Friday, March 29, 2024

It Was Great to Be Back at MIT to Speak on Agricultural Supply Chain Networks and Trade Policies

This past Tuesday I had the pleasure of speaking at MIT at the Center for Transportation and Logistics in its seminar series. I'd like to thank Austin Iglesias Saragih for the invitation to speak. The title of my presentation was: Agricultural Supply Chain Networks: Trade, Policies, and Resilience.

In my seminar, I first highlighted research that we had done on food supply chains over the past decade with collaborators: Min Yu, Deniz Besik, and Pritha Dutta (all of whom were my former PhD students, and now are thriving as Professors), and, more recently, with my present PhD student Dana Hassani and collaborators at the Kyiv School of Economics (KSE) Professor Oleg Nivievskyi and Dr. Pavlo Martyshev. 

In my presentation, I did a deep dive into the paper, "Exchange Rates and Multicommodity International Trade: Insights from Spatial Price Equilibrium Modeling with Policy Instruments via Variational Inequalities," Anna Nagurney, Dana Hassani, Oleg Nivievskyi, and Pavlo Martyshev, Journal of Global Optimization 87: (2023), pp 1-30.

The paper was the lead article in the volume and was also displayed at the INFORMS Phoenix conference. In the below photo I am standing next to the journal Editor, Professor Sergiy Butenko, and my PhD student Dana Hassani. The Springer editors Razia Amzad and Christian Rauscher are next to Dana.

I also discussed some results from my Labor and Supply Chain Networks book.

I am very grateful to the audience for the excellent questions and discussions and to Austin for handling the logistics of my visit. 

It was also extra special to have one of my former students, Emilio Alvarez Flores, who is now pursuing an MBA at Sloan at MIT, come to my presentation. In addition, I thoroughly enjoyed meeting Dr. Elenna Dugundji, who is a Research Scientist at the Center for Transportation ad Logistics at MIT.

My talk was also streamed on Zoom (which I had not been informed of). It was great to see MIT faculty Zooming in and others from different locations, including Georgia Tech.

It was terrific to be back at MIT. Coincidentally, the Center for Transportation and Logistics (CTL) is located at 1 Amherst Street in Cambridge so I felt right at home. I had spent 2 years at MIT and recall when the OR Center was also located there.

In my presentation, I discussed the importance of alternative routes and appropriate policies for agricultural trade with a focus on the impacts of Russia's war on Ukraine and, that night, as we all know, the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore collapsed after being hit by the cargo ship Dali. I had multiple requests for media interviews but had to decline because of my presentation and meetings at MIT. Lo and behold, whom did I see on the TV news, a few hours afterwards - none other than the Director of CTL, Professor Yossi Sheffi! He had hugged me when he saw me at MIT, something his PhD students told me they have never seen him do before. Professor Sheffi was also my host when I had an NSF Visiting Professorship for Women at MIT and I spent my first year at CTL, which was then located in Building 1.

The slide deck of my seminar presentation is posted on the Supernetwork Center website.

I had previously given a seminar at MIT in December 2015 and was hosted by Professor Carolina Osorio, who is no longer at MIT. She and Professor Jim Orlin joined us for dinner after my talk and Professor Orlin even Zoomed into my presentation this past Tuesday. My blogpost with photos from that visit can be accessed here.

That evening, I stopped by the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study (RIAS) at Harvard University, where I has been a Science Fellow in 2005-2006. The Fellows that year included Professor Claudia Goldin, who in 2023 received the Nobel Prize in Economics. I had been back to RIAS as a Summer Fellow twice since then.

And to celebrate being back in Cambridge, we enjoyed a delicious Amareno gelato topped by a chocolate macaron.