Exhausted after an OR/MS Binge


The INFORMS annual meeting sucked every ounce of energy from my body (in a good way). I enjoyed the good OR even more than I enjoyed the coffee. Over the next week or two, I will be writing about some of the talks I attended. Some of the interesting tidbits from the conference:


  • I was amazed at the shear number of applications in catastrophic emergency response. These talks were well-attended as well. Certainly OR can make a big difference in emergency situations, and I’m glad that we’re doing what we can to help.
  • Ron Askin and Jonathan Bard gave a number of great insights into workforce engineering and scheduling issues in the service sector. Their informal talks (TD19) gave me much to ponder when approaching real-world scheduling problems — politics and personalities matter!
  • 25% of people in the US will get a food-borne illness (such as e coli) in their lifetime (I had salmonella from milk in 1985).
  • I liked John Gartska’s Tuesday keynote when he urged us all to fail in order to succeed. Failing is one of the best pieces of advice I have ever received!
  • The General Reception in the Experience Music Project Museum (wikipedia) was a lot of fun and very unique — special thanks to whoever organized the reception! The Science Fiction Museum (wikipedia) was fascinating. I definitely need to add a few more SF movies to my Netflix queue.
  • Jimi Hendrix is a Seattle native.
  • The WORMS (Women in OR/MS Forum) reception was incredibly well-attended and at least 50% male, by my estimation. It was great to see such support for women!
  • I had my first (and hopefully not my last) espresso brownie in Seattle. I may need to find a recipe…

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