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Saif Benjaafar

Distinguished McKnight University Professor and Professor and Incoming Head of Industrial and Systems Engineering; Director, Initiative on the Sharing Economy; Fellow of the Institute on the Environment, University of Minnesota

Models for the Sharing Economy

The sharing economy is used to denote emerging business models that enable the access to products and services on an on-demand basis. In some cases, this access is mediated by a digital platform that connects suppliers (often single individuals who are willing to share assets or provide a service) with buyers. Some of these platforms have been successful in overcoming the inefficiencies of peer-to-peer interactions by reducing transaction and search costs, facilitating payments, reducing moral hazard, and enabling trust among strangers. Others have been successful in harnessing economies of scale by tapping into idle assets or leveraging the crowd. These platforms present unique operational challenges regarding how best to match supply and demand, including pricing, wage setting, real time matching of buyers and suppliers, and the management of inventory and workforce, among others. They also raise important questions regarding the impact on consumers, incumbent firms, and society (e.g., environmental impact and impact on labor welfare).  In this tutorial, we describe recent efforts at developing models for the design, analysis, and optimization of these systems. In particular, we draw on three papers that consider (1) peer-to-peer product sharing, (2) labor platforms for on-demand services, and (3) product rental networks. We also discuss the many outstanding opportunities for operations and management science research in this area. (Based on joint work with Costas Courcoubetis, Jian-Ya Ding, Xiang Li, Xiaobo Li, Guangwen Kong, and Terry Taylor.)

  • Saif Benjaafar is Distinguished McKnight University Professor at the University of Minnesota. He is Incoming Head of the Department of Industrial & Systems Engineering at the University of Minnesota, where he also directs the Initiative on the Sharing Economy. He is a founding member of the Singapore University of Technology and Design where he served as Head of Pillar (at the rank of Dean) for Engineering Systems and Design. His research is in the area of operations and supply chain management, with a current focus on sustainable operations and innovation in business models, including sharing economy, on-demand services, and digital marketplaces. His papers have been published in various journals including Management Science, OR, and MSOM. His research has been funded by NSF, DOT, DHS, and DARPA in the US and by NRF and MOE in Singapore. His research work has been recognized by numerous awards, including the Harold Kuhn Award, the MSOM Best Paper Award, and the George Taylor Distinguished Teaching Award. He has consulted widely with leading companies and organizations such as Honeywell, General Mills, 3M, and the World Bank, among many others. He served on the Advisory Board of the Keppel Corporation and is currently a member of the Board of Directors of Hourcar.

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Chuck Zhang

Professor, Stewart School of Industrial & Systems Engineering, Georgia Tech

Applications of Custom 3D Printed Physiological Heart Valve Models for Reducing Heart Surgery Risks

3D printing is finding more and more applications in medical fields, particularly personalized healthcare, due to its capabilities of producing patient-specific products, devices, and prototypes/models. This tutorial presents an innovative method of producing patient-specific, tissue-mimicking heart valves with sensing capability by integrating metamaterial design, multi-material 3D printing and printed electronics techniques. The physiological models can help surgeons or cardiologists make informed diagnosis, optimize surgery planning, and practice the operation prior to the surgery. In addition, the tissue-mimicking heart valves can provide effective means for surgeon training and patient education. This method is demonstrated through an application case of predicting post-surgery paravalvular leak of transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) procedure for treating aortic stenosis conditions. The 3D printed heart valve models were found to be effective in mimicking the valves of real patients for surgery outcome prediction. This tutorial will also present the ongoing research of this project: to explore the application of the virtual physiological models to augment the limited real patients data for developing machine learning-based predictive models to improve medical devices design, and diagnosis and treatment of certain medical conditions.

  • Dr. Chuck Zhang is Professor in the School of Industrial & Systems Engineering and Georgia Tech Manufacturing Institute at Georgia Institute of Technology. His current research interests include additive manufacturing, cyber-physical systems, and advanced composites/ nanocomposites manufacturing. Dr. Zhang has managed or conducted numerous research projects sponsored by major federal agencies including National Science Foundation, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Department of Defense, and Department of Veterans Affairs, as well as industrial companies such as ATK, Cummins, Delta Air Lines and Lockheed Martin. He has published over 180 refereed journal articles and 200 conference papers. Dr. Zhang also holds 24 U.S. patents.
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Rema Padman

The H. John Heinz III College of Information Systems and Public Policy, Carnegie Mellon University

Healthcare Informatics and Analytics

The significant advances in clinical and consumer health technologies combined with the rapid developments in advanced analytics of high dimensional, high volume, and complex healthcare data is powering a transformation of healthcare delivery worldwide. Innovative analytical techniques are being developed to support a range of decisions that include predicting responses to different treatment regimens, individual and population level risk assessments, detecting anomalies, and preventing deterioration in the health status of the patient. Supporting patient – provider communication and shared decision making via intelligent reminders, notifications and informed guidance, and providing smart healthcare delivery operations to increase satisfaction, efficiency and quality of care are further capabilities being architected using informatics tools. Learning current and potential best practices from data using quantitative methodologies, such as statistical machine learning and operations research, and translating the new evidence to the frontlines of care via efficient software implementations and institutional deployments, offer both major challenges and opportunities for researchers and practitioners alike. This tutorial will highlight some of the methods and tools to address these issues with illustrative examples drawn from clinical, consumer self-care and public health domains.

  • Rema Padman is Professor of Management Science and Healthcare Informatics, Thrust Leader of Healthcare Informatics Research at iLab, Research Area Director for Operations and Informatics at the Center for Health Analytics in the H. John Heinz III College at Carnegie Mellon University, and Adjunct Professor in the Department of Biomedical Informatics at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Her research investigates healthcare analytics and operations, data-driven decision support and process modeling and risk analysis in the context of clinical and consumer-facing information technology interventions, such as e-health, m-health, chronic and infectious disease management and workflow analysis, in the inpatient, ambulatory and consumer self-health management settings.


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Nicholas G. Hall

INFORMS President and Professor, Fisher College of Business, Ohio State University

Research and Teaching Opportunities in Project Management

One-quarter of the world’s economic activity, with an annual value of $18 trillion, is organized using the business process of project management. This process has exhibited dramatic growth in business interest in recent years, with a more than 1000% increase in Project Management Institute membership since 1996. Contributing to this growth are new applications, for example IT implementations, research and development, software development, corporate change management, and new product and service development. However, the very different characteristics of modern projects present new challenges. The partial resolution of these challenges by industry over the last 15 years presents numerous interesting opportunities for academic researchers. These research opportunities make use of a remarkably broad range of methodologies, including robust optimization, cooperative and non-cooperative game theory, predictive analytics, and behavioral modeling. Furthermore, the $4.5 trillion that is annually at risk from a shortage of skilled project managers, and the 15.7 million new jobs in project management expected by 2020, provide great opportunities for contributions to project management education. These educational opportunities include the integration of case studies, analytics challenges, online simulations, in-class games, self-assessment exercises, videos, and guest speaker presentations, which form an appealing course for both business and engineering schools.

  • Nicholas G. Hall is Fisher College of Business Distinguished Professor at The Ohio State University. He holds a Ph.D. in Management Science (1986, University of California, Berkeley. His research interests are in project management, incentives, and scheduling. He published over 80 articles in Operations Research, Management Science, Mathematics of Operations Research, Mathematical Programming, Games and Economic Behavior, Interfaces, and other journals. He has given over 360 academic presentations, including 112 invited presentations in 24 countries, 11 conference keynote presentations, and nine INFORMS tutorials. He was President of MSOM society (1999-2000). In 2018, he is the 24th President of INFORMS.

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Robert Fourer

President, AMPL Optimization Inc.
Professor Emeritus, Northwestern University

Model-Based Optimization for Operations Research: Best Practices and Current Trends

As optimization (or prescriptive analytics) has grown as a tool for business decision-making, a key factor in its success has been the adoption of model-based optimization. Using this approach, an analyst’s major work is to describe a problem of interest by means of an algebraic model, while the computation of a solution is left to general-purpose, off-the-shelf software. Powerful modeling systems manage the difficulties of translating between the human modeler’s ideas and the computer software’s needs. This tutorial introduces model-based optimization and offers a guide to its effective use.

  • Robert Fourer is co-founder and President of AMPL Optimization Inc. Since 1979 he has also been on the faculty of Industrial Engineering and Management Sciences at Northwestern University, where he is currently Professor Emeritus. In collaboration with colleagues at Bell Laboratories, he initiated the design and development of AMPL, a widely used optimization language and system; he has also been a contributor to the NEOS Server and other efforts to make optimization services available over the Internet.  He shared the Beale-Orchard-Hays Prize for NEOS, and the INFORMS Impact Prize in recognition of the influence of algebraic modeling languages for optimization.

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Eva K. Lee

Virginia C. and Joseph C. Mello Chair and Professor, School of Industrial and Systems Engineering
Georgia Tech

Machine Learning and Big Data Analytics

The effect of big data is being felt everywhere, from business to science, from government to the arts. Information has gone from scarce to overabundant. This makes it possible to do many things that previously could not be done: uncover business trends, prevent diseases, combat crime, plus a multitude of other possibilities. Harnessing the data well may bring huge and innovative benefits, unlock new sources of economic value, provide fresh insights into science and provide policy makers with solid and convincing evidence to support their stands. Yet critical challenges lie ahead, including data security, privacy, and yet-to-be-discovered technology to effectively and efficiently analyze the data for business innovation. Multi-source data system modeling, machine learning and big data analytics play an increasingly important role in modern business enterprise. Many problems arising from multi-source data can be formulated into mathematical models and can be analyzed using sophisticated optimization, decision analysis, and computational techniques. In this tutorial, we will discuss various machine learning technologies, and share some of our successes in healthcare, defense, and service sector applications through innovation in predictive and big data analytics.

  • Eva Lee, Virginia C. and Joseph C. Mello Chair and Professor, School of Industrial and Systems Engineering; Director, NSF-Whitaker Center for Operations Research in Medicine and HealthCare; Co-Director, NSF I/UCRC Center for Health Organization Transformation; Distinguished Scholar in Health Systems, Health System Institute, Georgia Tech/Emory University; Professor, College of Computing, Georgia Institute of Technology; Fellow, The Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS)

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Chi-Yi Kuan

Analytics and Data Science Leader, LinkedIn

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Yongzhen Zhang


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Songtao Guo

Business Analytics Manager, LinkedIn

How to Leverage Big Data Analytics to Grow Business

In this tutorial, we will illustrate the big data analytics lifecycle and share our practices leveraging advanced big data analytics and machine learning techniques to grow business at LinkedIn. You’ll learn how to empower business partners to access insights whenever needed, how to optimize business performance by leveraging unique data, and how to innovate for sustainable business growth.

  • Chi-Yi Kuan is a seasoned big data analytics leader with more than 15 years of industry experience in applying the-state-of-the-art big data analytics and solutions, data science, global risk management, and sales & marketing effectiveness at both Fortune 500 firms and startups. He combines deep expertise in analytics and data science with business acumen and dynamic technology leadership. Currently, Chi-Yi is director of analytics and data mining at LinkedIn. Previously, he worked at eBay and DemandTec (an IBM Company). He holds dual M.S. in Statistics and Engineering-Economic Systems & Operations Research from Stanford University.

  • Yongzheng Zhang is a Senior Manager of Data Mining at LinkedIn and an active researcher and practitioner of text mining and machine learning. He has developed many practical and scalable solutions for utilizing unstructured data for ecommerce and social-networking applications, including search, merchandising, social commerce, and customer-service excellence. Yongzheng is a highly regarded expert in text mining and has published many papers in top journals and conferences. He is also actively organizing tutorials and workshops on sentiment analysis at prestigious conferences. He holds a PhD in computer science from Dalhousie University in Canada.

  • Songtao Guo is a Principal Data Scientist and tech lead of Data Mining at Linkedin where he leads many of data driven products and analytics systems. His work involves building large-scale knowledge base, inventing data mining platforms to scale business analytics and partnering with product, sales, and bmarketing to deliver impactful solutions. Before joining LinkedIn, Songtao was a senior researcher at AT&T interactive, focusing on improving data quality and search relevance for local business search. He holds a PhD in computer science from University of North Carolina at Charlotte.


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Kai Hoberg

Full Professor of Supply Chain and Operations Strategy, Head of Logistics Department, Kühne Logistics University

Analytics for the Supply Chain 4.0

Supply chain management has always been technology oriented and data intensive. New technologies like robots in warehousing, self-driving trucks or IoT solutions offer many interesting possibilities for supply chain research. However, the on-going explosion of data available along the supply chain has also attracted a lot of attention from practice and academia. Until recently, the supply chain management community has focused primarily on complex mathematical models and operations research methods. However, now there is a strong push by many scholars to leverage new data sources and the breadth of data for creating new insights and to improve decision making. In this tutorial, we have a look at the analytics opportunities along the different stages of the supply chain and discuss some detailed applications.

  • Kai Hoberg is Professor of Supply Chain & Operations Strategy at Kühne Logistics University in Hamburg. Before joining KLU, he was Assistant Professor of Supply Chain Management at the University of Cologne. After his studies, he worked as a strategy consultant and project manager for Booz & Company conducting supply chain and operations management projects. His research topics include supply chain analytics, role of technology in supply chains, inventory modelling, and the link between operations and finance. His research findings have been published in academic journals like JOM, POM or EJOR.

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Ranganath Nuggehalli

Principal Scientist

Lessons from the Crypt: Lessons Learned in Implementing Optimization Systems

Though the field of operations research was founded in practice, today there exists a substantial gap between its theoretical capabilities and real world impact. The field of operations research/management science/advanced analytics has never been more relevant than it is today. Our profession is in a unique position to solve the myriad problems that face our societies. The estimated $250 billion benefits generated by the by the 266 Edelman finalists since 1976, while very impressive, only represent the tip of the real savings produced by the operations research projects. Yet, a large number of systems are either never completed or fail to provide the full benefits. The never ending need for increased efficiency, availability of abundant data, and relatively inexpensive computing power makes it a golden age for the profession … provided we make use of the opportunity and deliver real world benefits. This interactive session will draw on the author’s more than 25 years of experience on implementing operations research systems and discuss the factors that contribute to the successful implementation and deployment of operations research systems.

  • Ranganath Nuggehalli is a principal scientist in the Operations Research group of UPS. His group is responsible for developing advanced planning systems for use in UPS operations. He is a laureate of the Franz Edelman Academy and a member of the UPS team that won the 2016 Franz Edelman Prize. He is an active member of the Institute for Operations Research and Management Sciences.

    He joined UPS in 1990 after completing Ph.D. in Operations Management from Purdue University. His childhood interest in improving efficiency led him to operations research. Implementing optimization based planning systems is his passion. Unfortunately, he is yet to learn that life is not an optimization process. His research interests are routing and scheduling, network modeling, location analysis, system integration, and computer-human interfaces.

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Jayashankar M. Swaminathan

Kenan-Flagler Business School, University of North Carolina

Responsible Operations: Models, Relevance and Impact

There is a growing movement across various industries around developing and optimizing business models that not only focus on financial goals but also impact the society and the environment in a positive manner. These topics focus on a wide range of for-profit and non-profit operations on environmental issues such as remanufacturing, alternative energy and carbon emissions as well as social issues such as child labor, humanitarian operations, agriculture and healthcare. Research models on responsible operations that incorporate optimization and data can have an influential role in positively impacting the society and world at large. In this tutorial, I will provide an overview of the types of problems in this domain, the unique dimensions that need special attention and discuss currently available methods and identify opportunities for future research in this area.

  • Jayashankar M. Swaminathan is the GlaxoSmithKline Distinguished Professor of Global Operations at the Kenan-Flagler Business School, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (UNC). He is also a Professor in the Department of Statistics and Operations Research at UNC. Dr. Swaminathan is an expert on productivity and innovation in operations related to healthcare, responsibility, product variety management, supply chain management and retail. His work with UNICEF provided impetus for changes in the global supply chain planning and execution for Plumpy’Nut (RUTF) into Africa. He has received numerous awards including the Obama-Singh Knowledge Initiative Award, National Science Foundation Career Award, George Nicholson Prize, Schwabacher Fellowship at UC Berkeley and Weatherspoon Distinguished Research and Teaching awards at UNC. In the past he has served the INFORMS community as an Associate Editor for Management Science, Operations Research and M&SOM journals as well as the Vice-President (Education) for INFORMS, and Vice-President (Meetings) for MSOM. He is currently serving as a Department Editor for Management Science and as a Co-Editor for M&SOM journal special issue on Responsible Operations. Dr. Swaminathan started his academic career as an Assistant Professor at Walter A. Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley after his doctoral studies in Industrial Administration from GSIA (now Tepper School of Business) at Carnegie Mellon University. He obtained his bachelors degree in Computer Science and Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi.
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George Shanthikumar

Richard E. Dauch Chair in Manufacturing and Operations Management, Purdue University

Data Integrated Stochastics: Models and Methods

This tutorial will review the current data integrated approaches for predictive and prescriptive analysis of stochastic systems. In particularly we will review: 1) approaches such as Multi-Armed Bandit, Regularization in Sample Average Approximation and Data Driven Robust Optimization for generating prescriptive solutions to stochastic systems, and 2) some of the Machine Learning approaches used for predictive analysis of stochastic systems. We will then provide a framework for data integrated methodology for predictive and prescriptive analytics for stochastic systems. Specific attention will be paid to overcoming structural and statistical errors. This is achieved through Operational Statistics and Objective Operational Learning which are built on the basis of data integration and cross validation. We will illustrate how, 1) regularization in sample approximation approaches and data driven robust optimization with cross validation relates to Operational Statistics, and 2) multi-armed bandit and machine learning approaches compares to Objectives Operational Learning. Applications in pricing and revenue management, inventory control, queueing systems performance evaluation and staffing in service systems will be demonstrated.

  • J. George Shanthikumar is the Richard E. Dauch Chair Professor of Manufacturing and Operations Management and a University Distinguished Professor of Management at the Krannert School of Management, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN and a Professor Emeritus of Industrial Engineering and Operations Research at the University of California, Berkeley, CA. Before joining Purdue, he was a Chancellor’s Professor of Industrial Engineering and Operations Research at the University of California, Berkeley, CA. He received the B. Sc. degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Sri Lanka, Peradeniya, and the M. A. Sc. and Ph. D. degrees in Industrial Engineering from the University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada. He is the president of POMS for the year 2018, is a Fellow of the Institute for Operations Research and Management Science (INFORMS) and Production and Operations Management (POM) Societies.


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Narasimhan Ravichandran

Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad

The Evolution of Supply Chain Function in the Context of India

Based on a set of illustrative examples, in this tutorial we attempt to capture the evolution of supply chain function in the Indian context. These examples span areas related to (a) supply chain with diffused priority (b) AAA supply chain ( c) cultural impact on supply chain design (d) mass customization ( e ) postponement strategy (f) optimization models to improve supply chain efficiency (g) model based response to strategic questions (h) Business Process Re-engineering (i) value chain reconfiguration and (j) managing Bull-whip effect.


The evolution of supply chain function in the Indian context is characterized by sporadic scientific applications in select industries. The under managed sectors’ performance in supply chain is surprisingly better. This situation is the consequence of the combined effect of lower bargaining power of consumers and modest intensity of competition. The supply chain in the Indian context is driven by availability of material rather than efficiency or effectiveness of the supply chain. The inefficiency of the supply chain is subsidized by the consumer. With the increase in the trend to integrate the Indian economy with the global economy, we expect the emphasis on supply chain and its performance would improve in the Indian context..


  • Dr. Narasimhan Ravichandran holds a PhD from Indian Institute Of Technology – Madras in applied probability. Prior to that he studied mathematics at the undergraduate level. He is faculty at Indian institute of Management Ahmedabad since 1980. He was appointed as Director (equivalent of Dean) in a state owned Business school for five years. He implemented some transformational changes in the Business school during his tenure. Dr Ravichandran teaches courses in operations management, SCM and competitive strategy at the MBA programme at IIM A. He is a founder of Case Research society of India (CRSI) not for profit to promote case method of teaching in India. He also founded a not for profit management research foundation (mrf) to facilitate to improve quality of management education in India.