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Plenaries & Keynotes

Sunday, 10-10:50AM

Room 301AB, West Building

Introducer: Young-Jun Son, Professor and Department Head
University of Arizona,

Plenary: Riding Technology Waves: Perspectives and Opportunities for Operations Research

This talk begins with a fly-by of almost six decades of information technology beginning with its use to automate business processes and extending to its current role in consumer self-service, the internet of things, and in intermediating social processes. The resulting “data exhaust” together with the availability of low cost computing capacity spawned the age of analytics, the rise of big data, the birth of cognitive computing and the reinvigoration of artificial intelligence. The past, current and potential role of analytic methods in these technology waves will be discussed, with focus on the opportunity to use analytics and automation to create new data. Areas in need of further study by the Operations Research community will be highlighted.

Brenda Dietrich, Ph.D.
Arthur and Helen Geoffrion Professor of Practice
Operations Research and Information Engineering
Cornell University

Sunday, 3:10-4PM

Room 301AB, West Building

Introducer: Tim Anderson, Portland State University,

Plenary: Networks to Save the World: OR in Action (Omega Rho Lecture)

Networks have evolved to become the foundational framework for a wide range of applications, beginning with classical transportation and logistics problems. In this talk, I will feature network-based results in multiple areas such as: perishable product supply chains from food to healthcare, disaster relief, cybersecurity, and the new Internet, and illustrate how netwORks are transforming our understanding of the world and enhancing our futures.

Anna Nagurney
John F. Smith Memorial Professor
Director, Virtual Center for Supernetworks
Department of Operations and Information Management
Isenberg School of Management
University of Massachusetts

Monday, 10-10:50AM

Room 301AB, West Building

Introducer: Margaret L. Brandeau, Stanford University,

Plenary: Learning in Games (Philip McCord Morse Lecture)

Selfish behavior can often lead to suboptimal outcome for all participants, a phenomenon illustrated by many classical examples in game theory. Over the last decade we developed good understanding on how to quantify the impact of strategic user behavior on the overall performance in many games (including traffic routing as well as online auctions). In this talk we will focus on games where players use a form of learning that helps them adapt to the environment, and consider two closely related questions: What are broad classes of learning behaviors that guarantee high social welfare in games, and are these results robust to situations when game or the population of players is dynamically changing.

Download Morse Paper

Éva Tardos
Department of Computer Science
Cornell University

Tuesday, 9:30-10:20AM

Room 301AB, West Building

Introducer: Ali Abbas, University of Southern California,

Plenary: Adopting a Risk-Based Approach to Passenger Screening

In 2011, the Transportation Security Administration began piloting a risk-based approach to aviation passenger screening. This effort represented a fundamental change in the government’s thinking about aviation security.  Today, more than 350 million travelers receive expedited screening, and the approach is widely accepted.  Adaptations of the U.S. program are functioning in Canada, Germany, Israel, Netherlands and the U.K.  However, during the development of this initiative TSA leaders faced several policy decisions relating to accepting risk, treating passengers differently, and how to segment passengers into risk categories.  This talk provides an insiders’ perspective on TSA’s efforts to implement risk-based security from one of the initiatives leading architects.

Kenneth C. Fletcher
Kestrel Hawk Consulting, Inc.

Monday, 3:10-4PM

Room 301AB, West Building

Introducer: Georgia Perakis, MIT,

Keynote: Scaling Transportation Capacity in the Age of E-Commerce

Even as Amazon experiences year-over-year growth in package volume, it’s been able to speedup delivery times and shorten the time it takes between when an item is ordered and the moment that item arrives on a customer’s doorstep. Amazon’s fulfillment business – along with that of other online retailers – has increased the pressure on parcel delivery transportation capacity both in the US and overseas. Continuing to satisfy customers’ needs will require more efficient use of existing networks and the creation of additional capacity for package sortation, line haul trucking, air freight, and last mile delivery. The challenge of designing a network that can meet these dynamic needs requires us to develop technical solutions implemented through design tools that incorporate the latest process innovations. There are both technical and organizational challenges in creating network design decisions, which involve inventory placement, facility operations, facility locations, network connections, and scheduling. While the technical challenges are at least partially met through solving large-scale combinatorial optimization problems, the organizational challenges require innovative mechanisms that motivate network-wide cooperation while also allowing decentralized, scalable operation.

Russell Allgor
Chief Scientist

Monday, 3:10-4:00PM

Room 301D, West Building

Introducer: Karla Hoffman,  George Mason Univeristy,

Keynote: Stochastic Optimization, Statistical Modeling and Distributed Processing Applied to Energy Planning (IFORS Distinguished Lecture)

The explosive growth of renewables has compounded the modeling challenges for investment and operational decisions in the energy area: (i) joint representation of hydro, wind, solar as a multivariate, multiscale stochastic process; (ii) solving the co-optimization of storage (hydro, batteries etc.), renewable-driven generation reserves and power transmission as a multistage nonconvex stochastic optimization; and (iii) because renewable integration benefits from regional interconnections (portfolio effect), probabilistic simulations are carried out for very large systems. In this talk, we show that these challenges can be successfully addressed by the combination of: new nonconvex stochastic optimization algorithms such as SDDiP; advanced geoprocessing and Bayesian networks; distributed computational and data management tools; and new optimization-centered programming languages such as Julia/JUMP. The application of these tools will be illustrated with real planning studies for the US Pacific Northwest and energy integration of South America.

Mario Veiga Pereira

Monday, 3:10-4:00PM

Room 301C, West Building

Introducer: Dell, Robert, Naval Postgraduate School,

Keynote: UPS George D. Smith Prize

The UPS George D. Smith Prize recognizes an academic department of program for effective and innovative preparation of students to be good practitioners of O.R., management science, or analytics. The UPS George D. Smith Price is created in the spirit of strengthening ties between industry and the schools of higher education that graduate young practitioners of operations research.

The UPS George D. Smith Prize is named in honor of the late UPS Chief Executive Officer who was a champion of operations researchers at a leading Fortune 500 corporation. UPS has generously underwritten the award in his memory. Apply for 2019 prize by October 31.

Tuesday, 3:40-4:30pm

Room 301AB, West Building

Introducer: Georgia Perakis, MIT,

Keynote: Operational Innovation to Profitably Achieve Net Negative CO2 Emissions

Operational innovation in the construction industry and the palm oil industry could increase profitability and reduce the CO2 emissions associated with those industries (perhaps even to net negative levels), and thus substantially reduce global anthropogenic CO2 emissions. I will describe new teaching materials and research that illustrate these hopeful prospects.

Erica Plambeck
Stanford University

Tuesday, 3:40-4:30PM

Room 301D, West Building

Introducer: Anne Robinson, Verizon,

Keynote: Franz Edelman Award

The Franz Edelman Award for Achievement in Operations Research and the Management Sciences calls out, recognizes, and rewards outstanding, high impact applications of OR/MS. Each year, six finalists compete in the “Super Bowl” of O.R. in practice. Apply for the 2019 Award by October 17.

Tuesday, 3:40-4:30PM

Room 301C, West Building

Introducer: Patricia Neri, SAS,

Keynote: Wagner Prize Winner

The Daniel H. Wagner Prize is awarded for a paper and presentation that describe a real-world, successful application of operations research or advanced analytics. The prize criteria emphasize innovative, elegant mathematical modeling and clear exposition.

The competition sessions will be held Monday, Nov. 5, in the Phoenix Convention Center, beginning at 11am.

Wednesday, 9:40-10:30am

Room 224, North Building

Introducer: Ali Abbas, University of Southern California,

Keynote: Energy Industry Transformation through Advanced Analytics

The regulated energy utility industry is in the midst of a massive transformation being driven by several inexorable trends: the growth of distributed energy resources, the desire to transition to a carbon-free economy, the desire of regulators to change the regulatory construct between society and utilities, asset digitization, the speed and costs of computing, and an aging workforce all contribute to an industry in a state of great flux. This presentation will explore how one utility, National Grid, is embracing Advanced Analytics to not only survive these disruptions, but to thrive in the energy landscape of the future.

Jorge Calzada
former Director at National Grid
Advanced Data & Analytics Department

Wednesday, 9:40-10:30AM

Room 229, North Building

Introducer: Pavlo Krokhmal, University of Arizona,

Keynote: OR and the Transportation Tech Revolution

Sparked by the growth of ridesharing startups (Uber, Lyft) – the transportation tech sector has already produced some of the highest valued startups in history. Soon after this initial ridesharing wave, attention turned to autonomous vehicles with significant R&D efforts launched by tech giants (Google, Telsa, Apple), major automakers (GM, Daimler, Ford, FCA), ridesharing companies (Uber, Lyft) and mobility startups (Adaptiv, Nutonomy, Mobileye). Over the past year, the tech world pivoted yet again to scooters (Bird, Lime) and bikes (Jump, Motivate) – birthing yet another round of billion-dollar startups. In this talk, I examine the technological and economic forces behind this unpresented wave of innovation and investment in transportation and why in creates an unprecedented opportunity for our field of Operations Research (OR).

Garrett J. van Ryzin
Head of Marketplace Labs at Lyft
Charles H. Dyson Family Professor of Management, Cornell Tech