Operations Research

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  • land O links

    Punk Rock Operations Research
    Laura McLay
    27 Feb 2015 | 10:35 am
    Here are a few links for your weekend reading: I’ve used the Monty Hall Problem in class. I didn’t realize agreeing on the correct solution was so controversial. Leonard Nimoy’s portrayal of Spock “in many ways co-created, helped define geek/nerd personality and interests for millions of future geeks” So true. Sports analytics is great and all that, but there is a serious lack of data in women’s sports. Five class Atari games that totally stump google’s artificial intelligence algorithm (like Asteroids!) The math behind getting all that damn snow…
  • 3 Papers Published in Less than 3 Weeks!

    RENeW
    4 Mar 2015 | 11:15 am
    This has certainly been a winter of record-breaking cold as well as snowfalls in the Northeast of the US! In the case of Amherst, we had the coldest average temperatures in February since records were first taken back in 1835!You may take some solace through the frigid temperatures and disruptions, the roof problems, ice dams, home water leaks, etc., from a recent study from Harvard University, "Rainmakers: Why bad weather means good productivity."New Englanders tend to be very hardworking and, given the number of academic institutions in our area, we certainly contribute to the education and…
  • How to Bring Industrial Scale to Growing Factories

    TightShip
    duncan
    10 Feb 2015 | 2:09 pm
    Tim started working with lean in the 80’s. After 18 years working in manufacturing helping improve efficiency and profitability in a wide range of factories he started TXM, to help growing small & medium sized businesses reach their full potential. http://www.tightship.io/wp-admin/post.php?post=1051&action=editI talked to Tim about the challenges that growing factories face and some of the companies he has worked with. During the interview we also talked about his new book Grow Your Factory, Grow Your Profits: Lean for Small and Medium-Sized Manufacturing Enterprises, which…
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    Punk Rock Operations Research

  • land O links

    Laura McLay
    27 Feb 2015 | 10:35 am
    Here are a few links for your weekend reading: I’ve used the Monty Hall Problem in class. I didn’t realize agreeing on the correct solution was so controversial. Leonard Nimoy’s portrayal of Spock “in many ways co-created, helped define geek/nerd personality and interests for millions of future geeks” So true. Sports analytics is great and all that, but there is a serious lack of data in women’s sports. Five class Atari games that totally stump google’s artificial intelligence algorithm (like Asteroids!) The math behind getting all that damn snow…
  • be a satisficer or use the secretary problem to find love!

    Laura McLay
    13 Feb 2015 | 6:50 am
    I was surprised to read that a study recommends using a satisficing strategy to find a mate [Link to article, Michigan State press release] The researchers studied the evolution of risk aversion and discovered that it is in the human nature to go for the safe bet when their stakes are high. For instance whether or not mate. This human nature is traced back to the earliest period of their evolution. The study is computational (i.e., not a psychological study) and involves simulation that mimics the degree and range of risk-taking in human behavior. It suggests that we are satisficers, not…
  • snowblowing is NP-complete

    Laura McLay
    9 Feb 2015 | 6:42 am
    The recent winter storm left a lot of snow on my driveway. A lot. My driveway is the perfectly place for huge snowdrifts to form. A tweet of my shoveling resulted in the discovery of The Snowblower Problem  by Esther M. Arkin, Michael A. Bender, Joseph S. B. Mitchell, and Valentin Polishchuk (HT @fbahr) Snow piles next to my driveway from shoveling verify it's not my imagination, snow drifts really do pile up there. pic.twitter.com/Rvz1ECKGle — Laura McLay (@lauramclay) February 1, 2015 The Snowblower Problem (SBP) answers the following question: How does one optimally use a…
  • it’s possible that we have both record levels of immunization & record levels of vulnerability to infectious disease: why social networks matter

    Laura McLay
    6 Feb 2015 | 8:53 am
    My recent blog post on eradicating polio through vaccination ends with this: Part of the reason why vaccination is challenging is because social networks play a critical role in disease transmission. Even if enough people have been vaccinated in aggregate to obtain herd immunity in theory, it may not be enough if there are hot spots of unvaccinated children who can cause outbreaks. There are hot spots in some areas in California and other states that have generous exemption policies. I want to elaborate. It’s possible that we have both: record levels of immunization, and record levels…
  • eradicating polio through vaccination and with analytics

    Laura McLay
    5 Feb 2015 | 7:38 am
    The most recent issue of Interfaces (Jan-Feb 2015, 45(1)) has an article about eradicating polio published by Kimberly M. Thompson, Radboud J. Duintjer Tebbens, Mark A. Pallansch, Steven G.F. Wassilak, and Stephen L. Cochi from Kid Risk, Inc., and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This paper develops and applies a few analytics models to inform policy questions regarding the eradication of polioviruses (polio) [Link to paper]. The article is timely given that vaccination is in the news again. At least this time, the news is fueled by outrage over GOP…
 
  • add this feed to my.Alltop

    RENeW

  • 3 Papers Published in Less than 3 Weeks!

    4 Mar 2015 | 11:15 am
    This has certainly been a winter of record-breaking cold as well as snowfalls in the Northeast of the US! In the case of Amherst, we had the coldest average temperatures in February since records were first taken back in 1835!You may take some solace through the frigid temperatures and disruptions, the roof problems, ice dams, home water leaks, etc., from a recent study from Harvard University, "Rainmakers: Why bad weather means good productivity."New Englanders tend to be very hardworking and, given the number of academic institutions in our area, we certainly contribute to the education and…
  • Marathon Mondays

    2 Mar 2015 | 3:47 pm
    This semester I have a Monday Wednesday teaching schedule but my Mondays are true marathons with a morning class on Humanitarian Logistics and Healthcare, which is an hour and a quarter, and an afternoon seminar, on Advances in Variational Inequalities, Networks, and Game Theory, which is 2 hours and 45 minutes. I do a lot of lecturing in the latter class, although it is a seminar, because I want to make sure to bring all the students who come from different programs on campus to more or less the same level of knowledge.So, do the math, the sum is 4 hours, which is exactly how long it takes…
  • Emergency Preparedness and Recovery in a Hospital - A Great Professor for a Day!

    26 Feb 2015 | 6:12 am
    Yesterday, we had the pleasure of hearing Mr. Brian Rust, the Director of Security Services at Cooley Dickinson Hospital, which is now owned by Mass General Hospital, speak to my Humanitarian Logistics and Healthcare class.Mr. Rust was originally scheduled to speak the week before but he had several emergencies to contend with and I am not talking about patient emergencies, so he had to reschedule.Mr. Rust was a terrific Professor for a Day - sharing with us the planning behind emergency preparedness in a hospital, which aims to provide "the best healthcare in an appropriate setting."Last…
  • Thanks to Kim Goulette, Executive Director of the Pioneer Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross

    24 Feb 2015 | 10:35 am
    Yesterday, the new Executive Director of the Pioneer Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross in western Massachusetts, Ms. Kim Goulette, spoke to the students in my Humanitarian Logistics and Healthcare class.Ms. Goulette assumed this position after the retirement of Mr. Rick Lee, who had served with the Red Cross for over 3 decades and who spoke to my students in previous years on 2 separate occasions. As Kim said to the students: "She has big shoes to fill!"She provided the class with a brief history of the Red Cross and Clara Barton, of course, and emphasized what is unique about the Red…
  • Supply Chain Performance Assessment - Identifying the Importance of Components, Suppliers, and Firms in the Network Economy

    23 Feb 2015 | 4:51 am
    This morning, in sunny and warm Florida, my doctoral student Dong "Michelle" Li will be presenting one of our latest supply chain papers at the World Congress of Global Optimization.The paper is: Supply Chain Performance Assessment and Supplier and Component Importance Identification in a General Competitive Multitiered Supply Chain Network Model, Dong Li and Anna Nagurney. The full presentation can be downloaded here. Research on the topic was inspired, in part, by discussions and talks at the fabulous Workshop on Vulnerability and Resilience of Supply Chains in Zurich, Switzerland…
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    TightShip

  • How to Bring Industrial Scale to Growing Factories

    duncan
    10 Feb 2015 | 2:09 pm
    Tim started working with lean in the 80’s. After 18 years working in manufacturing helping improve efficiency and profitability in a wide range of factories he started TXM, to help growing small & medium sized businesses reach their full potential. http://www.tightship.io/wp-admin/post.php?post=1051&action=editI talked to Tim about the challenges that growing factories face and some of the companies he has worked with. During the interview we also talked about his new book Grow Your Factory, Grow Your Profits: Lean for Small and Medium-Sized Manufacturing Enterprises, which…
  • Systematic 400% Y-o-Y Growth with Emi Gal of Brainient

    duncan
    3 Feb 2015 | 1:44 am
    After starting a software development agency in Bucharest Emi started Brainient an interactive video advertising company. In the last 5 years they’ve attracted $2,7m in funding and have been consistently growing 400% Year-On-Year. We talked with Emi about how they’ve managed to keep things running smoothly, despite having multiple offices and doubling their headcount in the 18-24 months. During the interview we talked about OKR which is a management and goal setting methodology first used at Intel. Here’s a link to an intro on OKR. Interview Audio only…
  • Stop confusing: Accountability vs. Responsibility vs. Authority!

    duncan
    29 Jan 2015 | 12:15 am
    Within a business context these three terms are almost always confused, interchanged and usually poorly understood. In a recent interview with Verne Harnish we talked through this in some detail. What some other ‘experts’ say There are plenty of examples which conflict with each other and that I believe are completely incorrect and in a lot of cases the definitions totally conflict with themselves: Paul Gillard, PhD & Rachel Radwinsky, PhD here think to be accountable is to be held culpable for your actions, even that “If you are responsible for something, you are also…
  • Making your customer choose you first with Jeremy Miller

    duncan
    27 Jan 2015 | 8:08 am
    Working in his family business in 2004 Jeremy Miller found himself faced with a problem: Declining revenue despite increased sales activity. As a sales person his natural reaction was to pick up the phone and start dialling. When that didn’t work he turned to marketing and branding. Just 9 years later he was able to sell the business and embarked on a 10 year study of what makes a ‘Sticky Brand’. I talked to Jeremy about how some companies he profiled managed to overcome challenging markets and how execution was tied in. His new book ‘Sticky Branding: 12.5 Principles…
  • How to scale up and dominate your industry with Verne Harnish

    duncan
    21 Jan 2015 | 7:45 am
    This week it’s been my pleasure to interview Verne Harnish bestselling author of The Rockerfeller habits about his new book ‘Scaling-up, how a few companies make and why the rest don’t. We’re talking about what it takes to grow a business into an industry leader. In the interview we go through actionable tactics that you can put into use in your organisation and some of the examples that Verne has encountered through his work. b His new book ‘Scaling-up: How a few businesses make and why the rest don’t’ is available on Amazon (Paperback, Kindle &…
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