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In this episode we will explore three different applications of O.R. and analytics in sports, from basketball, to baseball, and beyond! Joining me for this episode are Sheldon Jacobson of the University of Illinois to discuss NCAA March Madness basketball brackets, Michael Trick of Carnegie Mellon University to give insight in to Major League Baseball game scheduling, and Walt DeGrange of CANA Advisors and past chairman of the INFORMS SpORTS Section to discuss current and developing applications of O.R. and analytics in sports.
In this episode we will learn how O.R. and analytics are helping the men and women of law enforcement and the corrections systems, from improving the health of prison inmates, to simplifying the assignment of inmates to the appropriate prison, to helping New York city police men and women better predict and respond to crime. Joining us for this episode are Tamas Terlaky, president of Optamo and professor at Lehigh University, Mohammad Shahabsafa, chief operating officer at Optamo and Anshul Asharama, Chief Information Officer at Optamo, who share their INFORMS Wagner prize award winning research on improving inmate scheduling for the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections. In addition, we will hear from Alex Cholas-Wood, former Director of Analytics for the NYPD and Evan Levine, Assistant Commissioner of Data Analytics at the Office of Crime Control Strategies with the NYPD, who have created a new system called Patternizr to aid the NYPD in identifying and predicting crime patterns. Finally, we are joined by Turgay Ayer of the Georgia Institute of Technology, who will discuss his research to identify a protocol for treatment that could significantly reduce the number of Hepatitis C infected prisoners.
In this episode we will hear from the new INFORMS president Ramayya Krishnan who will share some insight on what exciting things are in store for INFORMS in the coming year, Shane Henderson and David Shmoys of Cornell University on their INFORMS Wagner Prize winning research on bike share programs, and Alina Sorescu of Texas A&M university whose research takes a deep dive into the ups and downs of the financial stock market over a period of nearly 200 years.
In this episode, I am joined by a very special guest, Santa Claus, who called into the podcast all the way from the North Pole to share the role that O.R. and analytics plan in his annual journey to deliver toys around the world. In addition, you will hear from the INFORMS volunteers and the nonprofit leadership of the INFORMS Pro Bono Analytics projects for the Baltimore Teacher Supply Swap and Young Audiences: Arts for Learning of New Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania, who share how O.R. and analytics helped these organizations better serve their communities.
This is the second of two special podcasts produced this month, both recorded during the INFORMS 2018 Annual Meeting. We will be speaking to a number of INFORMS member who are presenting during the meeting on topics that highlight the ways O.R. and analytics are being used to save lives, save money and solve problems. In this episode, we will be discussing how O.R. and analytics are providing valuable insight into some of the most complex problems facing our world today, including improving aviation security precheck procedures, protecting the security of elections in the U.S., and increasing the success rates of kidney transplants in underserved populations.
This month, we will be producing two special podcasts, both recorded during the INFORMS 2018 Annual Meeting. We will be speaking to a number of INFORMS member who are presenting during the meeting on topics that highlight the ways O.R. and analytics are being used to save lives, save money and solve problems. In this episode, we will be discussing how O.R. and analytics are providing valuable insight into some of the most complex problems facing our world today, from calculating the number of undocumented immigrants in the U.S., to using drones to  provide healthcare to patients with chronic illness in rural settings, to  helping improve outcomes for human trafficking victims. 
In this episode, we will be taking a sneak peek at our upcoming Annual Meeting, and some of the exciting topics and sessions that will be covered, as well as diving into some of INFORMS' unique programs and efforts. Joining us for this episode are James Cochran of the University of Alabama to discuss the newly published INFORMS Analytics Body of Knowledge; Carrie Beam of the University of Arkansas to introduce an exciting new competition, Freestyle O.R. Supreme, that will debut at this year’s Annual Meeting; and Alan Briggs from Data Robot, to share the impact of the Certified Analytics Professional certification on his career path.
In this episode, we explore three unique ways that operations research and analytics are being used to save lives, save money, and solve problems. Our guests include John Dickerson of the University of Maryland and Tuomas Sandholm of Carnegie Mellon University whose research on improving kidney exchange success could significantly improve the number of successful kidney transplants; Eva Lee of the Georgia Institute of Technology whose research in pediatric heart surgery has unexpectedly provided new insight to help fight America’s opioid epidemic; and Tallys Yunes of the Miami Business School who has some very valuable insight that can help all the fantasy football fans out there use O.R. to improve their lineups.
INFORMS is very excited to share the launch of our brand new podcast series, Resoundingly Human, which is dedicated to bringing O.R. and analytics to life by highlighting the incredible contributions of our members who are using O.R. and analytics to save lives, save money, and solve problems. Our first episode features members of INFORMS leadership to explore different ways that INFORMS is helping to spread the word on the important role that O.R. and analytics play in our everyday lives. Our guests in this episode include the 2018 INFORMS president Nicholas Hall, Brian Denton, who served as the 2017 president, and the Director of public affairs and marketing for INFORMS, Jeff Cohen. Each will provide special insight into INFORMS current objectives and goals, as well as new initiatives and a look ahead to next steps.
Semiconductors. Everyone uses them, but how many of us really know what they are, what they do, and the increasingly important role they play in our modern world? Much like supply chains, artificial intelligence and other O.R. buzzwords that are making their way into the public conscious, semiconductor is a term that most of us have probably heard, but their actual significance might remain a bit of a mystery. And perhaps even less well known are the challenges associated with their manufacturing, especially with the ongoing issues relating to supply chains, and alarmingly, the risk this could pose to national security. In this episode I’m joined by Zachary Collier, professor with Radford University and a visiting scholar at the Center for Hardware and Embedded Systems Security and Trust (CHEST), to take a deep dive into all things semiconductor and tackle some of these questions and growing concerns.
It’s the end of a long day, or maybe the start to a fun weekend … you lean back in your chair, hammock, front porch step, wherever, and crack open your favorite brew. Life. Is. Good. But have you ever thought why your favorite beer IS your favorite? Nowadays, chances are (especially if you are a millennial) you’re drinking the product of one of nearly 10,000 craft breweries here in the U.S. and NOT one of the large traditional beer companies that have been such a significant part of the history of brewing in America (Budweiser Clydesdales, anyone?). And why are the beers that are popular today are so different from those our parents and grandparents enjoyed in previous decades? Today I’m excited to dive into the takeoff of craft beer brands with Bart Bronnenberg, a professor with the Tilburg School of Economics and Management at Tilburg University in the Netherlands. His study “Millennials and the Takeoff of Craft Brands: Preference Formation in the U.S. Beer Industry” looks at the rise of craft brands, particularly beer, in the U.S. and their impact on the market.
Operations research, analytics and data science can provide a wide range of solutions to many of the challenges facing organizations, from staffing to resource allotment to evaluating success and failure, if you have a business problem, O.R. and analytics can provide an effective, data-based solution. But making sure you are picking the correct solution, the right approach for your unique problem, is just as important. Sure, having AI or machine learning-based solutions might sound super cool, but how do you know it’s actually the right answer to your problem? And when organizations are investing thousands if not more in these solutions, a lot is riding on the choice you make.    We’ll be exploring the answers to these questions and more, with a particular focus on data-centric vs. decision-centric analytics and solutions, with Karen O’Brien. Karen O’Brien is an analytics leader and a 20-year public servant, having served in diverse analytics and leadership roles within the Department of the Army as a member of the Army Civilian Corps. Her applied operations research experience ranges from ballistics to logistics and she has built advanced data analytics capabilities in multiple organizations. By training, her undergraduate work was in physics and chemistry, and she leverages her MS in Predictive Analytics from Northwestern University to bridge the worlds of big data analytics and classic operations research.
Today’s episode will be a little different than most, we’re going to take a bit of a detour but stick with me and I promise, I’ll bring us back around to data science. I’m going to take us back in time a little, back to the first time I watched what was to become my favorite movie, Jaws. It was the summer between 4th and 5th grade (probably way too young to be watching a movie about a killer shark) and I was at a sleepover where the next day, after being thoroughly terrified by this movie, we went to the beach where, wait for it, a shark had washed up on shore! Needless to say, I spent much of the rest of that summer playing in the dunes, BUT, it cemented in me an absolute fascination and, let’s be honest, fear of sharks. So fast forward a couple of decades to this summer, I’m on my morning run through the Pennsylvania woods, far from any beach, and listening to my newest podcast obsession, “Réunion: Shark Attacks in Paradise,” which is about a series of unprecedented shark attacks on the French island of Réunion. All of a sudden, I hear the host mention “the totally fascinating academic journal Management Science.” That’s right, the INFORMS journal Management Science! He’s referring to an article by UC Berkeley professor Charles West Churchman titled “Wicked Problems” and proceeds to lay out the shark attacks on Reunion as a wicked problem! I literally stop dead in my track, I’m texting my coworkers, “The coolest thing ever just happened!” and of course, I keep bingeing the podcast. So needless to say, I am beyond excited to welcome Daniel Duane, award winning journalist and author, and host of my new favorite podcast, to talk about what exactly data science has to do with a series of shark attacks on a small island in the Indian Ocean.
We’re just about halfway through the summer, and with many days of warm weather still ahead, most of us are planning fun outdoor activities or family adventures, or maybe just working toward our summertime fitness goals. But for some, ok many of us, staying active can be a struggle, not only to reach our fitness goals, but to stick to our good exercise habits in the long run. The use of wearable heath devices, such as a Fitbit can serve as a valuable tool not just for tracking progress, but of setting goals and helping motivate users to meet them. However, new research shows that there are ways to enhance the effectiveness of these tools, for even longer-term benefits through a process called gain-loss incentives. I’m pleased to introduce Idris Adjerid from Virginia Tech to discuss the findings of his study, “Gain-Loss Incentives and Physical Activity: The Role of Choice and Wearable Health Tools,” which will be published in the INFORMS journal Management Science.
There is not a single country in the world that is not touched by human trafficking. Let that sink in. The number of people victimized by human slavery across the globe is currently greater than the populations of London, New York and Los Angeles combined. This is not a problem affecting people on the other side of the world, it’s one here at home, very likely in our own communities. One that will require collaboration and diverse and innovative approaches to combat. Joining me today is Renata Konrad, professor of industrial engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, who is using her background and experience to explore the role that engineering can play in combatting the complex and growing challenges involved in combatting human trafficking.
It’s no secret that women are making great strides forward in the workplace. In major cities across the country, analysis shows that the gender pay gap is closing. The number of women in mathematics, science and other STEM occupations is continuing to grow as well. In addition, the number of women entrepreneurs has increased by 48% year over year. That means the number of women taking the jump to start their own businesses each year is growing in leaps and bounds! However, it’s also no secret that there are still hurdles to cross, many more milestones to reach, and unfortunately, continued negative assumptions to overcome. In today’s episode, we’ll be exploring new research in the INFORMS journal Organization Science has revealed that when a female investor supports a female entrepreneur, it can negatively affect the business owner’s ability to obtain further investments. Joining me to discuss her study, “Does Investor Gender Matter for the Success of Female Entrepreneurs? Gender Homophily and the Stigma of Incompetence in Entrepreneurial Finance” is Kaisa Snellman of INSEAD. We’ll discuss her findings, what insights or awareness we can gain from this new data, and ultimately, how we can enact positive change so we don’t take steps backward in the upward trajectory of professional women.
As the host of this podcast, I am in a unique position to hear first-hand from people who are having an incredible impact on the world in such an amazing variety of ways, which in my role, I then have the pleasure of sharing with our listeners. While each episode of the podcast communicates an important discovery or significant impact, it’s seemed like a number of recent episodes, at least in my eyes and ears, have captured stories of the impact of O.R. and analytics that regardless of whether you have a background in these fields, are pretty inspiring. From reducing poaching to help revitalize populations of wild tigers, to helping teach AI to think more like we do, to helping craft better policies to protect and better serve some of our most vulnerable dialysis patients, to interviews featuring the 2022 Franz Edelman Award finalist teams, these episodes have shared stories of brining together skilled people from a variety of fields, organizations and backgrounds to collaborate on addressing significant problems across the globe. And I’m excited to share that today’s episode, is no exception. Joining me is Ayan Mukhopadhyay, a research scientist with Vanderbilt University and one of the recipients of the 2021 Google AI for Social Good Impact Scholar Award. Ayan is involved in a number of projects that are having a significant positive impact on the world around us, but today we’ll be talking in particular about his work with HelpMum, a non-profit organization based in Nigeria dedicated to improving the lives of African mothers and children. 
Common sense. A highly valued trait among our peers, partners, friends, and honestly anyone we interact with on a regular basis. Difficult to define at best, common sense is a necessary component to decision-making, helping us navigate any number of choices we must make day to day, to presumably achieve the best outcomes. And while common sense is an inherently human trait, much like our emotions, as applications of artificial intelligence in our daily lives continue to grow, from customer service interface to smart home technology, can common sense be introduced to this technology to improve their decision-making capability? Or will technology’s inability to incorporate common sense place a hard stop on the role that AI will ultimately play? Joining me to take a closer look at the challenges of introducing common sense into AI decision-making is Mayank Kejriwal with the University of Southern California, who is leading a research team exploring this very topic.
For this episode, I am so pleased to once again be joined by the 2022 INFORMS President Radhika Kulkarni. We started 2022 off with my first interview with Radhika as president and discussed what was in store for INFORMS in the coming year. Radhika joins me once again to share some important INFORMS milestones and updates on a few of the topics we discussed earlier this year.
Wildlife conservation is an enormous global undertaking, vital to ensuring the health and longevity of our planet, and that the incredibly diverse plant and wildlife species we share our world with are here for generations more to come. A significant threat to conservation efforts is the poaching of wildlife, which can be difficult and even dangerous to combat and is pushing many species towards extinction, while also helping to support a multi-billion-dollar illegal wildlife trade. I’m pleased to introduce my guest for today’s podcast, Lily Xu with Harvard University, whose work to create a data driven approach to combat poaching in protected areas around the world led to the development of PAWS, the Protection Assistant for Wildlife Security. Perhaps most exciting is the hope that, with the help of PAWS, not only can we reduce the impact of poachers but ultimately reintroduce populations of wild tigers back into areas where they once thrived. I’m also thrilled to share that Lily’s work was awarded the INFORMS Doing Good with Good O.R. prize – which recognizes outstanding student projects with a significant societal impact – and I’m excited for the opportunity to speak with her about it.
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