Sunday, May 28, 2023

Some of the Highlights of the Great POMS Conference in Orlando!

I hope that everyone who took part in the POMS Conference in Orlando, which took place May 22-25, 2023, has returned safely to their homes. It was wonderful to be at this in-person POMS conference, the first such one since the 2019 POMS Conference, which took place in Washington DC.

I thought it important to document some of the highlights of the 33th Annual POMS Conference in Orlando, albeit, of course, from a personal perspective. I am sure that each conferee has their own special memories and experiences. This was truly an international conference and I was delighted to see and meet colleagues from many countries, including from The Netherlands, Norway, Germany, Finland, and even Brazil. Asia was also well-represented. 

I arrived mid-afternoon on Monday and at the Exhibit Hall I was thrilled to see Springer Nature Editor Matt Amboy and the display of Springer books. And there, on display, was my newest book, "Labor and Supply Chain Networks," which was published in 2023.

The venue for the conference was stunning - the Hyatt on International Drive.  The full program for the conference can be accessed here. Below is a photo of a late afternoon view taken from the 26th floor.
I enjoyed the keynote talk by Scott Colloredo, the Director of the Engineering Directorate at NASA’s John F. Kennedy Space Center in Florida (but sadly missed the keynote by Dr. Nada Sanders since I was traveling). It was interesting that the 2 keynote talks were both scheduled for last Monday. 

The sessions that I attended were organized in the Humanitarian Operations and Crisis Management track and I especially appreciated the breadth of innovative problems that are being tackled and addressed. Below is a sample.

I thank Dr. Mohammad Arbabian for the invitation to speak in his session. Coincidentally, he is at the Pamplin School of Business at the University of Portland, where my former PhD student, now an Associate Professor there, Dr. Min Yu, is also on the faculty. It was wonderful that she came to our session. Below are photos of the speakers in our session, a group photo, and also a photo with some of the members of the audience. Thanks to all who joined us!

I also enjoyed a panel of editors of the POM journal.

Although there were many conferees that I did not got get a chance to see - the conference was quite large with over 2 dozen parallel sessions, I did, through pure serendipity, encounter and exchange pleasantries with Renzo Akkerman, whom I have cited in quite a few papers on perishable food supply chains co-authored with Min Yu and Deniz Besik (both of whom were in attendance at the conference).

It was also great to see Marianne Jahre of Norway and Sarah Schiffling, who is now at Hanken in Finland. I was with Marianne in Cartagena, Colombia, back in 2019, where we were both invited speakers at a logistics conference organized at the Escuela Naval. I blogged the conference and unique experiences there.

And, of course, sharing meals with Deniz Besik, who is now an Assistant Professor at the University of Richmond, was terrific and also with Min Yu. It was great to have Ladimer S. Nagurney accompany me to the conference!

The title of my presentation at the conference was: "Supply Chain Game Theory Network Modeling Under Labor Constraints: Applications to the COVID-19 Pandemic." The presentation was based on a paper that I authored that was published in the European Journal of Operational Research. I was deeply honored when it received an Editor's Choice Award.

The complete slide deck of my presentation can be downloaded here.

Kudos to the staff at the Hyatt. Their friendliness and professionalism were so appreciated. I very much enjoyed meeting Alexandra from Haiti and Natalia from Lviv, Ukraine, who are working at The Diner at the Hyatt. It was very moving to speak with Natalia in Ukrainian. She had arrived in the US only 6 months ago.

And, it so happens that, next Friday, I will be giving the opening talk at the Innovations in Immigration Analytics Conference at WPI. My talk will be on refugee networks and regulations. Many thanks to Andrew Trapp for inviting me to speak.

And, for those wishing to walk down Memory Lane, please visit my blogpost on the POMS Conference in Washington DC!

Many thanks to the organizers of the POMS Conference for such a rewarding conference both scientifically and socially!