2011 eNews Daily
eNews Daily :: Day 4   
In This Issue
Good-bye and Thank You
Addendum to Wednesday Schedule
Today's Key Events
Wagner Prize Presentations to Be Offered on Demand After Meeting
2011 TutORials Online Book
TutORials Talk
Analytics/Practice Track
Exhibits Close Today at 1pm
Winner of Tuesday Interactive Session
INFORMS Job Placement Service Closes Today at 3pm
Industry Jobs Panel
Walking Down the Aisle to that Academic Job
The Analytics Movement
Boolean Methods in Operations Research and Related Areas by Yves Crama
Resuscitating an Ailing Healthcare System
Franz Edelman Presentation Reprise
Random Blog Sample
"Twop Tweet"
Last Chance to Send Us Your Videos and Win an iPad2
Renew 2012 Membership While in Charlotte
Registration Hours
Engage with Social Networking Tools
Good-bye and Thank You

Duke Energy Building lit in INFORMS blue
Duke Energy Building lit in INFORMS blue.
We hope you enjoyed your 2011 INFORMS Annual Meeting experience! The staff at INFORMS certainly did; it is always great to see our members in person. We hope to see you in April at the Analytics Conference or next year in Phoenix for the 2012 INFORMS Annual Meeting! Safe travels.


Addendum to Wednesday Schedule

Please click here to download pdf of the addendum for late changes to the printed program.


Today's Key Events
Keynote
10-10:50am, Convention Center, Ballroom A
2011 Daniel H. Wagner Prize Presentation
Come see the year's top real-world successful application of analytics and O.R. that also combines innovative mathematical modeling and clear exposition.


Wagner Prize Presentations to Be Offered on Demand After Meeting
If you missed the Wagner Prize presentations, no problem! In just a few weeks, INFORMS will offer meeting attendees and all members a chance to see these presentations on demand via the Web. Watch for our announcement or check the INFORMS Video Learning Center.

2011 TutORials Online Book

TutORials in OR 2011 coverAll attendees receive free exclusive early access to the INFORMS 2011 TutORials in Operations Research online book concurrently with the meeting. Entitled "Transforming Research into Action," the 2011 volume is the perfect complement to the series of talks. For access, visit here and LOG IN using your INFORMS username and password. Non-member meeting attendees: use the username and password you selected as part of the online registration process. NOTE: your username and password also appears on the receipt in your registration envelope. All INFORMS 2012 members receive access on January 1, 2012. You can order the 2011 book or previous volumes (CDs 2005 - 2009) through the TutORials website or visit the INFORMS Booth #121.

TutORials Talk
TutORials in Operations Research are talks that provide in-depth instruction on significant specialties in operations research.

11am-12:30pm, Westin, Providence II
Modern Design of Experiments - Recent Advances in Screening Methods
Tom Donnelly, SAS Institute Inc.

Analytics/Practice Track
 
Sponsored by INFORMS Analytics Section and CPMS, The Practice Section of INFORMS

Hilton, Mecklenburg, 3rd floor
The sessions in this track showcase O.R. and analytics in practice at a wide range of companies and organizations, including UPS, GE Global Research, SAS, Sasol, Booz Allen Hamilton, IBM, and more.

8-9:30am
Descriptive Analytics and OR
Irv Lustig, IBM

Unlocking the Hidden Value in Your Data with Analytics
Udo Sglavo, SAS Institute Inc.

Descriptive Analytics via a CFO Dashboard
Gigi Yuen, IBM

11am-12:30pm
Integrated Order Allocation and Distribution Scheduling For Wind Turbine Supply Chain
Bex Thomas, GE Global Research

Agent Based Modeling of Home Electricity Consumption
Jason Black, GE Global Research

Optimal Scheduling of Demand Response Events for Electric Utilities
Weiwei Chen, GE Global Research

12:45-2:15pm
New Educating Analytics Practioners: M.S. Degrees in Analytics
Michael Rappa, North Carolina State University


2:45-4:15pm
Using Efficient Monte Carlo Simulation in Counterparty Credit Risk Estimation of OTC Derivatives
Samim Ghamami, Barclays Capital

A New Risk Assessment Framework for Asset-Backed Securities (ABS)
Sunny Zhang, SAS Institute Inc.

Copula and Risk Aggregation
Jack Yang, SAS Institute Inc.

Forecast Value Added Analysis: Case Studies
Michael Gilliland, SAS Institute Inc.

Applying Forecast Value Added at Newell Rubbermaid
Ryan Rickard, Newell Rubbermaid

4:30-6pm
Consulting Firms Share Their Lessons Learned on How to Create Significant Impact with Optimization and Advanced Analytics at Their Client Organizations
Michael Menche, Princeton Consultants Inc.

Exhibits Close Today at 1pm

9am-1pm, Convention Center, Exhibit Hall, Ballroom BCD
Today is your last chance to visit the Exhibit Hall.

Yesterday's Kindle Fire Winner: Eva Hernández Gress

Winner of Tuesday Interactive Session

Apurva P. Samudra
Apurva P. SamudraWe present an optimization-based framework for computer-aided molecular design. Group contribution methods are used to predict thermodynamic properties. We decompose the problem by decoupling the composition and the structure of the molecule. Compositions are found by solving transformed group contribution-based MILP. The structure generation problem is formulated as finding all trees with given degree sequence and solved using special weight-based cuts. Weights based on prime numbers handle the chemical redundancy efficiently and effectively.

INFORMS Job Placement Closes Today at 3pm

9am-3pm, Convention Center, Exhibit Hall
On-site interviews to explore opportunities in academia, industry, and government take place today. Good luck to all!

Industry Jobs Panel

by Timothy Hopper
Industry Job Panel
Texas A&M's Bala Shetty lead a panel discussion with Jeff Day of SAS and Brad Johnson of RoundPoint on job search in industry. Shetty carefully guided the discussion through the job search process, from resume writing to networking to interviewing to negotiating job offers. Johnson, an MBA and mortgage banker, and Day, an operations research PhD and consultant, brought unique perspectives for those considering careers in industry.

On resume writing, the panelists emphasized the importance of internships for job candidates. An industry employer is more concerned with an applicant's ability to understand, solve, and explain a real-world problem than with his ability to write a scholarly paper. As a result, candidates should craft resumes that emphasize skills and experience relevant to industry instead of chronicling academic achievements such as publications and conference presentations. A good resume, said the panelists, is concise, clear, and simple; the candidate should not expect the potential employer to dig for relevant information.

An interview is an opportunity for a candidate to sell himself to a company. Before going to an interview, the job-seeker should rehearse how he will answer the question, "So tell us about yourself?" Moreover, he should practice how he will respond to both technical and nontechnical interviewers. The first impressions made during a phone interview are a key part of the hiring processes. The interviewee should be alert, attentive, and not multitasking.

The panelists noted that the job process is an art. Students can start early in learning the art of presenting themselves to companies. At conferences such as INFORMS, students can begin to build relationships with prospective colleagues at companies that interest them. With persistence, an operations research engineer will find himself in a company he loves and that loves to have him on its team.
Walking Down the Aisle to that Academic Job

by Belleh Fontem
A panel of three distinguished faculty members, Professors Iqbal Agha (UMASS Amherst), Neil Geismar (Texas A&M), and Bala Shetty (Texas A&M), gave advice to a cohort of students on the intricacies of navigating the treacherous waters of the academic job search. They addressed common anxieties usually faced by PhD students preparing for the transition into the academic job market, e.g., the impostor syndrome (the feeling of inadequacy resulting from undervaluing one's own accomplishments), the interview process itself, and dealing with dual career issues.

Beyond stressing the importance of proving good research skills (through a decent publication record) and being able to demonstrate sufficient teaching ability, the panelists emphasized the qualities of open-mindedness, professionalism, the ability to get along well with others, as well as the necessity of expressing a genuine interest in the institutions that they applied to. They also cautioned the candidates against some dangerous interview pitfalls such as revealing religious and political preferences or openly expressing a lack of appreciation for research methodologies used by one or more members of their interviewing committees.

Ultimately, faculty hiring decisions are made on the basis of fit because "fit is paramount in academia," as Geismar said. He used an interesting metaphor from the domain of relationships. In the modern global economy, candidates heading toward industry are, in effect, getting a "date" with their employers, as they expect to (and usually do) move on after a few years. Hiring an academic, on the other hand, is a "marriage" of sorts, because there is a real potential for the relationship to last an entire lifetime. To avoid making a hiring faux pas, a university could go lots of extra miles to gauge the social skills of a candidate. It is therefore crucial that interviewees make and sustain a good first impression on a campus interview in order to leave with the academic equivalent of a marriage certificate.


The Analytics Movement

by Ana-Iulia Alexandrescu
Analytics SectionThere is no doubt - analytics are here. The word "analytics" is nowadays on everyone's lips, no matter whether it is industry or academia, big or small organizations, finance groups or marketing departments. With the increased availability of data, there is a significant increase in the demand for analytic tools to build descriptive, predictive, and prescriptive models to transform data into improved decision making. Or analytics. Granted, there isn't much agreement as to whether analytics represents a set of methods or a process, or even where it fits within the O.R. space. In fact, the community is split fairly evenly among all the possible levels of overlap between the fields of analytics and operations research, yet no one denies the tremendous opportunity of synergy between this emerging field and O.R. A survey completed by roughly 2,000 INFORMS members, which make up a 20% representative sample of the organization's members, agreed with high statistical significance that INFORMS can derive tremendous benefits from getting involved in the Analytics Movement. By contrast, the most feared risk of reducing the traditional focus INFORMS has had on O.R. scored an average of 2.72 on a 1-to-5 scale, statistically significantly lower than the neutral value of 3. The survey also revealed high levels of support for expanding the organization into the analytics field, both among academics and practitioners, and a high level of planned or intended involvement. All in all, there is a significant pull in the direction of analytics within the organization, and the questions of change management become relevant in ensuring the integrity and positive reinforcement derived from the expansion. In the meantime, the INFORMS Analytics Section, spearheaded by Mike Gorman from the University of Dayton, is gaining membership and developing a sustainable initiative to promote and support the development of analytics within INFORMS and outside, in the academia and industry. The Analytics Section, which grew in seven months to have over 500 members, has initiatives ranging from creating an Analytics Professional Certification, to promoting career development through analytics-focused job fairs, to inventorying the analytics academic programs that are appearing at many institutions, to creating a student award competition to promote education and activity in the field. So the key takeaways from the presentation were that analytics are here and are growing, and there is a tremendous opportunity, and thus need, for involvement in shaping the relationship between analytics and O.R.


Boolean Methods in Operations Research and Related Areas by Yves Crama

Yves Cramaby Timothy Hopper
Perhaps aware that his lecture title might sound less than thrilling to some, Yves Crama opened his lecture on Boolean methods with a list of Belgium's triumphs: chocolate, beer, Smurfs, 520 days without a government, and Boolean functions. Crama presented a brief introduction to the theory and applications of Boolean functions as part of the IFORS Distinguished Lecture series.

Arguably the simplest of all functions, Boolean functions are maps from the vertices of unit hypercubes to the set of zero and one. Crama's work on the topic builds on the late Peter Hammer's seminal 1968 text Boolean Methods in Operations Research and Related Areas. Despite significant research in the last 20 years, deep theoretical questions about Boolean functions remain, such as the threshold conjecture, related to the existence of roots of random Boolean equations.

Crama presented a fascinating application of Boolean functions to corporate governance. Financial economists, he said, raise the following question: "Given a large network of shareholding relations among firms, who owns control in this network?" The control a shareholder has over a firm can be represented by the probability a change in his vote in a corporate decision changes the outcome of the vote. Because voting policies can be represented by Boolean functions, researchers employ the theory and methods of Boolean functions to compute these measures of control.

Although Boolean methods are 150 years old, research in Boolean functions, Crama said, is alive and well. Two recent books edited by Crama and Hammer that total nearly 1,500 pages testify to the methods' persistence and open the doors for future research.


Resuscitating an Ailing Healthcare System

by Belleh Fontem
Susan DeVore, President and CEO of the Premier Healthcare Alliance (a network of healthcare providers in the United States), started her talk by displaying some startling facts about the current state and history of healthcare in the United States. For over a decade, healthcare costs have been rising at one to two and a half percentage points faster than GDP growth despite failing to achieve commensurately positive matches in life expectancy and infant mortality. Going down a deeper level of granularity, she exposed the fastest area of spending growth, which is spending on chronic ailments (e.g., diabetes), and mentioned that the current objective of healthcare reform is to implement a mechanism of carrots and sticks to make it as painful as possible to remain on this track while generating incentives for healthcare providers to improve efficiency through innovation.

According to subsequent data she presented, the three most important wedges of this unsustainable status quo are bureaucratic administrative costs (stemming from a lack of process standardization), fraud and abuse of the entitlement programs (Medicare, Medicaid), and overtreatment (duplication of lab tests, overuse of intensive care units, unnecessary diagnoses, little accountability on the part of the patient). To tackle these issues, Premier has worked with multiple stakeholders to establish a road map for reaching the desired states of increased transparency, standardization, and, ultimately, a lower cost curve.

DeVore then went on to show the results of a case project carried out by 300 of Premier's participating hospitals. The critical milestones along this road map include things such as instituting value-based purchasing, preventable harm readmissions, and bundled payments. Two and a half years after the project kickoff, the results speak for themselves: 97% of the hospitals are in the top performance class; at a certain hospital, 63% of heart and lung patients quit smoking; and the treatment cost of the average case in general has plunged by about $900.

However, she acknowledged that from a business standpoint, this operational success raised some difficult issues with some stakeholders who lost revenues as a result of the increased efficiency. Nevertheless, she concluded by saying that Premier had proved that a three-year time frame is sufficient for finding out what works and what does not. Moreover, her institution had also shown that with the necessary ingredients of standardization, clear measurement objectives, and the right culture, the healthcare spending beast could be domesticated.


Franz Edelman Presentation Reprise, or How MISO Unblocks Billions in Savings Through Applications of Operations Research to the Energy and Ancillary Services Market

by Ana-Iulia Alexandrescu
Each year, the Franz Edelman Award rewards outstanding applications of operations research to solve problems in the industry, and in 2011, the award was given to the Operations Team from MISO. The Midwest ISO was created as a non-profit organization that would coordinate the demand and supply in the energy market to improve market efficiency and thus lower the cost of providing electricity to users. Currently, MISO operates 60,000 miles of transmission lines and 1,000 stations that handle 146 billion watts. They cover 13 midwest U.S. states and one Canadian province, and they currently have over 750 companies that participate in this collaboration. Prior to MISO, utility companies operated independently, which resulted in significant market inefficiency and even disruptions in the power delivery. Under the MISO system, utilities keep control over plants and transmission lines and agree to enter the wholesale energy market, where they then agree to buy and sell energy to meet the demand. The energy market as a whole is administered by MISO, which uses sophisticated operations research tools to maintain the fragile balance between energy supply and load demand on the system. On a more technical level, MISO optimizes energy delivery in a day-ahead market, which is essentially a mechanism that allows utilities to plan ahead knowing how much they committed to produce, and in a real-time market, in which sophisticated tools analyze the moment-to-moment state of the systems and keep the balance between supply and demand. On the O.R. side, MISO uses a mixed-integer programming formulation to solve a commitment problem to determine whether a plant should be operated in a given time frame and a dispatch problem to determine the optimal output level and price of a plant. The resulting model, which has over 3 million continuous variables, 4,500 binary variables, and over 4 million constraints, is solved to provide policies and schedules that achieve great economies of scale and significant improvements in the efficiency of the Midwestern energy market.


Random Blog Sample

Analytics In Spotlight by Barry List
The increasing role of analytics in INFORMS' future stood out in presentations during this morning's analytics track.

INFORMS Practice VP Jack Levis of UPS recalled the planning stage: Last year the INFORMS board asked the consulting firm Capgemini to thoroughly examine ways that INFORMS could begin integrating analytics in its offerings to members and to a larger public interested in a term that was virtually coined by Tom Davenport and Jeanne G. Harris in their book and article, Competing on Analytics. Read more.

"Twop Tweet"

Overheard @ #informs2011: Largest potential suppliers of #analytics talent => B-schools with UG programs in OR/MS/analytics.

Follow @ThaddeusKTSim.

Last Chance to Send Us Your Videos and Win an iPad2

Renew online and win an iPadWe want your videos taken at the INFORMS Annual Meeting. All suitable videos will be posted on the Annual Meeting website and on the INFORMS YouTube channel. Best video will win an Apple iPad2! Show us INFORMS in your eyes and help us build our video library. For more information, all contest rules, and where to upload your video, visit here.

Photos - We want your photos, too. Take photos and send them to photosandvideo@mail.informs.org, and we'll post them on the Annual Meeting website.

Renew 2012 Membership While in Charlotte

Stop by INFORMS Booth #121 to quickly and easily renew your membership for 2012. We want you with us in 2012. INFORMS is on the upswing, and we have many exciting projects planned for 2012 and beyond. Read the renewal letter from the INFORMS presidents who give you great reasons for continuing.

Registration Hours

Registration is open on Wednesday, 7am-4:30pm, Convention Center, Concourse C.

Social Networking Quicklinks

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Time to Renew your INFORMS Membership
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Listen to Podcast on your way to 2011 INFORMS Annual Meeting
Nominations being accepted for INFORMS Prize
Watch videos at the INFORMS Video Learning Center
2011 Annual Meeting Quicklinks

INFORMS.org Quicklinks

INFORMS Meetings Calendar

2012 INFORMS Conference on Business Analytics and Operations Resarch2012 Analytics Meeting
Apr 15-17, 2012
 
Click here for more info


2012 INFORMS International Bejing2012 International Meeting
Jun 24-27, 2012
 
Click here for more info


Read the current issue of ORMS Today
Read Analytics
IAOR Database
Engage with Social Networking Tools

INFORMS is using the latest in social networking technology to keep you informed and connected at the Annual Meeting.

Video Contest
We want your videos taken at the INFORMS Annual Meeting. All suitable videos will be posted on the Annual Meeting website and on the INFORMS YouTube channel. The best video will win an Apple iPad2! Show us INFORMS in your eyes and help us build our video library. For more information, all contest rules, and where to upload your video, click here.

Photos
We want your photos, too. Take photos and send them here, and we'll post them on the Annual Meeting website.

Blogs
Visit the Annual Meeting website during the meeting for commentary from your friends and colleagues. Blogs will be posted to the website before, during, and after the meeting. Be sure to check back frequently for new posts.

Tweets
All attendees are invited to share what they are doing and seeing in real time. Remember to add hashtag "#informs2011" to your tweets, and they will appear on the Annual Meeting homepage during the meeting. NEW THIS YEAR: Tweets will be displayed in real time in a large video monitor at Registration. Stop by the INFORMS booth and pick up your "Tweeter" ribbon. Also "follow" the official conference twitter feed, INFORMS2011, to receive important conference announcements.

LinkedIn
Connect with other attendees on the Annual Meeting LinkedIn Group to discuss key topics. Click here to join the Annual Meeting LinkedIn group.

Facebook
"Like" INFORMS on Facebook and let other INFORMS members know you are attending the 2011 INFORMS Annual Meeting by RSVP'ing.

Podcasts
Liven up your down time with an INFORMS podcast. Download a podcast.

Free Wireless Internet
It's easy to stay connected. The Charlotte Convention Center features free wireless Internet located in the Exhibit Hall in the Convention Center, at the back of the hall. Hilton: Wireless access is available in the 3rd floor Piedmont Promenade. Westin: Free wireless access in the lobby.