Operations Research

  • Most Topular Stories

  • introducing Badger Bracketology, a tool for forecasting the NCAA football playoff

    Punk Rock Operations Research
    Laura McLay
    21 Oct 2014 | 6:59 am
    Today I am introducing Badger Bracketology: http://bracketology.engr.wisc.edu/ I have long been interested in football analytics, and I enjoy crunching numbers while watching the games. This year is the first season for the NCAA football playoff, where four teams will play to determine the National Champion. It’s a small bracket, but it’s a start in the right direction. The first step to being becoming the national champion is to make the playoff. To do so, a team must be one of the top four ranked teams at the end of the season. A selection committee manually ranks the teams,…
  • Upcoming Talk on Carbon Emissions Game

    greenOR
    or4green
    21 Oct 2014 | 4:04 am
    The Carbon Game On October 30, I will be giving a talk on a carbon emissions game I developed with Bob Day from the University of Connecticut.  I have run the game in numerous classes at the Coast Guard Academy and it has also been run by a professor at West Point.  Bob and I are working on a paper about it and as that wraps up, I hope to post more about it here over time including the rules and materials needed to run the game. Here is more information about the talk: Title:  On Decision Making in a Carbon Emissions Game Abstract: This talk describes a carbon emissions game we…
  • Having the BEST Job in the World - that of a Business Prof

    RENeW
    24 Oct 2014 | 1:35 pm
    I do believe that one is the sum of one's experiences and that includes all the jobs that one has ever held.In my case, that has included, during summer breaks from college (Brown University), being a camp counselor in the Catskills with memories of hiking for miles and miles and sleeping in tents with outhouses, and working at St. John's Riverside Hospital in Yonkers as a nurses' aide the 4PM to midnight shift, where I took temperatures, delivered refreshments, gave backrubs, made beds, emptied bedpans, assisted in placing the deceased in body bags, and also tried to uplift the still living…
  • CAP® Certified!

    OR at Work
    1 Oct 2014 | 9:14 am
    I just returned from taking the Certified Analytics Professional assessment which I…..(drumroll).… passed! YEAH! Nailed it! Want proof? Here is the confirmation from INFORMS:You might think why does someone with nearly 25 years of experience in using analytics/operations research techniques to solve all kinds of business problems want to get certified? Isn’t experience enough and wouldn’t the assessment be a simple tick in the box for someone like him? Well, it isn’t. As I sat down at the computer of the Kryterion testing centre in Arnhem, I felt very uncomfortable. What if I…
  • add this feed to my.Alltop

    Punk Rock Operations Research

  • introducing Badger Bracketology, a tool for forecasting the NCAA football playoff

    Laura McLay
    21 Oct 2014 | 6:59 am
    Today I am introducing Badger Bracketology: http://bracketology.engr.wisc.edu/ I have long been interested in football analytics, and I enjoy crunching numbers while watching the games. This year is the first season for the NCAA football playoff, where four teams will play to determine the National Champion. It’s a small bracket, but it’s a start in the right direction. The first step to being becoming the national champion is to make the playoff. To do so, a team must be one of the top four ranked teams at the end of the season. A selection committee manually ranks the teams,…
  • what I learned from preparing for a semi-plenary talk

    Laura McLay
    13 Oct 2014 | 7:17 am
    I recently blogged about a semi-plenary talk I gave at the German OR Society Conference. This post is about the process of preparing for that presentation. First I thought about the story I wanted to tell. I’ve given a lot of research talks before. I understand the general plot of a research talk, but a semi-plenary was not a regular research talk. I wasn’t initially sure how to tell a story in a new way. I asked a wise colleague for advice, which was excellent: Think about your favorite plenary talks. Model your talk after that (including the amount of math to include in the…
  • underpowered statistical tests and the myth of the myth of the hot hand

    Laura McLay
    9 Oct 2014 | 8:56 am
    In grad school, I learned about the hot hand fallacy in basketball. The so-called “hot hand” is the person whose scoring success probability is temporarily increased and therefore should shoot the ball more often (in the basketball context).I thought the myth of the hot hand effect was an amazing result: there is no such thing as a hot hand in sports, it’s just that humans are not good at evaluating streaks of successes (hot hand) or failures (slumps). Flash forward years later. I read a headline about how hand sanitizer doesn’t “work” in terms of…
  • land O links

    Laura McLay
    7 Oct 2014 | 6:29 am
    Here are a few links for your enjoyment: Does a five year old need to learn how to code? A mathematician uses statistics to predict the next Game of Thrones death. Why academics stink at writing. An operations researcher argues that airports should screen for Ebola the same way it screens for terrorists (nice job Sheldon Jacobson!). He was also interviewed on MSNBC. How diversity makes us smarter Article on why women should learn to love criticism. HT @katemath. “76 percent of the negative feedback given to women included some kind of personality criticism, such as comments that the…
  • in defense of model complexity

    Laura McLay
    6 Oct 2014 | 7:14 am
    Recently I wrote a post in defense of model simplicity. I liked a lot of things about that post, but it wasn’t the entire picture. Much of what we do in operations research deals with solving complex problems, and often we can’t settle for anything simple. Simple models can be incredibly useful, but they are generally useful when we are looking at a piece of a system without so many moving parts. Do we make a credit card offer to person X? Yes or no? An educated guess will suffice. A model (simple or complicated) that replaces that educated guess can be a big improvement.
 
  • add this feed to my.Alltop

    greenOR

  • Upcoming Talk on Carbon Emissions Game

    or4green
    21 Oct 2014 | 4:04 am
    The Carbon Game On October 30, I will be giving a talk on a carbon emissions game I developed with Bob Day from the University of Connecticut.  I have run the game in numerous classes at the Coast Guard Academy and it has also been run by a professor at West Point.  Bob and I are working on a paper about it and as that wraps up, I hope to post more about it here over time including the rules and materials needed to run the game. Here is more information about the talk: Title:  On Decision Making in a Carbon Emissions Game Abstract: This talk describes a carbon emissions game we…
  • Battery Recycling

    or4green
    28 Sep 2014 | 1:56 pm
    I recycled this image from an earlier greenOR post. It is nice to see a battery recycling program in the works in my state of Connecticut. I learned of this from a recent article in the Danbury (CT) Republican American by Paul Singley: Connecticut environmental officials are working with battery manufacturers to come up with a bill that will be introduced in the 2015 legislative session. Connecticut and the battery industry hope it will be a model for the rest of the country. The law would cover single-use alkaline batteries as well as rechargeable ones. “This increases recycling, it…
  • How to Recycle a Stroller?

    or4green
    28 Aug 2014 | 7:38 am
    How do you recycle an entire stroller?  Here I describe how I went about it, inspired by concepts in The Upcycle and Cradle to Cradle.  We had been storing some old strollers and car seats we no longer used in a shed in our yard.  Some were slightly broken.  The shed roof had been leaking and so some of the items were further damaged.  In the process of fixing the shed, the time came to get rid of the strollers.  The water damage had resulted in mold on the stroller fabric.  So the strollers could not be readily reused by another family. I looked into recycling programs in my city and…
  • The Upcycle

    or4green
    26 Jun 2014 | 11:20 am
    I recently finished reading The Upcycle by William McDonough and Michael Braungart.  It is the follow-up to their inspiring 2002 book Cradle to Cradle, which I wrote about in one of the first posts on this blog in 2007. The Upcycle extends some of the key concepts from Cradle to Cradle such as its critical take on recycling as “downcycling”, the elegant notion of designing materials to be easily separated back into “biological nutrients” and “technical nutrients”, and more.  It takes the philosophy of the earlier book about solving sustainability challenges through design…
  • Tournaments and Logs

    or4green
    20 Mar 2014 | 8:19 am
    With the NCAA basketball tournaments kicking off, here is a post about an exercise I put together for our pre-calculus class last semester on tournaments and logs.  I find a lot of students do not have a good intuitive grasp of the logarithm function and why it might be useful.  This exercise actually originated when my son was around 5 and began racing his toy cars.  (See the video above – it was hard to determine the winner by eye so we filmed it and ran the finish in slow motion; you can freeze-frame it at around 0:02 to see who won.)  He started collecting…
  • add this feed to my.Alltop

    RENeW

  • Having the BEST Job in the World - that of a Business Prof

    24 Oct 2014 | 1:35 pm
    I do believe that one is the sum of one's experiences and that includes all the jobs that one has ever held.In my case, that has included, during summer breaks from college (Brown University), being a camp counselor in the Catskills with memories of hiking for miles and miles and sleeping in tents with outhouses, and working at St. John's Riverside Hospital in Yonkers as a nurses' aide the 4PM to midnight shift, where I took temperatures, delivered refreshments, gave backrubs, made beds, emptied bedpans, assisted in placing the deceased in body bags, and also tried to uplift the still living…
  • Congrats to the ChoiceNet Future Internet Architecture Team on the Success of their Tutorial at GEC 21!

    21 Oct 2014 | 3:44 pm
    Today, I held a review for the midterm exam for students in my Logistics & Transportation class  plus I had office hours, so I could not take part in the GEC21 Conference at the University of Indiana.at which, as I wrote in my blogpost yesterday, our ChoiceNet project team was presenting a two part tutorial.ChoiceNet is our NSF Future Internet Architecture (FIA) project, which we have been working on for several years now. Our goal in ChoiceNet is to introduce an economy plane for the Internet.The tutorial is now over with and Professor Tilman Wolf of UMass Amherst, with whom I and…
  • ChoiceNet at Global Environment for Network Innovations (GENI) Engineering Conference (GEC21)

    20 Oct 2014 | 11:16 am
    Today,  the GENI Engineering Conference 21  (GEC21) begins at Indiana University and, tomorrow afternoon, there will be a two part tutorial on our National Science Foundation (NSF) project ChoiceNet.    More details on the tutorial can be found here and here. My UMass ciolleague, Professor Tilman Wolf,  and University of Kentucky colleague, Professor Jim Griffioen,  will be conducting the tutorial along with two doctoral students.The full schedule can be accessed here.GENI, also known as the Global Environment for Network Innovations, provides a virtual…
  • Always a Favorite Event - Tune-Up for the INFORMS Conference with the UMass Student Chapter

    17 Oct 2014 | 2:38 pm
    As the Faculty Advisor to the UMass Amherst INFORMS Student Chapter, I always enjoy helping students out with the planning of events and attending them from speakers that we host and a variety of panels (both research and teaching),   as well as social events, such as our 10th Anniversary party two weeks ago.Also, to give our doctoral students a pleasant setting in which to practice the talks that they will be giving at the Annual INFORMS Conference, we host the annual Tune-Up event. This year the conference takes place in San Francisco in early November.The students prepared the nice…
  • Meet an Executive in the Apparel Industry

    16 Oct 2014 | 11:16 am
    The 2014 Nobel laureate in Economic Sciences, Professor Jean Tirole, said recently in an interview in the The Upshot column, in The New York Times: There’s no easy line in summarizing my contribution and the contribution of my colleagues. It is industry-specific. The way you regulate payment cards has nothing to do with the way that you regulate intellectual property or railroads. There are lots of idiosyncratic factors. That’s what makes it all so interesting. It’s very rich. It requires some understanding of how an industry works. And then the reasoning is very much based on game…
 
  • add this feed to my.Alltop

    OR at Work

  • CAP® Certified!

    1 Oct 2014 | 9:14 am
    I just returned from taking the Certified Analytics Professional assessment which I…..(drumroll).… passed! YEAH! Nailed it! Want proof? Here is the confirmation from INFORMS:You might think why does someone with nearly 25 years of experience in using analytics/operations research techniques to solve all kinds of business problems want to get certified? Isn’t experience enough and wouldn’t the assessment be a simple tick in the box for someone like him? Well, it isn’t. As I sat down at the computer of the Kryterion testing centre in Arnhem, I felt very uncomfortable. What if I…
  • When data gets Big, it becomes complicated

    30 Jul 2014 | 2:48 am
    It goes without saying that we live in a data-rich era; data is no longer a scarce resource. The number of devices connected to the internet is growing every day, increasing the growth rate of data even further. Technology providers urge organisations to invest in IT infrastructure and software to capture all that data with the potential of generating new insights, competitive advantage and increased revenues. To capture these advantages, data needs to be transformed into actionable insights and requires organisations to develop the right analytical capabilities. However, technology and…
  • Balancing today’s decisions against tomorrow’s conditions

    30 May 2014 | 11:15 am
    As organisations move up Tom Davenports’ analytics maturity curve, they encounter new challenges in using the insights from data analysis and optimisation models.  Today, the majority of organisations use descriptive analytics to create insights on what has happened. Also the use of diagnostic analytics to understand why things have happened is becoming more common. Moving up the curve towards predictive and prescriptive analytics is more difficult and requires the development of more advanced analytical capabilities. Gartner surveys indicate that about 13% of the companies are using…
  • The future of logistics lies in Analytics

    30 Mar 2014 | 2:40 am
    In a world in which everything and everyone is connected, in which the amount of data generated is growing faster every day and in which lifecycles of products become shorter and shorter, the need to be able to make smarter decisions is rising fast. Maybe in logistics this need is felt the most as logistics is vital in every supply chain. It requires the logistics manager to be well equipped for making though decisions. It’s my strong belief that access to data analysis, predictive and prescriptive analytics will become crucial for every manager, for the logistics manager in particular. For…
  • Intuition vs Analysis

    28 Feb 2014 | 1:54 pm
    Last week the acquisition of WhatsApp by Facebook was breaking news, a typical Mergers and Acquisitions decision. These types of decisions are one of a kind, need to be made in secrecy and at high speed as they can have huge impact on shareholder value. Many executives would argue that in these situations their intuition and experience is what makes the difference.  In their opinion, analysis would take too much time, moreover mathematical models can’t take into account the forces that either make or break the success of such a decision. They believe that intuition is…
Log in