Plenaries & Keynotes

Bar Ifrach

Uber Freight

Bar Ifrach heads the Marketplace team at Uber Freight, an Uber subsidiary that disrupts the trucking industry with technology. Bar is responsible for building and leading tech, operations, and strategy across core marketplace levers, such as pricing, matching, and marketplace design, with the goal of creating the most fluid and efficient freight marketplace. Prior to Uber Freight, Bar was a Director of Data Science at Airbnb, leading a group of over 60 data scientists who cover Airbnb’s core business unit — Homes — across analytics, inference, and algorithms. Among his main contributions at Airbnb was the founding the pricing team that currently provides price recommendations to millions of hosts and delivered substantial business value. Bar holds a BA in economics from Tel Aviv University (summa cum laude) and a PhD in operations management from Columbia Business School, where he researched learning and pricing in online marketplaces and game theory.After a postdoc at Stanford University, Bar joined Airbnb as a data scientist in the marketplace team in 2013, where he focused on optimizing matching through personalized search and marketplace design. In 2014 Bar founded Airbnb’s pricing team that currently provides prices suggestions to millions of hosts. In 2015 and 2016 Bar managed Airbnb’s Marketplace data science team, fueling Airbnb’s rapid growth through multiple efforts, including scaling Instant Booking to the majority of the business.

Eric Horvitz


Kamalini Ramdas

London Business School

Kamalini Ramdas is an expert in innovation. Kamalini’s research, teaching and consulting focus is on examining new ways to create value through service delivery innovation, operational innovation and business model innovation. Another stream of her research examines how entrepreneurial opportunities can be moved from seed to implemented product or service. She has served as co-principal investigator on a $1.2M grant to model and implement profitable cardiac preventive care via delivery innovation. She has also examined delivery innovation in an array of service industries supported by a grant from the UK Economic and Social Research Council. Kamalini’s research has been published in Management Science, Manufacturing & Service Operations Management, Production & Operations Management, New England Journal of Medicine, Harvard Business Review, and other journals. She has served as Departmental Editor of the Entrepreneurship & Innovation Department of Management Science. She teaches Business Model Innovation, Entrepreneurship, Operations Management and Healthcare. She has taught at the University of Virginia and the University of Texas at Austin, and has visited the Wharton School and the Indian School of Business, Hyderabad. She has spoken at the World Economic Forum Davos, TEDx London Business School and at a variety of other executive and professional audiences.

Karen Willcox

University of Texas Austin

Karen E. Willcox is Director of the Institute for Computational Engineering and Sciences (ICES) and a Professor of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics at the University of Texas at Austin. She holds the W. A. “Tex” Moncrief, Jr. Chair in Simulation-Based Engineering and Sciences and the Peter O’Donnell, Jr. Centennial Chair in Computing Systems. Prior to joining ICES in 2018, she spent 17 years as a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she served as the founding Co-Director of the MIT Center for Computational Engineering and the Associate Head of the MIT Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics. Prior to joining the MIT faculty, she worked at Boeing Phantom Works with the Blended-Wing-Body aircraft design group. Her research at MIT has produced scalable computational methods for design of next-generation engineered systems, with a particular focus on model reduction as a way to learn principled approximations from data and on multi-fidelity formulations to leverage multiple sources of uncertain information. She is a Fellow of SIAM and Associate Fellow of AIAA.

Nicolas Stier-Moses


I’m a Co-Director of the Facebook Core Data Science group. We work on a combination of innovative research and product work in the areas of Statistics, Inference, Machine Learning, Experimentation, Computational Social Science, Economics, Mechanisms, Algorithms, and Operations (in no particular order).

Between 2014 and 2018, I supported the Business and Operations team, within Core Data Science, focusing on (a) Game Theory (Marketplace modeling, Mechanism design, Ads and Auctions), (b) Optimization (Capacity Planning, Network Design), (c) Economics, and (d) Operations Management.

Prior to coming to Facebook, I was an Associate Professor at the Decision, Risk and Operations Division of Columbia Business School and the Business School of Universidad Torcuato Di Tella. I received a Ph.D. degree from the Operations Research Center of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Linda Green

Columbia Business School

Linda Green is the Cain Brothers and Company Professor of Healthcare Management at Columbia Business School. Her research, which has focused on the development and application of queueing and other stochastic models to improve service systems, has resulted in dozens of publications in the premier technical journals such as Operations Research and Management Science as well as prominent healthcare journals such as Health Affairs, Health Services Research, Inquiry and Academic Emergency Medicine. Her work over the past 25 years has focused on providing policy insights and operational methodologies to increase the efficiency, effectiveness and access to healthcare delivery systems. Specific projects have included reducing delays for emergency care, providing timely access to primary care, the development of new nurse staffing methodologies and the evaluation of physician and hospital bed capacity needs. She has been a consultant and advisor to numerous health systems, physician practices, health start-ups, and government agencies. Her work on prioritizing burn victims during a catastrophic event earned a best paper award from the INFORMS Section for Public Programs, Services and Needs and became a model for burn protocols across the country. Her work has been featured in various media outlets including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Business Week, Slate, and Crain’s New York. Dr. Green has held editorial positions for Operations Research and Management Science, including serving as the Department Editor for Stochastic Models for Management Science for over 12 years. She has been an INFORMS Fellow since 2004.

Russ Tedrake


Russ is the Toyota Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Aeronautics and Astronautics, and Mechanical Engineering at MIT, the Director of the Center for Robotics at the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab, and the leader of Team MIT’s entry in the DARPA Robotics Challenge. Russ is also the Vice President of Robotics Research at the Toyota Research Institute. He is a recipient of the NSF CAREER Award, the MIT Jerome Saltzer Award for undergraduate teaching, the DARPA Young Faculty Award in Mathematics, the 2012 Ruth and Joel Spira Teaching Award, and was named a Microsoft Research New Faculty Fellow.

Russ received his B.S.E. in Computer Engineering from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, in 1999, and his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from MIT in 2004, working with Sebastian Seung. After graduation, he joined the MIT Brain and Cognitive Sciences Department as a Postdoctoral Associate. During his education, he has also spent time at Microsoft, Microsoft Research, and the Santa Fe Institute.

Susan Athey

Stanford Business School

Susan Athey is The Economics of Technology Professor at Stanford Graduate School of Business. She received her bachelor’s degree from Duke University and her Ph.D. from Stanford, and she holds an honorary doctorate from Duke University. She previously taught at the economics departments at MIT, Stanford and Harvard. In 2007, Professor Athey received the John Bates Clark Medal, awarded by the American Economic Association to “that American economist under the age of forty who is adjudged to have made the most significant contribution to economic thought and knowledge.” She was elected to the National Academy of Science in 2012 and to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2008. Professor Athey’s research focuses on the economics of the internet, online advertising, the news media, marketplace design, virtual currencies and the intersection of computer science, machine learning and economics. She advises governments and businesses on marketplace design and platform economics, notably serving since 2007 as a long-term consultant to Microsoft Corporation in a variety of roles, including consulting chief economist.

IFORS Speaker

Andy Philpott

University of Auckland

Andy Philpott is Professor of Operations Research and co-director of the Electric Power Optimization Center at the University of Auckland. His research interests are in stochastic optimization and game theory and their application to electricity markets. Dr Philpott currently serves on the editorial board of Operations Research, and has previously served on the editorial boards of Mathematical Programming and Operations Research Letters. Dr Philpott is an Edelman Laureate and a Fellow of INFORMS.

Omega Rho Speaker

Robert Vanderbei

Princeton University

Robert Vanderbei is a Professor in the Department of Operations Research and Financial Engineering at Princeton University. From 2005 to 2012, he was chair of the department. In addition, he holds courtesy appointments in the Departments of Mathematics, Astrophysics, Computer Science, and Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. He is also a member of the Program in Applied and Computational Mathematics, is a founding member of the Bendheim Center for Finance, and a former Director of the Engineering and Management Systems Program.

Beyond Princeton, he is a Fellow of the American Mathematical Society (AMS), the Society for Applied and Industrial Mathematics (SIAM) and the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS). Within INFORMS, he has served as President of the Optimization Society and the Computing Society and is the 2017 winner of the Khachiyan Prize for his work in optimization. He also serves on the Advisory Board for the journal Mathematical Programming Computation.

He has degrees in Chemistry (BS), Operations Research and Statistics (MS), and Applied Mathematics (MS, PhD). After receiving his PhD from Cornell (1981), he was an NSF postdoc at the Courant Institute for Mathematical Sciences (NYU) for one year, then a lecturer in the Mathematics Department at the University of Illinois-Urbana/Champaign for two years before joining Bell Labs in 1984. At Bell Labs he made fundamental contributions to the field of optimization and holds three patents for his inventions. In 1990, he left Bell Labs to join Princeton University where he has been since.