I made it a point to attend the two Doing Good with Good OR sessions yesterday (Sunday). As in recent years, the presentations showed off impressive work, by students, on meaningful problems. It’s always gratifying to see another generation of students finding ways to use OR and analytics to contribute to society. I’m really glad I don’t have to be one of the judges; it would be a tough call. (I’m also getting over a bit of cognitive dissonance. The presentation on prostate cancer was by two young women, while the presentation on breast cancer was by a man.)
Speaking of young people doing good with OR, I had the good fortune to run into a couple of students from the University of Buffalo who had volunteered for a Pro Bono Analytics project. That particular project wound up “oversubscribed” with volunteers, and they were not selected by the client for the final team. Rather than sit and wait for another opportunity, the looked around the Buffalo area, found a charitable organization interested in getting some free analytics help, and developed their own analytics project. Way to go! Pictured below, at the Pro Bono Analytics/Safe Haven table, is U of Buffalo student/volunteer (and fellow Brooklynite — had to mention that) Jessica Dorismond.