Plenary & Keynote Speakers

Christopher Tang photo

Christopher Tang

UCLA University Distinguished Professor
Edward Carter Chair in Business Administration, UCLA Anderson School

Making Supply Chain Transparent for a Better World: Information and Analysis

Companies are gaining more supply chain visibility to reduce their supply chain risks, but few are disclosing what they know with the public.  Should a firm disclose its supply chain information to the public?  What are the risks and opportunities?  I plan to present some recent research and case-based studies to illustrate how supply chain transparency can improve our world: planet, people and profit.

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Richard C. Larson

Institute for Data, Systems, and Society
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

The Services Industries:  Some Insights Provided by Operations Research

Over the past 100+ years, economies of the developed world have moved seismically from agriculture (over 50% of US employment in 1900), to manufacturing and now to services (typically 80% of current jobs).  Operations Research (OR), often aided by IT and data analytics, has played and continues to play a vital role in policy and decision making in services.  Presenting recent examples, we range broadly from (1) urban OR, to (2) pandemic influenza and vaccine allocation modeling, to (3) modeling the process of science/engineering PhD production and academic employment; to (4) queue performance inference made possible by recent results in data analytics.  Two illustrative surprises:  (a) We identify and interpret the high “birth rate” of university professors, the numbers of PhD students produced over a faculty lifetime; (b) We present an improved vaccine allocation policy that would have reduced the number of USA influenza cases by 5,000,000 in 2009, the year of H1N1 flu pandemic.    We conclude with a discussion of needs to erase traditional academic silos when addressing the services industries, as most real problems are difficult and multi-faceted, requiring inter-disciplinary if not trans-disciplinary approaches, not unlike the multi-person teams put together in the 1940’s by our OR founders

  • Dr. Larson is Mitsui Professor in MIT’s Institute for Data, Systems, and Society. He focuses on operations research as applied to services industries.  He is author, co-author or editor of six books and over 150 scientific articles, in urban service systems, queueing, logistics, disaster management, disease dynamics, education and workforce planning.  Dr. Larson’s research on queues has resulted in new computational techniques, and with his alter ego “Dr. Queue,” has been covered extensively in national/international media.     He is a recipient of the INFORMS President’s Award, Lanchester Prize and Kimball Medal.  He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering.

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David D. Yao

Piyasombatkul Family Professor of Industrial Engineering and Operations Research
Columbia University

Integrated Risk-Hedging and Production Planning

Traditional production planning is primarily a quantity or capacity decision, which must be made at the beginning of a planning horizon before production starts. Adding a real-time control, a risk-hedging strategy, throughout the horizon can better mitigate the risk involved in demand volatility. We demonstrate how this can be done in terms of jointly optimizing both the capacity and the hedging decisions. The problem formulation addresses a shortfall risk measure and subjects the hedging strategy to partial information and a budget constraint. The results lead to a complete characterization of the improvement in risk-return tradeoff achieved by the hedging strategy. (Joint work with Liao Wang.)

  • David D. Yao is the Piyasombatkul Family Professor of Industrial Engineering and Operations Research at Columbia University, where he co-chairs the Financial and Business Analytics Center at Columbia Data Science Institute. His research and teaching interests are in applied probability and stochastic systems, focusing on resource control and risk management issues. He is an IEEE Fellow, an INFORMS Fellow, and a member of the National Academy of Engineering. He currently serves on the Board on Mathematical Sciences and Analytics of the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine.

Shmuel Oren photo

Dr. Shmuel S. Oren

Earl J. Isaac Chair Professor, Department of Industrial Engineering and Operations Research
UC Berkeley

Smart Markets for a Smart Electricity Grid

Socio economic forces, development in generation technologies and environmental considerations have led to restructuring of the electric power systems in part of the USA and in many systems worldwide, transforming them from vertically integrated regulated monopolies to competitive market based systems. From a supply chain perspective competitive electricity markets represent, perhaps, the most challenging supply chain. The commodity is non-storable; demand is uncertain and highly correlated with weather, all the demand must be satisfied instantaneously with a high level of reliability (one day in ten years criteria for involuntary load curtailment). In addition service is provided over a network that is prone to congestion, flows over transmission lines cannot be directly controlled as in a transportation system (flows follow Kirchhoff’s laws) and the market is encumbered by numerous externalities and market power. In spite of such obstacles there has been fascinating developments in the design and operations of competitive electricity markets over the last fifteen years through the use of state of the art optimization tools and economic principles. This talk will describe some of the key challenges in designing and operating competitive electricity markets. I will review the basic elements and alternative approaches adopted in different systems and discuss what we have learned so far in this area. I will also discuss new challenges and opportunities due to massive integration of renewable resources, proliferation of smart grid technologies and electrification of the transportation sector.

  • Dr. Shmuel S. Oren is the Earl J. Isaac Chair Professor in the Department of Industrial Engineering and Operations Research at UC Berkeley He is a co-founder and the Berkeley site director, of PSerc, a multi-university Power Systems Engineering Research Center. He has also been a member of the California ISO Market Surveillance Committee and a consultant to many private and public entities in the US and abroad. His Research has focused on nonlinear optimization, mechanism design, energy systems and on the design and analysis of electricity markets. He holds a B.S and M.S in Mechanical Engineering from the Technion, Israel and an M.S and Ph.D in Engineering Economic Systems from Stanford University. He is a Member of the US NationalAcademy of Engineering, is a Life Fellow of the IEEE and Fellow of INFORMS.