Thursday, January 16, 2020

Beginning of My Sabbatical and My Twelfth Year of Blogging

It is hard to believe that this month I am celebrating 11 years of writing on this blog. My first post  was on the New Year - New Administration - New Blog. In that post I also noted a Letter to the Editor that I had had published in The New York Times on the students in my Transportation and Logistics class that I teach at the Isenberg School.  It is quite interesting to look back at the posts. Many provide timely advice. Interestingly, my third post was on my interview with Linda Baker on the Braess Paradox, for an article that she wrote for the Scientific American. And, coincidentally, my most recent article is on The Braess Paradox, an invited chapter for The International Encyclopedia of Transportation.

My blog has over 1,600 posts that I have written!

I am about to start my sabbatical, which means that I will not be teaching this Spring 2020 semester. I must admit that I will miss not teaching Humanitarian Logistics and Healthcare and also my PhD Seminar but there are many projects to start and others to finish up and also numerous very exciting speaking engagements and visits. Some service activities to the Isenberg School (and beyond, of course), will still be on my plate.

I am very excited about the INFORMS Security Conference, which takes place next month in Monterey, California. The website is live and the speakers and talks look fabulous - I am especially delighted that all speakers get a 50 minute time slot, so one can really share insights and also gain some!

At this conference, I will be speaking on: Game Theory Network Models for Disaster Relief. Coincidentally, the first conference presentation that I ever gave was when I worked in the high tech sector for the Naval Underwater Systems Center in beautiful Newport, Rhode Island, and it was at an MIT/ONR Conference at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey! I was the only female presenter. In addition to working, I was also pursuing a Master's at Brown University at that time. It will be very special to be back there.

Some other highlights of my sabbatical, in terms of conferences and visits are the following:

In March, I will have the honor of giving a plenary talk at the Netgcoop Conference in Corsica, France, while my PhD student, Deniz Besik, presents on our work on tariffs, quotas, and trade at the INFORMS Optimization Society Conference in Greenville, South Carolina.

In April, I will have the pleasure of being an invited speaker at an International Workshop at the University of Brescia in Italy on Variational Analysis and Applications for Modelling of Energy Exchange. There I will see many wonderful Italian colleagues!

In May, it will be time to fly to Iowa, a state that I have never been to. Many thanks to Professor Ann Campbell for inviting me to give a plenary talk at a very exciting 2-day workshop - Future BA (Business Analytics) Prof! This workshop will take place at the Tippie College of Business at the University of Iowa and all expenses for accepted applicants will be covered. The workshop is for advanced PhD students and post-docs —especially women and individuals from underrepresented groups — who are interested in academic careers in Business Analytics.

A huge highlight of my sabbatical will be the CORS Conference in Toronto in June. Also at this conference I will have the immense honor of delivering the Harold Larnder Prize plenary talk. The list of previous recipients of this prize can be found here. I am absolutely thrilled by this recognition and am the only the second female to receive this prize, which dates to 1986. The title of my Larnder lecture is: Trade Wars: OR in the Economic Battlefields.

I spoke at the CORS Conference in Halifax and had a tremendous time. Having been born in Canada, and having lived for a few years in Toronto, it will be great to be back. 
I will also be giving a seminar at the University of Toronto in March.

There will be other conferences in June and I will be busy also co-editing a new Dynamics of Disasters volume with Panos M. Pardalos and Ilias S. Kotsireas. We have received a contract from Springer and work has already begin with refereeing some of  the contributions, etc.

And, in late August, as my sabbatical is coming to a close, it will be time for the CLAIO 2020 Conference in Madrid, Spain. In 2019, I had the pleasure of speaking in Chile,  Colombia, and Mexico, and am so honored to have been selected the IFORS Distinguished Lecturer (IDL) at CLAIO. I will give my IDL plenary at this conference with the title: NetwORks: Changing Our WORld for the Better. This will be my first visit to Spain.

Of course, as my schedule and time permit, I will still be supporting the great UMass Amherst INFORMS Student Chapter and its Speaker Series and also directing the Virtual Center for Supernetworks and working with my PhD students! Updates on my sabbatical will certainly be posted on this blog.

Many thanks to everyone for 11 great years of support of this blog!