INFORMS Prizes & Special Sessions

2014 INFORMS Prize

Mayo Clinic | Janine Kamath

Mayo Clinic has a rich history and culture of using analytics, operations research, and systems and management engineering for sustained excellence in clinical care, research, education and administration. This presentation will highlight the legacy, sophisticated infrastructure, novel application, dissemination of learning and key success factors related to leveraging analytics and engineering in healthcare delivery.


Janine R. Kamath is the Chair of Enterprise Systems and Procedures, the internal business consulting and management engineering group at Mayo Clinic.  The strategic and management consulting resources in this division are responsible for systems analysis, design, and implementation, reengineering and improvement of core processes, assisting with business strategy and planning, project management, and supporting various business transformation initiatives. Systems and Procedures provides business consulting and management engineering support for the Clinical Practice, Research, Education, Administration and Business Development.

Janine joined Mayo in 1993 as a Systems Engineer.  Prior to joining Mayo, she worked as an administrator/manager in two large pharmaceutical companies.  While at Mayo, she has supported and led multiple institutional initiatives related to Mayo’s Electronic Environment, Facilities Reintegration, Operations Analysis/Research, Systems Engineering, Care Process Redesign, Business Development, Analytics and Mayo’s Quality, Safety and Service program. She has also presented at national and international conferences and educational programs.   She was one of the course directors for the Mayo Clinic Conference on Systems Engineering and Operations Research.

Janine received a Masters in Business Administration from the Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota, in Information and Decision Sciences, a Masters in Personnel Management and Industrial Relations from Tata Institute of Social Sciences in Bombay, India, and a Bachelor in Economics, Psychology and Statistics from Stella Maris College, University of Madras in Madras, India.

Originally from India, Janine moved to Rochester, MN with her family in 1991. Her husband Patrick is a Gastroenterologist and Hepatologist at Mayo Clinic. She has two daughters Marielle and Amika. They are a great source of inspiration and constantly renew Janine’s sense of wonder. Ozzie, the Kamath pet is the top dog in the family.

Janine also enjoys traveling, entertaining, reading, music and theatre, community volunteer activities and spending time with her extended family. 

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Peter Bell

Western University, Ivey School of Business

How to Sustain an Advantage Created Using Analytics

Many claim that the use of analytics can create a competitive advantage but research suggests that any advantage created is often fleeting:  most analytics is easily replicated.  There are, however, examples of firms that have sustained a competitive advantage through analytics for years, even decades.  How have they done this?  What are the lessons for analytics leaders?

Research tracking analytics works over three decades concludes  that firms have used one of five basic approaches to sustain an advantage generated through the use of analytics:  firms keep the work secret, implement the analytics so fast and effectively that the competitors are driven away before they can replicate the work, choose certain types of problems to work on, recognize that sometimes control of the data is more important than control of the analytics, and finally become a truly data-driven corporation.  This presentation will provide examples that illustrate each of these approaches.


Peter Bell earned degrees from Oxford University and the University of Chicago. He is a past winner of the INFORMS prize for teaching the practice of Management Science, and chaired the 2013 and 2014 Franz Edelman Award Competitions.  He is the current (2014-15) President of CPMS: The INFORMS College on the Practice of Management Science.He has authored or co-authored more than 100 articles in academic and business journals and 17 books including recently Analytics for Managers (with Greg Zaric), Routledge Publishing, New York (2012). He was founding Editor-in-Chief of the scholarly journal International Transactions in Operational Research 1993-2000 and is an Associate Editor of Operations Research, and Interfaces.   He was 1995-97 President of the International Federation of Operational Research Societies, and Treasurer 2006-2014. He has served as a consultant to corporations, hospitals, small businesses, lawyers, charities, and government agencies, and serves on a number of Boards of Directors.

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Daniel H. Wagner Prize

David Simchi-Levi

Identifying Risks and Mitigating Disruptions in the Automotive Supply Chain

Firms are exposed to a variety of low probability / high impact risks which may disrupt their operations and supply chains. These risks are difficult to predict and quantify, and therefore difficult to manage. As a result, managers may deploy countermeasures sub-optimally, leaving their firms exposed to some risks while wasting resources to mitigate other risks that would not cause significant damage. In a three-year research engagement with Ford Motor Company, we address this practical need by developing a novel risk exposure model that assesses the impact of a disruption originating anywhere in the firm’s supply chain. Our approach defers the need to estimate the probability associated with any specific disruption risk until after the company learns how the realization of such a disruption will impair its operations. As a result, the company can make more informed decisions about where to focus its limited risk management resources. We demonstrate how Ford has applied this model to identify previously unrecognized risk exposures and develop mitigation strategies, track changes in risk exposure, and respond to a disruption.


David Simchi-Levi is a Professor of Engineering Systems at MIT and Chairman of OPS Rules, an operations analytics consulting company.  He is considered one of the premier thought leaders in supply chain management. His research focuses on developing and implementing robust and efficient techniques for operations management. He has published widely in professional journals on both practical and theoretical aspects of supply chain and revenue management. His Ph.D. students have accepted faculty positions in leading academic institutes including U. of California Berkeley, Columbia U., Duke U., Georgia Tech, Harvard U., U. of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, U. of Michigan, Purdue U. and Virginia Tech. Professor Simchi-Levi co-authored the books Managing the Supply Chain (McGraw-Hill, 2004), the award winning Designing and Managing the Supply Chain (McGraw-Hill, 2007) and The Logic of Logistics (3rd edition, Springer 2013). He also wrote Operations Rules: Delivering Customer Value through Flexible Operations (MIT Press, 2011). Professor Simchi-Levi has consulted and collaborated extensively with private and public organizations. He was the founder of LogicTools which provided software solutions and professional services for supply chain optimization. LogicTools is now part of IBM.

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Karen Roter Davis

Urban Engines

The Internet of Moving Things, Movement Analytics, and the Future of Urban Mobility

From public transit to on-demand grocery shopping to ride-sharing services, people and things are moving through cities (and generating data) in unprecedented volumes — a rapidly growing challenge when every minute counts. It’s early days for this “Internet of Moving Things” — and for Urban Engines.  But we’re already generating actionable insights from billions of trips that people and vehicles make each day. With our platform architected to crunch this massive amounts of movement data, we can measure and reduce inefficiencies, run digital “what-if” scenarios that truly emulate the real world to develop answers to critical planning questions more easily and less expensively, and create new value-added services with the information we unlock.


Karen Roter Davis is General Manager of Urban Engines, a venture-backed, Silicon Valley start-up already improving urban mobility for millions of commuters across the globe and their billions of trips taken each year.  Her responsibilities at Urban Engines span business development, marketing and communications, legal and policy, and finance strategy and operations. Prior to Urban Engines, Karen held leadership roles at Fortune 500 companies, including Google, and served most recently as Managing Director of GE Ventures, where she kick-started software and analytics investments to advance GE’s Industrial Internet capabilities across its multi-billion dollar industrial businesses. From 2009 through 2012, Karen worked directly for software entrepreneur Tom Siebel, as one of four executives charged with managing his personal global interests in real estate, agribusiness, philanthropy, and investments, serving as Executive Director of two non-profits. At Google from 2003 to 2008, she worked on many of Google’s early commercial agreements, led internal operations for Google’s 2004 Initial Public Offering, and worked with executives, engineers, and product managers on early-stage incubation and exploratory efforts, including in-vehicle Google Earth and Maps, Google Transit, and new advertising and business models. Karen holds an MBA/JD from Northwestern University and a BA in Public & International Affairs from Princeton University, and is an advisor to angel- and venture-backed start-ups. She also advises multi-national companies on how to work more effectively with startups and to cultivate innovation within their organizations. Karen serves on the Board of Directors of Cultural Data Project, a Pew Charitable Trust spin-off, which provides analytics and management capabilities to strengthen arts and cultural organizations.

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Harvard Business Review Panel:

How to Build a Top-Performance Analytics Team and Organization

Moderated by: Julia Kirby, Harvard Business Review Editor at Large

As organizations pursue excellence, their executives are realizing more than ever not only that they must use analytics, but that they must also use a wide range of analytic tools extremely well. Building a leading analytics team and creating a top analytics organization require insight and planning. Harvard Business Review editor Julia Kirby, who helped launch the analytics movement when she published Tom Davenport’s seminal article, “Competing on Analytics,” the forerunner of the HBR business best-selling book, leads a panel discussion with representatives of top analytics teams in this special program.

Zahir Balaporia

Schneider National


Zahir Balaporia is Director, Process and Technology at Schneider, a premier provider of transportation, logistics and related services. He is responsible for implementation of business optimization technologies and related processes within the company’s Intermodal division. Prior to moving into the Intermodal line of business, he led the corporate Decision Engineering Team, which specializes in the application of advanced analytics for operational, tactical and strategic decision support. A Certified Analytics Professional with more than 20 years of experience, he is acknowledged in the books Competing on Analytics byDavenport and Harris, and The New Know by Thornton May. Zahir has an MS in Industrial Engineering from Purdue University and a BS in Computer Engineering from Clarkson University. He is pursuing an MS in System Dynamics from Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

Brenda Dietrich

IBM Watson Group


Brenda Dietrich is an IBM Fellow and Vice President. She joined IBM in 1984 and has worked in the area now called analytics for her entire career, applying data and computation to business decision processes throughout IBM. For over a decade she led the Mathematical Sciences function in the IBM Research division where she was responsible for both basic research on computational mathematics and for the development of novel applications of mathematics for both IBM and its clients. She has been the president of INFORMS, has served on the Board of Trustees of SIAM, and is a member of several university advisory boards. She holds more than a dozen patents, has co-authored numerous publications, and frequently speaks on analytics at conferences. She was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2014. She holds a BS in Mathematics from UNC and an MS and Ph.D. in OR/IE from Cornell. Her personal research includes manufacturing scheduling, services resource management, transportation logistics, integer programming, and combinatorial duality. She currently leads the emerging technologies team for IBM Watson, extending and applying IBM’s cognitive computing technology.

Michelle Davis



Michelle Davis is a fifteen year veteran of FICO.  Currently a Director of Analytics, she is responsible for the development of originations, customer management, and collections global analytic product offerings.  Michelle has developed and leads a skilled and diverse team of analysts that focuses on reusable analytics through consortium solutions and repeatable processes.  She also is the chair of the Analytic Board of Directors within FICO, helping define the future of analytics within the company.

Prior to working at FICO, Michelle was a secondary education math teacher.  She received her Bachelors of Science in Mathematics from Fairfield University and her Masters in Statistics from the University of Delaware.

Lisa Kart



Lisa Kart is a Research Director focusing on advanced analytics, including predictive and prescriptive capabilities and big data uses in multiple industries. She has more than 20 years of experience in applying advanced analytics to solve complex business problems.

William Klimack



Since retiring from the Army as an associate professor at the US Military Academy, I worked as a consultant for the government, oil and gas, not-for-profit, and pharmaceutical sectors.  I joined Chevron in 2012 as a decision analyst.

Rohit Tandon



Rohit Tandon is the Vice President- Strategy and World Wide Head for HP Global Analytics. As head of Global Analytics, Rohit is helping drive the Analytics ecosystem to support HP’s vision and priorities, through delivery of cutting edge analytical capabilities across sales, marketing, supply chain, finance and HR domains. Prior to joining HP, Rohit was the Executive Vice President at IBM’s Global Processing Services unit where he was responsible for Strategy, IT, Quality and Transformation. During his tenure he was instrumental in setting up and leading IBM’s Knowledge Services business including Analytics where he also acquired a company for IBM. Prior to IBM, Rohit drove the Analytics business at Genpact, leading a team of ~2500 analytics practitioners. Rohit brings with him more than 20 years of leadership experience across ITeS, IT, Consulting and Advertising sectors and has worked in several senior positions with GE, Accenture Consulting, JWT and Ampersand. Rohit has a Masters degree in Computer Application (MCA) from the Institute of Management & Technology, Ghaziabad and is a Computer Science graduate from St Stephens College, Delhi University. Rohit is a Certified Master Black Belt in Six Sigma and a Certified Quality Leader in Six Sigma. He also holds a patent in his name for optimization algorithms designed by him.

Moderated by Julia Kirby

Harvard Business Review


Julia Kirby has been with Harvard Business Review for over a decade and in that time worked with hundreds of expert authors to bring their ideas to the magazine’s managerial audience. Among the articles she has edited are several on the topic of analytics and data science. She is also coauthor (with Chris Meyer) of Standing on Sun: How the Explosion of Capitalism Abroad Will Change Business Everywhere, chosen by The Financial Times as one of the best business books of its year. Prior to HBR, Julia worked in the management consulting industry, producing and packaging research-based insights on strategy, marketing, operations, talent management, and leadership.

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Innovative Applications in Analytics Awards Finalist

Simulation Approach for Aircraft Spare Engines & Engine Part Planning

Jose A. Ramirez-Hernandez, Steven Oakley, Mei Zhang, and Alejandro Scalise, American Airlines

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Innovative Applications in Analytics Awards Finalist

Intelligent Surgical Scheduling System

Narges Hosseini, Kalyan Pasupathy, Yariv Marmor, Thomas Rohleder, Jeanne Huddleston, and Paul Huddleston, Mayo Clinic Rochester

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Innovative Applications in Analytics Awards Finalist

Analytics for an Online Retailer: Demand forecasting and Price Optimization at Rue La La

Kris Johnson, MIT

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UPS George D. Smith Prize

2015 Winner

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