Saturday, October 22, 2022

Congratulations to Niels Agatz on His Receipt of the Inaugural Stella Dafermos Award of the Transportation Science and Logistics Society of INFORMS!!

I returned a few days ago from the INFORMS Annual Meeting, which took place in face to face format in Indianapolis. The conference attracted over 6,000 delegates from around the globe. It was an extraordinary conference with numerous highlights including the awarding of the inaugural Stella Dafermos Mid-Career Award from the Transportation Science and Logistics (TSL) Society of INFORMS!

As the Chair of the Award Selection Committee, it was an honor to serve and to recognize the recipient of this award as well as to recognize the great legacy of my PhD dissertation advisor at Brown University, Stella  Dafermos, who passed away at age 49 in April 1990. I was Stella's first PhD student. She was the only female professor, at that time, with appointments in the Division of Applied Mathematics and in the Division of Engineering.

I am very grateful to Professors Richard Hartl, Hani S. Mahmassani, Amedeo Odoni, and Grazia Speranza for serving on this committee.

We had kept the recipient of this award under wraps until the TSL Business Meeting this past Monday evening at the INFORMS conference. I am grateful to the past President of the TSL Society, Mike Hewitt, and to the present President, Jan Ehmke (who traveled all the way from Vienna, Austria to the conference), as well as to the TSL Board for making this award possible. It includes a plaque and also a monetary award. Information on this award as well as others given by the TSL Society can be found here.

The TSL Business Meeting was jam-packed and it was fabulous to see so many colleagues! Jan Ehmke officiated and other awards were announced and business matters attended to. The TSL Society is flourishing and that is wonderful!

The recipient of the inaugural Stella Dafermos Award is Niels Agatz! Niels Agatz is a Professor of Last-mile Supply Chain Analytics at the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University and also serves as the Scientific Director for TKI Dinalog.

The following morning, Niels Agatz gave his award presentation in a special award session at the conference at which also the most recent Robert Herman Lifetime Achievement Award recipient spoke - Warren B. Powell. The presentation by Niels was very engaging and demonstrated the impact of his work in practice. He spoke on his work on time slot management for attended delivery in The Netherlands. The problem is very complex but fascinating. Many, beginning in the pandemic, made use of e-commerce and deliveries of food, including perishable products, to homes, and continue to do so.

I might add that Niels Agatz was promoted to Full Professor just a few days before the official award announcement so additional congratulations are in order!

Agatz has many collaborators and, in his presentation, he had a photo of them, with thanks!

I introduced Niels at the awards session and have posted the slide deck of my presentation, which acknowledges the legacy of Stella Dafermos and details some of the notable accomplishments of Niels', as outlined in the nomination letter for the award, which include multiple publications in such top journals as Transportation Science and Transportation Research B, significant service to the TSL Society, broad impact, and support of diversity.

I had spoken with Stella Dafermos' husband, Constantine Dafermos, who is Professor Emeritus of Applied Mathematics at Brown University, and to her son, Mihalis Dafermos, who is a Chaired Professor at Princeton University and at the University of Cambridge. They are delighted by this significant award in honor of Stella and by the inaugural award recipient.

It was also very special to have Tom Magnanti, the former Dean of Engineering at MIT, who was a great friend of Stella's present both at the TSL Society Business Meeting and at the awards session.

I close this blogpost with a slide from my slide deck that includes many photos of transportation science luminaries over the years, including of several Robert Herman Lifetime Achievement ward recipients.

Stella Dafermos may have passed away but she left many of us with working towards the highest standards that she always set supported by the great community of the TSL Society (which was in the early days the Transportation Science Section of ORSA)!

Friday, October 7, 2022

Very Much Looking Forward to the INFORMS 2022 Annual Meeting in Indianapolis - It Will Be Extraordinary!

The INFORMS Annual Meeting will take place October 16-19, 2022 in Indianapolis, Indiana. This is the first face to face meeting of this conference since the declaration of the pandemic and it promises to be an extraordinary conference with thousands of conferees from around the globe!

In conjunction with this conference there are also events taking place immediately prior. I am deeply honored to have been invited to speak at the Minority Issues Forum (MIF) Workshop for Undergraduate Underrepresented Minorities (URMs) on October 15, 2022. The program has been put together by Professors Trilce EncarnaciĆ³n and Ruben ProaƱo and it is fabulous. I am very much looking forward to meeting with the undergraduates and to the exciting discussions.

The slide deck for my 90 minute presentation is complete.

The program for the MIF Workshop is below.

I am very much looking forward to the editorial board meeting on Sunday hosted by Professor Celso Ribeiro, the outstanding Editor of the journal International Transactions in Operational Research. On Sunday evening, I will be taking Virtual Center for Supernetwork Associates, who are taking part in the conference, out to dinner (and there are quite a few who will be presenting)!

On Monday, I will be speaking at an invited session on Supply Networks on a paper that was recently published in Operations Research Perspectives with the title below.

Then it will be time for the INFORMS Fellows luncheon to celebrate the newly elected 2022 INFORMS Fellows and to enjoy a wonderful meal and conversations with many colleagues. 

On Monday evening, there will be the Transportation Science and Logistics Society Business Meeting at which multiple awards will be announced, including the Stella Dafermos Mid-Career Award. This is the first time this award is being given and I am delighted to have chaired this committee for an award named after my PhD dissertation advisor at Brown University! Many thanks to the committee members! Information about this award and about Professor Stella Dafermos and her incredible legacy can be found here. I acknowledge the great support of the TSL Society President, Professor Jan Ehmke, and the TSL Society Board, in establishing this award.

The awardee will present in a special session on Tuesday morning at which the latest Robert Herman Lifetime Achievement Award recipient (Dr. Warren Powell) will also present. This session is just before the not-to-be-missed WORMS (Women in Operations Research and the Management Sciences) luncheon! This is always a favorite event for many of us. Awardees of the WORMS award will be recognized there.

Monday, after the TSL Society Business Meeting, it will be time for the Student Awards Ceremony, at which INFORMS will recognize the INFORMS Student Chapters for their activities. I am looking forward to seeing officers from our UMass Amherst INFORMS Student Chapter as well as many alums!

I am very excited about the session organized by Professor Deniz Besik on Supply Chain Networks of Critical Items at which Professor Pritha Dutta will present our paper with Dr. Besik on agricultural supply chains, recently published in the European Journal of Operational Research. This session is on Tuesday afternoon.

Also, in the same session, Professor Mojtaba Salarpour will present our paper published in the International Journal of Production Economics!

On Wednesday morning, I will be taking part in a special advocacy panel session organized by INFORMS, which will be fascinating! Joining me on the panel is the former INFORMS President Professor Ramayya Krishnan and the incoming INFORMS President Professor Laura Albert plus my UMass Boston colleague Professor Michael Johnson and Northeastern U. Professor Kayse Maass! The moderator is Dr. Kara Morgan. This is a not-to-be-missed session!

I am sure that we will build great memories from this INFORMS conference and that there will be many warm hugs and reconnections as well as the beginnings of new friendships!

Wishing everyone safe travels and see you soon! And, bright and early on Thursday morning, I will be back to teaching my Transportation and Logistics class at the Isenberg School of Management!