Friday, May 31, 2024

Civilian-Military Integration of Ukrainian Defense Supply Chain - A Paper by Three Females

The ISCRAM conference, which took place recently in Munster, Germany, is now over. The conference focused on information systems for crisis response and management and attracted speakers from many countries.

I was thrilled that Professor Myroslava Kushnir of the Ukrainian Catholic University (UCU) in Lviv, Ukraine was able to present our paper, "Civilian-Military Integration of Ukrainian Defense Supply Chain" at the recent ISCRAM conference that took place in Munster, Germany.  The paper was also co-authored by Professor Renata Konrad of the Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI). For all three of us, Ukrainian is our first language.

The paper was published in the refereed conference Proceedings and is open access. It can be downloaded here.

I started working with Myroslava, through the outstanding UMass Amherst - Kyiv School of Economics (KSE) partnership, in which the 1st round of Virtual Scholars had 15 scholars in Ukraine matched up with faculty hosts at UMass Amherst. 9 of the 15 were matched with faculty at the Isenberg School of Management at UMass Amherst. I had the pleasure of working with Myroslava and also with Elena Besedina of KSE and Pavlo Martyshev of KSE as well as Oleg Nivievskyi of KSE. I published papers with all of them.

Nathan Greenfield wrote this wonderful article in World University News about the meaning of this partnership and you can see therein quotes from Kushnir, Besedina, and Martyshev.

Myroslava told me that she was the only Ukrainian that presented at the ISCRAM Conference.

Our research continues and we expect to have an announcement of the 2nd round of Virtual Scholars before too long.

Working with faculty and researchers in Ukraine has been incredibly humbling and inspirational.

Friday, May 24, 2024

Three of My Former Isenberg PhD Students (All Females) Received Promotion and Tenure This Past Year

This has been a remarkable year in that, since last spring, three of my former Isenberg School of Management PhD students: Shivani Shukla, Dong "Michelle" Li, and Sara Saberi, all received promotions to Associate Professor with tenure at their home institutions, which are, respectively: the University of San Francisco (USF), Babson College, and Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI). Both Babson and WPI are in the state of Massachusetts.

Shivani is now the Program Director of the Business Analytics Major and Minor at the School of Management at the University of San Francisco. Michelle is a faculty member at Babson's Academic Division: Mathematics, Analytics, Science, and Technology. Sara is a faculty member at the School of Business at WPI and a year ago was named the Norton Assistant Professor. Shivani was notified in April 2023 and USF issued a press release on all the promotion and tenure awards. Michelle was notified of the good news last December, when her colleagues surprised her with a party. Sara heard in February her good news. WPI issued a press release on the promotions and tenure.

They are my 18th, 19th, and 20th PhD students and I have chaired the dissertation committees of three other PhD students. More information on their dissertations can be found on the Supernetwork Center site.

Congratulations to these outstanding Isenberg School PhD alumnae, who continue a great legacy of  research and education. 

Below is my and their academic genealogy, which includes Maxwell, Newton, and Galileo, by way of my PhD advisor at Brown University Stella Dafermos. We are truly standing on the shoulders of giants.

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

My Isenberg School of Management PhD Student Dana Hassani Receives the Outstanding Doctoral Student Research Award

As the 2023-2024 academic year was growing to a close, there were many celebratory events including my department's award ceremony that  I had blogged about.

And, at the final All School Meeting of the Isenberg School on May 9, 2024, there were faculty and PhD students recognized for research and teaching as well as staff for their accomplishments.

I was thrilled to hear that my Isenberg School PhD student, Dana Hassani, who has completed almost two and a half years in our doctoral program in Operations Management, was the sole recipient of the 2024 Isenberg School Outstanding Doctoral Research Award! I had nominated Dana for this award.

Below is a collage of photos taken after the announcement and prior to the Senior Barbecue that followed.

Dana has already had two journal articles published, one in the European Journal of Operational Research, and the other one in the Journal of Global Optimization.

Both of these papers, Dana co-authored with me and with colleagues at the Kyiv School of Economics (KSE) in Ukraine, Professor Oleg Nivievskyi and Dr. Pavlo Martyshev. Preprints of these and other papers of ours can be found on the Supernetwork Center website: These papers are reflective of a wonderful collaboration began through the UMass Amherst - KSE partnership, which was established after the full-scale invasion of Ukraine by Russia on February 24, 2022. Pavlo was one of 15 Virtual Scholars in our first round and was placed with me as a Faculty Host.

In addition, we, recently, heard that another joint paper of ours, "Quantification of International Trade Network Performance Under Disruptions to Supply, Transportation, and Demand Capacity, and Exchange Rates in Disasters," has been accepted for publication in: Dynamics of Disasters- From Natural Phenomena to Human Activity, I.S. Kotsireas, A. Nagurney, P.M. Pardalos, S. Pickl, C. Vogiatzis, Editors, Springer Nature Switzerland AG.

The achievement of Dana's receipt of this award is quite impressive since there are 7 departments in the Isenberg School of Management.

The research on international agricultural trade network equilibrium problems continues, with various policy interventions, analysis of disruptions due to the war, as well as impacts on food security. 

Our KSE colleagues inspire us as do all Ukrainians fighting for their freedom and that of democracies globally.

Saturday, May 11, 2024

Congratulations to the UMass Amherst INFORMS Student Chapter and to its Officers!

The end of the academic year is filled with all sorts of celebratory events as well as award ceremonies. 

The academic life is intense but extremely rewarding.

I have served as the Faculty Advisor of the UMass Amherst INFORMS Student Chapter since its founding in 2004 and next Fall we hope to mark its big 20th Anniversary! This Chapter is an outstanding collaboration between the Isenberg School of Management and the College of Engineering.

This past Thursday evening, after the classes were over with at UMass Amherst, we hosted the end of the semester party at the Isenberg School of Management.

The students did a great job, under the leadership of this year's Chapter President, my PhD student, Dana Hassani, in organizing the event, which included ordering food from award-winning UMass Dining and Catering.

Professor Ladimer S. Nagurney and I brought several types of varenyky / pierogies (warm and buttered) and Polish sausages plus delicious Italian and Polish cookies.

Attendance of faculty and students was outstanding at this party, which demonstrates the warm and inclusive community that we have built at UMass Amherst of operations researchers!

At this party, we recognized both this year's and last year's incredible Chapter Officers with Outstanding Award Certificates that were framed. The Chapter has accomplished so much in terms of hosting speakers, leaders, and even panels plus their role in building community through social events, such as this party, are so very much appreciated.

Congratulations to the Chapter Officers, who received their Outstanding Service Awards and were able to attend: Dana Hassani, Ogechi Vivian Nwadiaru, Samirasadat Samadi, Paola Furlanetto, Sindhoora Prakash, Yukti Kathuria, G. Busra Karkili, and Ismael Pour. Yiwen Wang, Josh Gladstone, and Semih Boz were also recognized for their great service to this INFORMS Student Chapter. 

Service as a Chapter Officer builds many skills, including leadership. And, for those students (many of the members are PhD students) who enter academia after receiving their doctorates, service activities are important, along with excelling at research and teaching. Universities run on those three "pillars."

Thanks to all the faculty: Professors Arzum Akkas, Bogdan Prokopovych, Ahmed Ghoniem, Agha Iqbal Ali, Erin Baker, Hari Balasubramanian, and Chaitra Gopalappa that were able to join us for the party. Thanks also to Professors Senay Solak, Peter Haas, and Ana Muriel for their terrific engagement with our students and chapter activities!  It was extra special that two of the exchange students from the Kyiv School of Economics (KSE) in Ukraine: Asta Motrenko and Marharyta Nechytailo came and enjoyed the varenyky and the warm conversations very much. You can read here about a panel that they spoke at which was organized by this Chapter with support also provided by the International Programs Office.

I am very grateful to Dean Anne P. Massey and to Vice Provost Kalpen Trivedi for their superb support of our students.

On the UMass Amherst INFORMS Student Chapter website you can find information about the chapter as well as news items and many photos.

Saturday, May 4, 2024

Lovely Operations & Information Management Awards Celebration 2024

On May 2, 2024, in the Inn at Boltwood in downtown Amherst, my department held an Awards Celebration to recognize student achievements.

It was a lovely evening with delicious food, great company, and ceremony recognizing each student awardee. The full list from the program is below.

The two students that I had nominated, Khang Banh, who is from Vietnam, and is an undergraduate graduating this month, and Dana Hassani, who is my PhD student, concentrating in Operations Management,  received the OIM Exceptional Impact Scholarship. Khang Banh, in addition, is one of only ten recipients of the Outstanding Student Employee Award this year from UMass Amherst! Dana is the President of the UMass Amherst INFORMS Student Chapter and has already published two journal articles, co-authored with me and colleagues in Ukraine at the Kyiv School of Economics, Professor Oleg Nivievskyi and Dr. Pavlo Martyshev.

It was delightful to meet family members, who came, as well as friends of the students.

The Chair of the OIM Department, Professor Senay Solak, and Dr. Michele Burch, the Co-Chair of the OIM Department, did a superb job reading bios of the students and assisting with giving out the awards.

Many thanks to my OIM colleague, Dr. Oscar Lopez, for taking the below group photos. Along with Professor Ladimer S. Nagurney, I had to leave a bit early for another event. It is a very busy time of the academic year with many celebrations taking place.

Special thanks to Dr. Shirley Shmerling and Susan Boyer and Dr. Ying Liu for the great work on selecting the awardees and on organizing the event with a special shoutout to our outstanding Office Manager Samantha Whittle for designing and producing the elegant program, the name cards, and making sure that the event was so memorable!

And, most importantly, congratulations to all the student awardees! Your work ethic and creativity and dedication and academic success inspire us. The awardees hail from multiple countries and one even from the town of Amherst.

Terrific Production and Operations Management Society (POMS) 2024 Conference in Minneapolis

I'd like to thank the organizers of the 2024 POMS Conference, which took place in Minneapolis, Minnesota, April 25-29. Full information on the program and associated activities can be found on the conference website:

Both my Isenberg School of Management PhD student, Dana Hassani, and I presented at this conference and Dana also took part on the Doctoral Colloquium as did another Operations Management Isenberg School PhD student, Busra Karkili. Dana shared with me the lovely group photo below taken at the colloquium.

Coincidentally, on our flight from Bradley Airport to Minneapolis, were both Busra and her PhD Advisor, Senay Solak, who is also chair of our OIM Department.

I presented my latest work on food security, international trade, and nutritional subsidies by governments, whereas Dana presented one of our papers on the quantification of international trade network performance under disruptions to supply, transportation, and demand capacity, and exchange rates in disasters, done with colleagues, Oleg Nivievskyi and Pavel Martyshev at the Kyiv School of Economics in Ukraine. The below collage was prepared as a memento from this great POMS conference.

My presentation was based on a paper that was recently published in the International Transactions in Operational Research and was recognized with an Editor's Choice Award.  Special thanks to Telesilla Kotsi for organizing a very interesting session and inviting me to speak

It was extra special, because of the serendipity at conferences, to see Tinglong Dai and Suresh Sethi plus Kathy Stecke and even Zihao Qu, who will be joining our Operations and Information Management Department, Isenberg School of Management, UMass Amherst.

It was delightful to see several of our Isenberg UMass PhD alums there, including recently promoted and tenured Michelle Li, and Heng Chen, and Sara Saberi also took part. My colleague, Ahmed Ghoniem, also was at the conference. It was lovely to meet many other conferees and to reconnect with others through such warm, fascinating conversations, including a great conversation with Andres F. Jola-Sanchez! As promised, I have posted our presentations on the Virtual Center for Supernetworks site:

Thanks also to Springer Nature Group Editor Matthew Amboy for displaying my Labor and Supply Chain Networks book at the Springer booth at the conference!

With best wishes to everyone as the end of the academic year comes to a close and with many summer conferences on the horizon!