#INFORMS15 TutORial 11 (today 1:30pm): Discrete optimization models for homeland security and disaster management

This tutorial will be given by Laura Albert McLay from the Industrial Engineering & Systems Engineering Department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Room 108A at the Convention Center.

Preparing for and responding to disasters, including acts of terrorism is an important issue of national concern. Recent disasters underscore the need to manage disasters so that their effects. In this tutorial, we survey the operations research literature that develops and analyzes discrete optimization models for effectively mitigate, prepare for, respond to, and recover from a wide variety of disasters. We overview the types of disasters, the elements of disasters, and the Federal agencies involved in managing disasters. Then we discuss information, data, and modeling approaches for disasters. Next, we highlight research involved in disaster mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery. In each of these areas, we discuss one or two major streams of research that has emerged in the literature.


Laura Albert McLay is an Associate Professor of Industrial & Systems Engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her research interests are in the field of operations research, with a particular focus on discrete optimization with application to homeland security and emergency response. Dr. Laura Albert McLay’s research has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Department of the Army, Sandia National Laboratory, and she has been awarded an NSF CAREER award. She has authored or co-authored 45 publications in archival journals and refereed proceedings. Her research has been awarded several honors, including four best paper awards.

Dr. Laura Albert McLay is the former Presidents of Women in OR/MS (WORMS, a forum of INFORMS) and the INFORMS Section on Public Sector Operations Research. She is currently serving on the INFORMS Strategic Planning Committee, Finance Committee, and IT committee. She is a Department Editor for IIE Transactions and is an Associate Editor for International Transactions on Operational Research and OMEGA. Dr. Laura Albert McLay is a member of INFORMS, IIE, the Society for Risk Analysis, Tau Beta Pi, and Alpha Pi Mu. She recently served on a National Research Council Committee. She is the author of the blog “Punk Rock Operations Research.” You can find her on twitter at @lauramclay.