. 

Doctoral Student Center Associate Deniz Besik's paper on farmers' markets and quality, co-authored with the Center Director, will be presented at the INFORMS Computing Society conference in Austin, Texas in January 2017. 

Center Associates were also prominent at the EURO conference held in Poznan, Poland, in the summer of 2016, with Professor Patrizia Daniele of the University of Catania in Italy organizing sessions and also Professor Tina Wakolbinger of the Vienna University of Economics and Business in Austria. Professor Dmytro Matsypura also presented there. Notably, the paper: "Competitive Food Supply Chain Networks with Application to Fresh Produce," Min Yu and Anna Nagurney, European Journal of Operational Research 224(2): (2013) pp 273-282, was recognized in a special session there organized by the Editors of the European Journal of Operational Research as one of two papers published in the past several years in that journal that is highly cited and impactful. I had the pleasure of presenting on our joint work. Also, Professor Ladimer S. Nagurney presented on our latest work on the Braess paradox, presenting proof of existence for electrical circuits that were constructed. 

Congratulations to Center Associates: Professor Patrick Qiang, Professor Ke Ke of Central Washington University, Professor Trisha Anderson, and Professor June Dong of SUNY Oswego! Their paper, "The Closed-loop Supply Chain Network with Competition, Distribution Channel Investment, and Uncertainties," published in the journal Omega in 2013 is one of the most highly cited papers in that journal over the past 5 years! 

Additional congratulations to Center Associate Professor Trisha Anderson! She was recognized with the Engaging Educator Award from her university. The award goes to professors who go above and beyond to engage their students with research and the community.

Professor Tina Wakolbinger had a very busy and successful year and continues as Professor of Supply Chain Services and Networks, the Director of the Master Program in Supply Chain Management, and Head of the Research Institute for Supply Chain Management at the Vienna University of Economics and Business. She serves as VP of Awards at POM College of Humanitarian Operations and Crisis Management and is a member of the Board of the Euro Working Group on Humanitarian Operations. 

Congratulations to Center Associate Jose M. Cruz. He continues to serve as the Executive Program Director of the very successful Master of Science in Business Analytics and Project Management (MSBAPM) degree program at the School of Business, University of Connecticut. He also received a grant from the Business School to work on global supply chains.

Below are links to examples of some of our recent publications.
Multifirm Models of Cybersecurity Investment Competition vs. Cooperation and Network Vulnerability
Anna Nagurney and Shivani Shukla, accepted for publication in the European Journal of Operational Research.
A Generalized Nash Equilibrium Network Model for Post-Disaster Humanitarian Relief
Anna Nagurney, Emilio Alvarez Flores, and Ceren Soylu, Transportation Research E 95: (2016), pp 1-18.
Introduction to the Volume: Dynamics of Disasters: Key Concepts, Models, Algorithms, and Insights
Ilias S. Kotsireas, Anna Nagurney, and Panos M. Pardalos, Springer International Publishing Switzerland (2016) pp i-xi.
Cybersecurity Investments with Nonlinear Budget Constraints: Analysis of the Marginal Expected Utilities
Patrizia Daniele, Antonio Maugeri, and Anna Nagurney, in press in Operations Research, Engineering, and Cyber Security: Trends in Applied Mathematics and Technology, N.J. Daras and T.M. Rassias, Editors, Springer.
A Layered Protocol Architecture for Scalable Innovation and Identification of Network Economic Synergies in the Internet of Things
Tilman Wolf and Anna Nagurney, Proceedings of the 2016 IEEE First International Conference on Internet-of-Things Design and Implementation (IoTDI), pp 141-151.
Freight Service Provision for Disaster Relief: A Competitive Network Model with Computations
Anna Nagurney, in Dynamics of Disasters: Key Concepts, Models, Algorithms, and Insights, I.S. Kotsireas, A. Nagurney, and P.M. Pardalos, Eds., Springer International Publishing Switzerland (2016) pp 207-229.
A Mean-Variance Disaster Relief Supply Chain Network Model for Risk Reduction with Stochastic Link Costs, Time Targets, and Demand Uncertainty
Anna Nagurney and Ladimer S. Nagurney, in Dynamics of Disasters: Key Concepts, Models, Algorithms, and Insights, I.S. Kotsireas, A. Nagurney, and P.M. Pardalos, Eds., Springer International Publishing Switzerland (2016) pp 231-255.
Towards Pricing Mechanisms for Delay Tolerant Services
L. Marentes, T. Wolf, A. Nagurney, and Y. Donoso, International Journal of Computers Communications & Control, 11(1): (2016) pp 77-89.
Many thanks to the Supernetwork Team and to our supporters for another tremendous year!
Anna Nagurney

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Valuable Teaching Assistant Experiences at Business Schools

It felt very good to submit my course grades last week,  especially since the final exam for my Transportation and Logistics class at the Isenberg School was quite late this year - December 22 and that was also the deadline for the course project papers.

The exam was from 10:30AM-12:30PM and the students had wanted cookies so I had baked (again) and brought the plate of goodies below. Good for motivation, as well. It was fun to see which students selected a cookie at the beginning of the exam, at the middle, or at the end.
The day was very cold and it was snowing and, luckily, I had my Teaching Assistant, doctoral student in Management Science, Deniz Besik, to assist me with proctoring the exam. This was extremely helpful since one student thought the exam was at 1:30PM and we realized this into the exam that the student was missing. A quick call and the student literally flew in and finished the exam in one hour with the help of a lot of adrenalin.

At the Isenberg School of Management, and many other business schools, part of the education of our doctoral students, in order to prepare them for careers in academia (or they realize that industry is better suited for them or another type of career post PhD), involves having them actually teach undergraduate courses. The doctoral students usually teach one course, for two or three semesters, beginning in their third year of the doctoral program. This is rarely done in engineering schools.

Prior to that, students can serve as a TA (Teaching Assistant) and/or an RA (Research Assistant). Being a TA can include holding office hours, helping the professor grade homeworks, and giving a lecture or two in order to gain experience. Such experiences help a student decide whether or not she/he is interested in teaching and research as a career. One learns lessons of responsibility, how to best explain course material to students during office hours, and how to evaluate homeworks. The personal interactions between students and the TA I believe are very important and I was pleased, but not surprised, how much my undergraduates appreciated Deniz during this past semester. Some students may prefer going to a doctoral student's office hours than to a professor's although I must admit that there were several students this past semester that were frequent visitors to both of our office hours. Many times, students want to chat and to also discuss their career paths and it is nice to have another set of ears and someone else to offer advice. Also, it may be helpful to have someone else explain some of the material, which may be done in a slightly different way. In addition, since our Operations and Information Management students at the Isenberg School are so bright and hard-working, and also intellectually curious,  they often are also interested in the TA's research as well as the professor's.

Being a TA builds a doctoral student's confidence and also helps the student prepare for teaching a course independently. In some years, I have had the TA sit in  my class as well, to learn how to respond to questions, how to lecture, etc. Some, based on this experience, become very eager to teach, and it is great to see them standing in front of a class to teach their first class at Isenberg! Some of our doctoral students in Management Science have become so successful in the classroom (one example is my PhD student, Shivani Shukla) that they have received the Isenberg Outstanding Doctoral Student Teaching Award, which is an annual award given out in the spring. Shivani last semester elected not only to teach a face-to-face class (Business Data Analysis)  but also a class online (Introduction to Operations Management) to garner additional experience. This certainly looks great on a cv when a doctoral student is on the job market!

In addition, while being a TA, and also having full responsibility for teaching a class, a doctoral student learns how to juggle both research and teaching, since without a dissertation, one does not get a PhD. Hence, important time management skills are learned and these help one in the profession after graduation.

After the exams were handed in last Thursday by the undergraduates, I took my TA out to lunch at the University Club at UMass Amherst. Also, visiting were my former PhD student, and co-author of the Competing on Supply Chain Quality book, Dr. Dong "Michelle" Li, and her fiancee, who is a postdoc at MIT. My daughter, who is a doctoral student at another university, also joined.

At the lunch I was presented with an MIT beaver, which we named "Bucky" and I think it is a great inspiration for continuing the hard work, which is also very enjoyable and rewarding!

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Sharing Successes and Thanks with Your Benefactor

I have been very lucky to not only have met the benefactor of my chaired professorship but to also have enough of a relationship with him that I can communicate and share experiences with him.

In 1998, I became the John F. Smith Memorial Professor at Operations Management at the Isenberg School of Management. I was the first female appointed to a chaired professorship in the University of Massachusetts system, consisting of 5 campuses, including the UMass Medical School in Worcester.

Part of having a chaired professorship, I believe, is stewardship, and that should entail not only, according to its definition, of:  responsible planning and management of resources, but also staying in touch with the benefactor/donor, if that is at all possible. The chaired professorship that I hold was made possible by John F. Smith Jr. or "Jack Smith," an alumnus of the Isenberg School of Management, class of 1960, who endowed the professorship in honor of his father, who was also a UMass Amherst alumnus, but of its Stockbridge School. Jack Smith Jr. was the chairman of the board of General Motors from 1996 to 2003 and the CEO from 1992 to 2000.  He has been a member of Delta's Board of Directors since 2000, so, clearly, transportation is in his "blood" and we have a common passion for operations management. What has always impressed me about Jack Smith, is his incredible intellect and memory as well as ideas for innovation.

Yesterday, I shipped off a package to Jack Smith, with two letters, one detailing some of the accomplishments of the Virtual Center for Supernetworks, that I founded and have directed since 2001, and our great students at the Isenberg School, and a holiday letter. I also enclosed in the package three books: Competing on Supply Chain Quality, co-authored with my former PhD student, Dr. Dong "Michelle" Li, Dynamics of Disasters: Key Concepts, Models, Algorithms, and Insights, co-edited with Professors Ilias S. Kotsireas and Panos M. Pardalos, and STEM Gems,  by Stephanie Espy, in which I was honored to be one of 44 inspiring female role models in STEM for my work on networks. All these books were published in 2016 so they should make for some pleasant holiday reading.

Jack Smith has come back to UMass and the Isenberg School on several occasions, since I became a chaired professor,  and we also have a classroom named in his honor. He, along with other luminaries, such as Ken Feinberg and Jack Welch, also UMass Amherst alums, serves as an honorary co-chair of the UMass Rising Campaign. A video for the campaign, in which I also speak, can be accessed here.

In fact, one of the seeds for supernetworks and our center germinated when Jack gave a talk at UMass and spoke about interfaces between telecommunications and transportation in the context of vehicle mobility and it was clear that networks of networks or supernetworks would be an area that would generate theory and applications for years to come, which it has! Our Supernetworks book, which I co-authored with Dr. June Dong was published in 2002.

Below are some photos taken on one of Jack's visits to the Isenberg School, when he visited the Supernetworks Lab. Many of the Center Associates featured in the photos, have since received their PhDs, and are now professors. Several, who were undergraduates then, such as David Soffer and Christina Calvaneso, are having fascinating professional careers in business.  A full list is available here.

This blogpost is also a thank you to Jack Smith, whose support has enabled us to have a thriving, award-winning  UMass Amherst INFORMS Student Chapter, a center that builds bridges and has collaborators from multiple continents, and a home where speakers and visitors always feel a warm welcome.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Operations Research Party Logistics

Now is that great time of the year when there are a lot of holiday parties including end of the semester parties.

For those of us in academia it is also that time of the year for final projects and papers and final exams and lots of grading.

So one has to be extra efficient and to optimize. Of course, Operations Research is the way to go!

In the last week alone there have been 4 parties to go to and one we were actually involved in helping to organize and that was the UMass Amherst INFORMS Student Chapter party that took place at the Isenberg School of Management on December 9.  It is challenging enough putting on a great party when it is at your home but when it is at another location (our business school) plus the temperature is in the teens with a strong wind blowing that certainly adds to the drama. You want to make sure that the hot food arrives hot and that your cookies don't get blown away!

The students, especially the Chapter Officers, did a wonderful job walking around and inviting faculty and staff personally to come. That special touch adds a lot. They also did an excellent job of demand forecasting. I admit there have been times in the past that by 5PM (with the party beginning at 4:30PM) the food was almost gone but not this year. They also produced and circulated the nice announcement below.

Not all of our operations research and management science students have cars so that is also a challenge but, luckily, they can usually find one or two volunteers ready to solve the Traveling Salesman Problem (TSP) and find the best route for picking up the orders. I always make great use of network project planning techniques such as the Critical Path Method.

Plus, this year's President, Pritha Dutta, has good connections with pizza parlors, and is a trusted customer, and one delivered huge, piping hot pizzas to the Isenberg School for our party.  The pizza went really fast especially the one with tortilla chips on it!

I always say that life in the Pioneer Valley of western Massachusetts is foodie heaven with places such as Whole Foods, Big Y, Atkins, a Turkish market, among other grocery stores and in the summertime - outdoor farmers' markets.  My doctoral student, Deniz Besik, a fellow foodie, and researcher of food supply chains, made sure that there were fruit and veggies on the menu. Plus, this year we had a lot to celebrate! The UMass Amherst INFORMS Student Chapter received the Cum Laude Award from INFORMS (its 11th award in as many consecutive years), and I was so happy to receive the  Distinguished Volunteer Service Award, so we had chocolate cake!

Although it was the end of the semester with extra meetings and office hours, I had to bake for the party and brought a lot of my cookies, with some favorites being Swedish cookies, which always bring me back to Gothenburg, a city in Sweden that I love (besides Stockholm and several others).

And, as is our tradition, varenyky (pierogies) filled with potatoes and cheese, and cabbage mushroom ones, along with kielbasy (all hot), we also brought. Thank goodness there was a parking spot right in front of the Isenberg School that day because in some years I have marched with trays of food for our parking lot as students ran out to help me.

Of course, the ambience for the party is important and we have our favorite location in the Isenberg School, Room 112, for it. The students have music in the background and a slide show of our activities. It is an exceptional way in which to relax, catch up with faculty, students, and staff in a very hospitable and warm environment with great food! Everyone leaves well-nourished, relaxed, and energized, and we share the photos that we take, although sometimes we talk so much we don't take as many photos as we would like.

A special thanks to the faculty who came not only from the Isenberg School on a frigid Friday in December but also from the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering and the Department of Civil Engineering from the other side of the sprawling UMass Amherst campus! We even had some family members, including a grandmother from Ukraine. Your support of students and operations research / management science is very meaningful and appreciated.

When I looked at all the students in attendance from countries such as the US, India, Turkey, China, Singapore, Mexico,  Greece, Egypt (but now a US citizen), and even Mongolia, and these are just the ones that I had a chance to speak to in person, I see that there is hope in our United Nations of operations researchers and management scientists!

Happy final exams and Holidays to everyone!

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Sustainability and Operations Research: A Trek Down Memory Lane from Transportation to Supply Chains

Given the interest my blogpost on Professor Joe Sarkis' talk on greening supply chains generated I thought that I would write this piece on sustainability and operations research from the perspective of how we got interested in the subject and where it has taken us.

Professor Sarkis also mentioned in his presentation that he, like I and my research group, have been working on sustainability for a while - actually two decades and since we are hearing that "sustainability" is some fields, including operations management, is being perceived as being relatively new, I thought it deserved some commentary.

I have always been one who loves nature and I get some of my best ideas on hikes. Clean air, clean water, fresh food, and a healthy, peaceful environment we all deserve and they are essential to our well-being  and that of future generations.
As a research topic, I became interested in sustainability while working with two doctoral students at the Isenberg School of Management: Kanwalroop "Kathy" Dhanda and Padma Ramanujam in the 1990s.

Together we wrote the Environmental Networks book, which was published in 1999, and the year after, my Sustainable Transportation Networks book was published.

Vice President Al Gore wrote me a nice letter on the publication of my Sustainable Transportation Networks book, which now hangs in my office at the Isenberg School.

Prior to the publication of these books, I had co-authored several papers, which also provided the seeds for our sustainability work. These included a 1996 paper in Operations Research, written with Sten Thore and one of my first PhD students, Jie Pan, who tragically died of an autoimmune disease shortly after having receiving tenure. With Padma, that same year, we had also published a paper in Transportation Science.

Padma's dissertation,  Transportation Network Policy Modeling for Congestion and Pollution Control: A Variational Inequality Approach, was awarded a Transportation Science & Logistics dissertation prize from INFORMS in 1999, a great honor.

Some other early papers on various sustainability of ours included: "A Multimodal Traffic Network Equilibrium Model with Emission Pollution Permits: Compliance versus Noncompliance," published in Transportation Research D in 1998 and "Marketable Pollution Permits in Oligopolistic Markets with Transaction Costs," which appeared in Operations Research in 2000. I also wrote several papers on emission paradoxes, one with another doctoral student of mine, now Professor June Dong.

Hence, we were proposing tradeable pollution permits even for transportation networks in the 1990s. Padma is now working at SAS, a fabulous analytics firm, and is based in Cary, North Carolina, whereas Kathy has had several tenured professorships at different universities and continues to work on sustainability issues.

Interestingly, the Virtual Center for Supernetworks, which I founded in 2001 and continue to serve as Director of, was initiated because of three NSF grants that I had received at that time plus two AT&T Industrial Ecology Fellowship grants, which envisioned such a center. Hence, the sustainability theme has been central to our research.

In 2005, with a doctoral student from Japan, Fuminori Toyasaki, who is now a professor at York University in Toronto, I published a paper that is highly cited: "Reverse Supply Chain Management and Electronic Waste Recycling: A Multitiered Network Equilibrium Framework for E-cycling." This paper was recognized by Transportation Research E as a most cited paper.

In 2002, I had co-authored the paper, "A Supply Chain Network Equilibrium Model," with June Dong and Ding Zhang and this paper, which introduced multiple tiers of interacting decision-makers, who compete across a tier but cooperate between tiers, generated new frameworks for work on sustainability and supply chains as well. We also conducted research on energy supply chains and I have a series of papers in this area, some of which also include carbon taxes. An example is the paper, "Modeling Generator Power Plant Portfolios and Pollution Taxes in Electric Power Supply Chain Networks: A Transportation Network Equilibrium Transformation," co-authored with Kai Wu, Zugang Liu (another former PhD student of mine who is now a tenured professor), and John Stranlund, a faculty member at UMass in Resource Economics.

Another former very successful doctoral student of mine, Trisha Anderson Woolley, now a tenured professor,  also published several papers with me on sustainability, energy, and supply chains, as well as policy interventions. 

As the news about climate change resonated and its negative impacts, we continued to explore modeling of supply chains and an example of a paper reflecting this is: "Environmental Impact Assessment of Transportation Networks with Degradable Links in an Era of Climate Change, " which was published in 2010 and written with Patrick Qiang, my co-author of the Fragile Networks book (and whose dissertation received the Charles Wootan Award from the CUTC), and the "other" Professor Nagurney - Ladimer S. The paper, "Sustainable Supply Chain Network Design: A Multicriteria Perspective," written by the two Nagurneys, which was also published in 2010, remains one of the most highly cited articles in the International Journal of Sustainable Engineering.

Our more recent research on sustainability and supply chains has focused on numerous different applications, and these are quite fascinating. Much of the impetus has come from outside - such as our work on fashion and sustainability - but some of it has also been internal - as in the case of our blood supply chain sustainability research and driven by common interests and passion that I share with both students and collaborators. Examples of such papers are: Sustainable Fashion Supply Chain Management Under Oligopolistic Competition and Brand Differentiation, Anna Nagurney and Min Yu, International Journal of Production Economics, Special Section on Green Manufacturing and Distribution in the Fashion and Apparel Industries 135: (2012) pp 532-540 and Supply Chain Network Design of a Sustainable Blood Banking System, Anna Nagurney and Amir H. Masoumi, in Sustainable Supply Chains: Models, Methods and Public Policy Implications, T. Boone, V. Jayaraman, and R. Ganeshan, Editors, Springer, London, England (2012) pp 49-72.

In 2014, I was delighted to co-author a paper with two of my former PhD students, Toyasaki, already mentioned, and Professor Tina Wakolbinger, and her first PhD student, Thomas Nowak, who has since received his PhD: When and for Whom Would E-waste be a Treasure Trove? Insights from a Network Equilibrium Model of E-waste Flows, Tina Wakolbinger, Fuminori Toyasaki, Thomas Nowak, and Anna Nagurney, International Journal of Production Economics 154: (2014) pp 263–273.

Some of our other recent research has included my collaborator in Sweden, Professor Jonas Floden, since I had a fabulous Visiting Professorship at the University of Gothenburg over a 4 year period. Examples are the papers: Supply Chain Network Sustainability Under Competition and Frequencies of Activities from Production to Distribution, Anna Nagurney, Min Yu, and Jonas Floden, Computational Management Science 10(4): (2013) pp 397-422 and Fashion Supply Chain Network Competition with Ecolabelling, Anna Nagurney, Min Yu, and Jonas Floden, in Sustainable Fashion Supply Chain Management: From Sourcing to Retailing, T.-M. Choi and T.C.E. Cheng, Editors, Springer (2015) pp 61-84.

Another paper that I am quite proud of in which I move from transportation to supply chains to sustainable cities is, "Design of Sustainable Supply Chains for Sustainable Cities," invited paper for the Complex-City Workshop, December 5-6, 2011, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, Environment & Planning B 42(1): (2015) pp 40-57.

Our research on food supply chains, conducted with Professor Min Yu (yes, another former terrific Isenberg UMass PhD alumna in Management Science), and published in the European Journal of Operational Research, also has components of sustainability since we consider waste. The same holds for our work on pharmaceutical supply chains.

And, for those of you interested in perishable product supply chains, including food and medical nuclear ones, in which waste is a big issue, our Networks Against Time: Supply Chain Analytics for Perishable Products, is recommended.
And the research continues into its third decade!

Friday, December 2, 2016

Greening the Supply Chain: Insights From One of the World's Leading Scientific Minds - Professor Joe Sarkis

Today we were honored and delighted to have Professor Joe Sarkis, the head of the Department of Management within Worcester Polytechnic Institute's (WPI) Foisie School of Business, deliver the lecture, "Supplier Collaboration and Development for Greening Supply Chains," as part of our UMass Amherst INFORMS Speaker Series. The series is organized by the UMass Amherst INFORMS Student Chapter so a special thanks to the chapter President, Pritha Dutta, a doctoral student in Management Science at the Isenberg School of Management, for handling the logistics and for designing the nice poster below.
The talk was even announced on the UMass Amherst homepage today.

And, interestingly, and coincidentally, if you look closely at the above homepage snapshot you will also see on the left under "News" the article on Seven UMass Amherst Researchers Named among 'World's Leading Scientific Minds.' In this 2016 Thomson Reuters survey of highly cited scientists is also our speaker today, Professor Joe Sarkis, and he is listed in the Engineering category so do check it out. He is renowned for his work on sustainability and supply chains and today he attracted an audience from the Isenberg School of Management, the College of Engineering, the Department of Environmental Conservation, among others. Just look at his Google Scholar citations.
He motivated his presentation by noting a 2016 McKinsey report on Supply Chain Management and emphasizing the importance of greening the supply chain to industry with the "leading edge of thought" should also be the "leading edge of practice." "We should be doing good," he said, and emphasized the gold mine of research in this area and that showed throughout his presentation as did his passion and energy. He has collaborated with researchers from China, from Egypt, and other countries and, I do admit I am now also working on a paper with him and with two of my former doctoral students, Dr. Sara Saberi who just started as an Assistant Professor at the Foisie Schoo of Business, and Dr. Jose Cruz, from the School of Business at the University of Connecticut, whose work was also mentioned in Sarkis' presentation.

He emphasized levels of problems and different methodologies and theories to tackle them - from global problems, such as global warming, to regional problems of deforestation and acid rain, to more local problems of pesticides and waste.

Of course, he had to mention that there are many different definitions of environmental sustainability (and he even authored a paper on this) and recognized the importance of ISO 14000, life cycle analysis (LCA), and carbon and water footprints. When it comes to supply chains it is essential to "close the loop" and deal not only with forward and reverse supply chains separately. He remarked that energy research is also important for supply chain management and stated that teaching informs his research and vice versa. I so agree with the latter statement and continue to be inspired by questions that my students raise.

It was wonderful to have my Isenberg School colleague, Professor Marta Calas, in the audience since she is working with a doctoral student on sustainability and the fashion brand Eileen Fisher. We have published several papers on fashion and sustainability with my former doctoral student, and now Assistant Professor at the University of Portland, Dr. Min Yu.

The relevance of theory, methodologies, and applications were emphasized and he also discussed whether carrots or sticks should be using for green supply chain management.

I very much liked what he said about different boundaries, including temporal ones, and associated decision-making. He also discussed the different types of flows that are relevant and since we work on networks, optimization, game theory, as well as sustainability I liked the flows of material, service, information, and financial ones noted very much. Also, I appreciated him mentioning different industries from food to the textile industry. On the latter, he is working with a collaborator in Egypt. Afterwards, a doctoral student and UMass Amherst INFORMS Student Chapter officer, Ekin Koker,  brought up the automotive industry and sustainability.

Professor Sarkis spoke on his work on "supplier development" and the sharing of knowledge to help suppliers become greener and also about investment in greener technologies.

The theme of different "levels" also resonated, from the individual, to the organizational, the enterprise level, all the way to the circular economy. Also, how leadership in greening the supply chain affects motivation and employees.

When I asked him which paper he was most proud of, he mentioned his paper in Science, with co-authors from China and Italy, "Measuring China's Circular Economy." He also noted his paper with Zhu in the Journal of Operations Management, since it contains theory, methodology, and application and such papers tend to be highly cited. The history behind his Science paper was also fascinating, but you should ask him this.

The audience clearly had a great experience and benefited a lot from the presentation.
After the energizing and very inspiring talk, I took Professor Sarkis, two of his doctoral students from WPI that had joined us, and three doctoral students from UMass Amherst, Pritha Dutta, Deniz Besik, and Rodrgo Mercado,  to lunch at the University Club and the wonderful conversations continued. As Professor Sarkis said at lunch, there is no better life than being a Full Professor at a university!
The food was great and the conversation even better - amazing how some universities are incentivizing researchers to publish in good journals especially those outside the United States. Of course, we also exchanged notes on recent academic hires, the job market, etc. Interestingly, both the Dean of the Foisie School of Business and the Dean of the Isenberg School, Dr. Mark A. Fuller  (I admit I served on the search committee for the latter), are in the Information Systems field.

Many thanks to Professor Joe Sarkis for coming to the University of Massachusetts Amherst today. You are welcome back any time! Thanks to Pritha Dutta for capturing the "Bon Voyage"in the photo below.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Logistics and Joy of Baking Holiday Cookies and Delivering Them the Academic Way

All academics have to be very patient - it takes time to get a PhD, time to get promotion and tenure, and one has to wait referees' reports on journal articles that we submit, which we then revise, and, hopefully, the articles that we have labored so hard on, do get accepted and then published, which also takes time!

It is, hence, advisable to also have activities that one can engage in that one gets more or less instant gratification from and focuses a different part of the brain, although, as an academic, one brings one's analytical and critical thinking skills to almost any endeavor.

This time of the year, when the weather gets colder, and the days shorter, and one has recovered from the Thanksgiving travel and celebrations, I always enjoy baking holiday cookies. But even more so, I enjoy delivering them to friends and neighbors.

The logistics of cookie baking involves identifying the types of cookies to be baked and finding the recipes, procuring the necessary ingredients, scheduling the baking of the cookie varieties (some, serendipitously, might not even require baking, such as our famous chocolate rum walnut balls), waiting for them to cool, decorating them, if necessary, putting them on plates for delivery and packaging them nicely. Then I usually insert a nice holiday card and figure out the optimal routing for delivery, always taking into consideration the day and time of departure to try and find the recipients at home.

This year, the first batches of cookies that I baked took parts of two different days and a big tip is using parchment paper since there is no cleaning of baking pans before putting on the next batch and into the oven.

Below are some photos from this baking project and my family members are the taste testers and approvers.

The ingredients in the cookie recipes this year included lots of almond paste, candied cherries, coconut, pecans, walnuts, chocolate,  the usual butter, sugar, and vanilla, plus raspberry jam, to make butter cookies that our wonderful staff member at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, Wivvian Hall, once made for me when I was a Visiting Professor there and then gave me the recipe!

Now, since our friends and neighbors range from very young children to those in the mid80s, and many children like the less fancy cookies, I also make some cookies (see above) with reindeer faces and Christmas trees on them. These are ready to bake.

This past Sunday, we did one of the biggest deliveries, and to see the joy on the neighbors' faces was very special. Even two little boys wrote us a beautiful thank you card and delivered it to our door. It is important, especially in this day and age, to support your immediate community and neighbors and to show that they matter. Baking is a labor of love and a way of saying, in a small way, that someone matters. We will continue to be making deliveries and baking as well, which provide a warm and welcoming break from end of the semester projects, exams, and all sorts of committee meetings.

Of course, I also plan to bake more cookies for various events and parties including our end of the semester UMass Amherst INFORMS Student Chapter party at the Isenberg School of Management. This semester I am teaching a class on Transportation and Logistics and am practicing what I preach.

Happy holidays!