Good-bye and Thank You from eNews Daily!
Like the banana boat heading off into the sunset, we at INFORMS must say good-bye to San Diego and our wonderful meeting attendees. We hope you enjoyed the coverage of important sessions, feature articles, session change information, and photos. We look forward to seeing you next year at the INFORMS 2010 Annual Meeting in Austin, Texas, November 7-10. For coverage of Wednesday's sessions and events, be sure to check your in-box next week for the 2009 INFORMS Annual Meeting Daily eNews wrap-up issue. Farewell!
Today's Key Events
Plenaries and Keynotes
Yossi Sheffi, MIT, "Global Supply Chain Management Education," Hilton Sapphire I, 4th floor
8-9:30am, 11am-12:30pm, and 12:45-2:15pm
Hilton room 310
Enduring educational information from the Annual Meeting.
Exhibits Open9am-1pm, Convention Center, Exhibit Hall H
Be sure to visit the Exhibit Hall today. Forty exhibitors will be on hand to share their expertise and services. Congratulations to Tuesday's Kindle winners, Si Chen and Bar Ifrach.
Please Take Our eNews Survey
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When you are finished with your program book, please return it to the INFORMS Registration Desk, and we will recycle it for you. Thank you.
Session on Climate Engineering
On Wednesday in the WC01 session (12:45-2:15pm, Convention Center room 21), research will be presented about climate engineering as a response to climate change. This research has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the Financial Times, Bloomberg, and Time magazine. In addition, this research was selected by a panel of Nobel laureates in economics as the best way to respond to climate change over the next decade. You can read more about the project here.
|Wagner Prize Presentations to Be Offered On-Demand After the Annual Meeting
It's been a big meeting with lots to choose from, so you may have missed the Wagner Prize presentations on Monday. No problem! In just a few weeks, INFORMS will offer meeting attendees and all members a chance to see these presentations of the very best of applied O.R. research on demand via the Web. Watch for an emailed offer from the INFORMS office to view any or all of these excellent 30-minute presentations: Hub Group, IBM, Intel, Petrobras, and Schneider National. Please note that the presentation from General Electric is not available at this time. Congratulations to 2009 Wagner Prize winner Schneider National.
Wagner Prize Announcement
by Seda Tepe
Today, the winner of the Wagner Prize was announced. Schneider National was named the winner among other competitors like IBM, Intel Corporation, and General Electric. After receiving the Wagner Prize, Hugo Simao and his team once more presented their project, "Approximate Dynamic Programming Captures Fleet Operations for Schneider National." In this award-winning project, Schneider National aimed to fulfill the need to replicate the behavior of their team of dispatchers. This problem was a complex one because it had a 15-dimensional attribute vector. Schneider National used approximate dynamic programming to solve this problem. They proposed a solution for 6,000 drivers, each described by a 15-dimensional attribute vector. The model that they propose has a high performance when used for historical data and also simulates good estimates for the marginal value of each of the 500 types of drivers. This project led to a savings of a million dollars for Schneider National. This project was performed by Hugo Simao, Jeff Day, Abraham George, Ted Gifford, John Nienow, and Warren Powell.
A Banquet of Consequences: Adventures in Climate Policy ModelingIn Tuesday's keynote speech, Professor John D. Sterman of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology stated that "everybody, soon or late, has to sit down to a banquet of consequences caused by the climate change." In addressing this banquet of consequences, Sterman discussed the adventures of climate modeling.
by Yichuan Ding
He explained that the emission of CO2 is about twice that of its net removal. With such a trend, catastrophic climate change will be inevitable as a result of the greenhouse effect. However, the reaction of the government and the public is slow. Sterman believes the reason is because of the failure of scientists to understand how policy makers and the populous are thinking. The models and assumptions created by scientists are often too complex to follow. The misconception makes the policy maker less aware of the risk of climate change.
Sterman invented an interactive simulation model, Climate Rapid Overview and Decision-support Simulator (C-ROADS), and corresponding software, C-Learn. By using C-Learn, the policy maker can use the software to watch how a certain policy will change the global climate. For example, how much CO2 emission will be reduced by implementing emission restrictions for a steel company? The results displayed by the software are designed to be intuitive and straightforward so that the policy maker can be easily informed of the consequences of certain policies. The software has already been used in the United States and China.
When he declared that "it is not too late now, but we really cannot wait," Sterman received an extended applause.
The software C-Learn is free on http://climateinteractive.org/.
Globalization and the Residential University
by Seda Tepe
On Tuesday, Thomas Magnanti, an Institute Professor and Former Dean of Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), gave a keynote address on globalization and international collaborations in higher education. Globalization is an important factor in the establishment and management of higher education institutions, and its impact cannot be neglected in our times. In this inspiring seminar, Magnanti addressed the opportunities and challenges that globalization offers universities in general, and engineering schools in particular, with a specific application at MIT.
Globalization can be observed simply at universities in the United States. There are over half a million international students in U.S. universities, and more specifically, 47% of the engineering graduate students are international. Although the percentage of international students is higher in the United States, studying abroad or foreign language programs allow students to pursue their educations all over the world. Master's and Ph.D. programs in particular host foreign students more often. In addition, international research and professional collaborations are the benefits of globalization from the educational institutes' point of view. Last but not the least, establishing educational institutes or research labs brings economic improvements and cultural enrichment to the corresponding location.
MIT sets a good example with its globalization process. Students at MIT come from 113 countries constituting 27% of 10,300 students. Similarly, 35% of the faculty is foreign born. MIT has several campuses all over the world. The establishment of MIT's campus in Singapore, Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART), contributed to MIT's strength in certain strategic areas and created new innovative research programs. SMART also helped MIT to have a greater connection in Asia. Magnanti stated that they considered Singapore because it has the available physical infrastructure and it is a strategic location serving as a bridge between the United States and Asia. English being the official language is another definite advantage. However, globalization still has significant challenges:
Magnanti concluded his keynote with a quote from Mencius (300 BC): "Friendship is one mind in two bodies." An effective international partnership is nothing but friendship.
- The definition of global strategy
- Opportunity costs
- Potential tension with residential campus
- Limited faculty resources
- Many competing international opportunities
- Maintainance of institutional core values (and culture)
- Relationships often complex
- Organizations, finances, politics
- Sustainability and renewal
- Personalization to institutionalization
Further Appications of the Increasingly Smart Cell Phone
by Yichuan Ding
"3G will enable 80% mobile broadband subscriptions in 2013." This was the claim made by Irwin Mark Jacobs, the co-founder of Qualcomm, in his plenary speech "Informing the Globe with Wireless: Opportunities for Innovation and Impact."
He first reviewed the important innovations of wireless technology in the past decades. One great innovation Jacobs mentioned is the code division multiple access (CDMA), a channel access method utilized by radio communication technologies. CDMA was developed following the commercial launch of OMNi in 1988, and the first commercial 2G CDMA was launched in Hong Kong in 1995. The CDMA worldwide network is currently widely used in third-generation cellular mobiles. Qualcomm, having pioneered the development of CDMA, now witnessing the successful era of CDMA.
Jacobs then introduced a bright vision of wireless technology applications in the future. By 2013, Jacobs predicted that approximately 25% of handsets sold will be smartphones; the development of mobile commerce will make phones into multipurpose payment platforms, including both remote payments and proximity payments; and wireless mobile devices and sensors will help transform healthcare in the near future.
He is enthusiastic for a global initiative of wireless research, including 37 projects in 22 countries. One such example is PKUnity in China, where the goal of the program is to bring Internet connectivity to schools in rural areas.
According to Professor Henry Wolkowicz of the University of Waterloo, "I can use wireless sensors to find where my son is in the future." His current interest is in using an optimization method, semidefinite programming, to locate wireless sensors, an important application of operations research methods in wireless research.
Optimization in Flight Schedulingby Jessica Ng
There is great opportunity for advancement in the field of flight scheduling, specifically with the end goal of improving customer satisfaction and airline operational cost savings. This topic was explored in detail in Tuesday's "Joint Session AAS/TSL: Optimization in Flight Scheduling."
In a hub-and-spoke airline structure, nearly all flights originate from a central hub. However, airlines such as Southwest and JetBlue follow a linear point-to-point routing system involving several focus cities. A disadvantage of the linear point-to-point architecture is that it may require multiple connections to span a long distance. Considering the high operating costs associated with operating multiple flights, Gerardo de la O of Texas Tech University has developed a model to help regulate the spacing of consecutive flights that serve the same origin-destination pairs of airlines following the linear routing structure. His model aims to determine airplane flight paths that consider departure times that minimize flight overlaps and on-land operational costs.
Flight personnel scheduling also proves to be a difficult task, not only because of the scale of the problem but because of the multiple constraints that must be considered when determining an optimal scheduling solution. In his research, Jose Walteros of the Universidad de los Andes explored several models to address the single and multiday crew pairing problem. In a novel approach, one model employs a permutation generator that divides a sequence of flight legs into feasible pairings that are in turn used to create a network depicting multiple possible solutions. There is still vast opportunity for improvement in developing a better hybrid pairing algorithm.
The current process for determining gate assignments for delayed flights is performed ad hoc, posing huge operational cost sinks. In tackling the flight gate reassignment problem, Binod Maharjan of Texas Tech University aims to construct an assignment model that minimizes the fuel burn cost of repositioning flights to different gates and the passenger transfer cost. The model for addressing fuel burn cost alone involves over 4 million variables and 600 constraints. Maharjan has achieved relatively quick computation times with this model; however, effort is still needed to integrate transfer passenger costs to the algorithm.
Birthday Session for Warren Hausman and Bob Carlson
by Jessica Ng
Tuesday's "Birthday Session for Warren Hausman and Bob Carlson" was more than a birthday celebration; the presenters recognized Hausman and Carlson for their guidance and presented their own contributions to the OR/MS field. Professors in the Department of Management Science and Engineering at Stanford University, both Hausman and Carlson are esteemed within the OR/MS field, bringing to the table many years of professional experience within academia.
OR and BI: Leveraging the Power of In-Database Analytics
Anne Robinson of Cisco's Information and Data Strategy Group, along with Blake Johnson, assistant professor in Stanford's Department of Management Science and Engineering, discussed the benefits of integrating predictive and optimization modeling capabilities within enterprise data warehouses (EDWs). Business intelligence (BI) is a fairly new industry that seeks to provide data analytics for decision-making guidance. Time lag associated with the data extraction and transformation processes as well as the limited modeling capabilities of certain BI platforms have provided great challenges for the progression of analytical modeling. Robinson and Johnson propose shifting towards an in-data architecture to help overcome these challenges and to provide greater intelligence for the business and, ultimately, greater value to the OR analyst.
A Central Warehouse with a Dual Role in the Supply Chain
Kyle Cattani, an associate professor at Indiana University's Kelley School of Business, presented his findings on the beneficial impact of having a central warehouse assume a dual-role in inventory distribution. In his case study's supply chain model, a central warehouse acts a point of distribution to several regional warehouses as well as to the direct customer. In the setting of Cattani's case study, this dual role structure positively impacted the supply chain process by meeting direct customer demand by an order-by-order basis and refilling replenishment orders at regional distribution sites without negatively affecting the direct customer. This supply model, in the context of his study, has helped drastically improve overall inventory levels at both the central and distribution warehouses.
Free -- 2009 TutORials in Operations Research CD!
Pick up your copy of the 2009 TutORials in Operations Research CD at two locations: the Registration Desk and INFORMS Booth #41 in the Exhibit Hall. Find the coupon for the free CD enclosed in your registration envelope.
Attendees must present the special 2009 TutORials CD coupon to receive their free CD.
Durai Sundaramoorthi Wins Tuesday's Interactive Session
Congratulations to Durai Sundaramoorthi, Missouri Western State University, for winning Tuesday's Interactive Session with his presentation, "Simulation and Optimization of Nurse-to-Patient Assignments."
2009 Decision Analysis Society Practice Award
The Decision Analysis Society announced the winner of this prestigious award last night.
The winner is
"SPRINT: A Decision Analysis Based System for Prioritizing R&D Investments at Baxter Healthcare," Phil Beccue and Chris Dalton
The runners-up are
"Modular Influence Diagrams and Warranty Cost Reduction" by Robert Bordley
"Decision Support for Patients at the UCSF Breast Care Center," by Jeff Belkora, Shelley Volz, Meredith Loth, and Alexandra Tang
Blog of the Day
Matt Saltzman highlights the challenges of being green in his blog post
FREE Internet at Convention Center
Free wireless Internet and the Email Center are located in the Convention Center, Exhibit Hall H, at the back of the hall. There are a limited number of computers available. Your name badge must be worn for admittance. There is no complimentary wireless available in the Hilton.
Engage with Online Tools at the Annual Meeting
Go to the Annual Meeting website during the meeting for commentary from your friends and colleagues.
All attendees are invited to tweet about the Annual Meeting; be sure to add the hash tag "#informs09" to the beginning or end of your tweets to identify them as pertaining to the INFORMS Annual Meeting. Meetings staff will also use Twitter to communicate late-breaking changes to the program.
Join our LinkedIn Group devoted to the Annual Meeting. Ninety of your colleagues have done so already. Go here to see news, find jobs, and join the discussion.
Photos and Video
Please take photos and video at the Annual Meeting and e-mail them to us at http://contest.informs.org/flip for posting on the Annual Meeting website. Contributors will be eligible to win one of two Flip Video Mino Series. Contest rules are here.
INFORMS Booth Activities
Stop by the INFORMS Booth in the Exhibit Hall (#41-43) to receive valuable products and information:
Exhibit Hall hours:
- 50% off bookstore sale
- Free sample journals giveaway
- Information on volunteering
- Free Community newsletters
- Free 2009 Edelman DVD
- Membership information (what's changing in 2010)
- Pick up your 25+-year ribbon
Follow the INFORMS Meeting announcements on Twitter.
|INFORMS Booth/Bookstore Sale!|
Stop by the INFORMS Bookstore for savings on print and electronic products. The bookstore is located at the INFORMS Booth #43. Attendees will receive a 50% discount off select book titles while supplies last. Plus pick up your complimentary TutORials in OR CD and Edelman DVD, purchase recently published books, and register for the INFORMS PubsOnLine Suite (all 12 journals online) for just $99.
|H1N1 Flu Precautions|
We recognize that some people at the INFORMS meeting have concerns about the H1N1 flu. We encourage all attendees to use common-sense precautions to protect both yourself and those around you:
+Wash your hands frequently with soap and water. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective and can be purchased at any drug store. There will be convenient Purell hand sanitizing stations available at the San Diego Convention Center and Hilton.
+If you sneeze or cough, use a tissue to cover your mouth; then safely discard the tissue and wash your hands.
+If you feel ill, with a fever and flu-like symptoms, please inform the INFORMS meeting organizers that you are ill so we can assist you if needed. Contact the INFORMS Registration Desk at 619.525.6333.