Last week I blogged about the husband and wife team that created Major League Baseball schedules for more than two decades [Link]. I discovered another operations research collaboration between a husband and wife team.
Math professor Sommer Gentry and her surgeon husband Dorry Segev discuss how to match kidney donors with those in need of a transplant using networks and integer programming. Their collaboration is featured in the documentary “The Right Match” (below).
In the documentary, they mention how administrators in a single hospital could match up the pairs locally, where there were just a few patients. Integer programming models were needed when considering patients across multiple hospitals, where there are hundreds of patients in need of a transplant. Jump ahead to about seven minutes in to see their discussion of the the network structure of the problem and its similarity to max cardinality matching.
This is a nice video that would be suitable to undergraduate and graduate students studying optimizations. It might be particularly motivating for undergraduates who have learned about less useful applications like the diet problem and optimal mix problems in a linear programming course.
Watch the video here:
Visit their web site: http://www.optimizedmatch.com/
See some of the press their research has received here.
For more reading, I recommend reading more about it on Hari Balasubramanian’s blog here.