Dear INFORMS friends and colleagues,
Welcome to the 2018 INFORMS Annual Meeting in Phoenix. The Phoenix Convention Center offers a layout for our technical tracks that is very convenient. Located in the heart of downtown Phoenix, the convention center is surrounded by an entertainment district replete with music and drama theaters, sports arenas, restaurants, and museums.
The theme of this year’s meeting is Smart City and Sustainable Communities. Smart cities are the new paradigm when it comes to urban sustainability. They make sustainable urban solutions such as public transit, renewable energy systems, and buildings more attractive and efficient by adding information and communications technologies.
We have a superb lineup of plenary speakers: Brenda Dietrich, Cornell Engineering (former Vice President of IBM), will give the opening plenary talk; Anna Nagurney, University of Massachusetts, will deliver the Omega Rho Lecture on Sunday; Éva Tardos, Cornell University, will give the Philip McCord Morse Lecture on Monday; and Kenneth Fletcher, former CRO at the TSA and now with Kestrel Hawk Consulting, Inc., will be our final plenary speaker on Tuesday.
Please take advantage of the networking opportunities, including the Welcome Reception, General Reception, Career Center, and Exhibit Hall activities. The General Reception on Tuesday evening will
take place at the Arizona Science Center, which is a short walk from the convention center.
Other noteworthy events include the INFORMS Pro Bono Analytics Program, which has partnered with St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance, a food bank and distribution network, to coordinate a volunteering initiative for Annual Meeting attendees to build snack packs for Phoenix’s homeless population. Go to the INFORMS Center in the Exhibit Hall to participate in this activity. I would like to thank those who have provided the financial support to purchase food items and those who will donate their time to build the packs during the conference.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the INFORMS Meetings Department for their professionalism and help, and INFORMS leadership and staff who contributed to the meeting success. The INFORMS Meetings Committee has served as a great partner in organizing the meeting. Leadership of the INFORMS communities and the cluster and session chairs have organized valuable tracks and sessions. Finally, I am grateful to the following members of the Organizing Committee for their hard work: Program Chairs Pavlo Krokhmal, University of Arizona, and Chris Tang, UCLA; Plenary and Keynote Chairs Georgia Perakis, MIT, and Ali Abbas, USC; Emerging Topics Sessions Chairs Scott Mason, Clemson University, Oleg Prokopyev, University of Pittsburgh, and Ming Hu, University of Toronto; Contributed Sessions Chairs Jian Liu, University of Arizona, and Rong Pan, Arizona State University; Interactive Sessions Chairs Neng Fan and Junming Yin, University of Arizona, and Burcu Keskin, University of Alabama; Sponsored Sessions Chairs Jianqiang Cheng, University of Arizona, and Jorge Sefair, Arizona State University; TutORials Chairs Esma Gel, Arizona State University, and Lewis Ntaimo, Texas A&M; Practice Program Chairs Jing Li, Arizona State University, and Renee Thiesing, Simio; Arrangements Chairs Danielle Embry, University of Arizona, and Feng Ju, Arizona State University; Social Chair Jackie Askin, National Association of College & University Business Officers; and Combined Colloquia Liaison Burcu Keskin, University of Alabama.
I would also like to gratefully acknowledge the generous support from the sponsors, which makes our meeting possible. They are: AIMMS, AMPL, Bayer, Cardinal Operations, Carnegie Mellon Tepper School of Business, DiDi Chuxing, FICO, GAMS, Gurobi, IBM, JD.com, Lyft, Pennsylvania State University, SAS, Seth Bonder Foundation, SF Technology Co., Ltd, Uber, University of Arizona College of Engineering, University of Texas at Austin Cockrell School of Engineering, Operations Research and Industrial Engineering, University of Texas at Dallas Naveen Jindal School of Management, Wayfair, and Youhualin.
It is my great pleasure and privilege to welcome you to INFORMS Annual Meeting 2018! I hope you enjoy the conference and find it professionally rewarding.