In the news

Press, news, trade journal, media, and blog coverage

You can watch YouTube videos of some of my news appearances and outreach talks here.

Op Eds:

Travel bans can’t stop this pandemic. The Hill, March 18, 2020.

Opening the economy is not the problem — opening without a plan to control the risk is the problem, Fox News, July 3, 2020.

Professional sports teams should play a role on Election Day, but their stadiums should stay out of it, The Hill, October 26, 2020.

Voting Amid a Global Pandemic: Why Lines May Still be Long at the Polls and How to Counteract it. Medium, October 27, 2020.

Ready for takeoff: Three simple guidelines for flying after vaccination, The Hill, February 7, 2021.

With B. Burden. It is possible to have safe and equitable elections, The Hill, February 24, 2021.

With Adam Schmidt.  States regulating ballot drop boxes should check the science first. The Hill, July 23, 2022.


Q & A interview article in the Capital Times, February 14, 2016 (online), February 17, 2016 (print)

Q & A interview article in the On Wisconsin alumni magazine, Spring 2016 issue.

ASEE PRISM Magazine. “Organized chaos: From the classroom to research on emergency response to guiding graduate students, a systems engineer finds imaginative ways to make things work,” January 2018.

Know your Madisonian: Analytics keep UW-Madison professor running, Wisconsin State Journal, March 30, 2018.

UW sports analytics, bracketology and solving the opioid crisis, feature article about me in Bucky’s 5th Quarter on SBNation, October 5, 2019.

AIMMS Newsletter: This is a Great Time to Do OR: Prof. Laura Albert on The Relevance of Operations Research Today, December 2, 2020.

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Profile. How Laura Albert Helped Make Past Election Day in Wisconsin Safer Amid the Pandemic. January 28, 2021.

Other media coverage

Invited guest (with graduate advisor Sheldon H. Jacobson), on the hour-long Focus 580 public radio program on AM580 to discuss research activities on aviation security, February 18, 2003, Urbana, IL.

Press release on 11/1/2006 based on my article entitled “The Economic Impact of Obesity on Automobile Fuel Consumption” in the October-December issue of The Engineering Economist, received a large amount of attention from the popular press.  The results of this research were featured in news articles in more than 400 online and print newspapers and magazines, and was featured on several national cable news shows and regional radio shows.  My interview with WDBJ7, a CBS affiliate in Roanoke, Virginia, appeared on the evening news.

Featured in a segment on Richmond’s NPR affiliate, 2008.

Featured in a VCU News article entitled, “VCU Researcher finds Right Mix of Resources is Critical in Reducing Emergency Medical Service Response Times to Save Lives in Cardiac Arrest,” August 19, 2011.

Featured in a VCU News article entitled, “VCU statistics professor discusses the improbability of the Rams’ Final Four Run,” April 1, 2011.

Featured in a VCU News article entitled, “Solving Complex Problems Using Math,” April 12, 2011.

Featured on an INFORMS Science of Better Podcast in an episode entitled “Punk Rock Blogging,” released on December 8, 2011.

In Carl Bialik’s “The Numbers Guy” blog in the Wall Street Journal in an article entitled “The Waiting Game,” May 4, 2012.

Interview on the “” blog, “Laura McLay – Punk Rock OR”, December 21, 2012.

Interview on “The Stigler Diet” blog, “Should I do a Ph.D.”, September 19, 2013.

Feature story in Perspective, alumni magazine for the University of Wisconsin-Madison College of Engineering, “Her response: Increase the ‘reward’ in high-risk scenarios.” September 27, 2013.

Feature story at the University of Wisconsin-Madison web site, “Laura McLay: Crunching data on high-risk scenarios.” October 24, 2013.

One of my research papers featured in a Washington Post Syndicate article by Esther Cepeda entitled “Add a bus stop to your diet,” syndicated and published in several online newspapers, March 12, 2014.

Interview on the Madison NBC affiliate about the NCAA men’s basketball tournament entitled “Odds of winning lottery 1,000x greater than picking perfect NCAA bracket“, March 18, 2014.

Quoted in an article “Cell phone alerts provide quick notice during storms” in the Wisconsin State Journal about tornadoes, cell phone apps, and risk communication, syndicated by the Associated Press, June 22, 2014.

Laura’s Badger Bracketology work featured in “Computer model picks Gophers in top seven for college football playoff” in the StarTribune by Michael Rand, October 23, 2014.

Quoted in an article entitled “Ebola concerns raise questions about travel” in the Badger Herald, October 27, 2014.

Quoted in an article by Shilagh Mirgain in Brava Magazine entitled “Confidence: Why are women less than sure of themselves?” in the November 2014 issue.

Interview on the Madison NBC affiliate about state lottery entitled “Three lottery tickets worth $350,000 each sold in Dane County”, January 28, 2015.

UW-Madison Press Release: “Bracketology 101: What McLay reads in the seeds,” March 17, 2015.

The inaugural episode of the YouTube show ” ORiginals: outstanding research in everyday language” (Season 1, Episode 1) is an interview with me about my research, July 7, 2015.

Interview on the math podcast The Other Half in episode 2 “The Road Trip,” July 21, 2015.

What’s your stORy feature in OR/MS Today, October 2015.

WID Series: Tools for Discovery feature, December 30, 2015

Featured guest on the Advanced Football Analytics Podcast, January 6, 2016.

Guest on newsradio WTMJ 620 in Milwaukee to talk about Powerball odds and strategy, January 12, 2016 and January 13, 2016.

Guest on “Central Time” on Wisconsin Public Radio in Madison, WI to talk about Powerball, January 13. 2016.

Guest on “Live at Four” WISC-TV (CBS affiliate in Madison, WI) to talk about Powerball, January 13, 2016.

Guest on the Relatively Prime math podcast on the episode entitled “Just choose a spot Bob” about how to optimally choose a parking spot, January 13, 2016

Guest on Wharton Moneyball on Wharton Business Radio (SiriusXM), February 3, 2016.

Ask the Experts UW-Madison video on bracketology, March 13, 2016

Guest on “Live at Four” WISC-TV (CBS affiliate in Madison, WI) to talk about March Madness and bracket tips, March 15, 2016. Blog post here.

Guest on “Live at Four” WISC-TV (CBS affiliate in Madison, WI) to talk about airport security queues, May 31, 2016.

August 4, 2016. Radio interview about Powerball odds for news radio WTMJ in Milwaukee, WI.

August 16, 2016. UWMadScience “More than one way to play presidential pick ’em

September 4, 2016. Radio interview about election forecasting models for news radio WTMJ in Milwaukee, WI.

  1. I am featured in the book Algorithms to Live By: the Computer Science of Human Decisionsby Brian Christian and Tom Griffiths. See the blog post about this book here.

March 13, 2017. Wisconsin State Journal: “University of Wisconsin professor offers tips for a winning March Madness bracket,” by Nico Savidge.

March 13, 2017. WKOW 10 o’clock evening news segment. “UW bracketology expert surprised by Badgers’ 8 seed” My blog post about this is here

March 14, 2017. NBC15 in Madison. 6 o’clock and 10 o’lock news segment “UW professor talks NCAA bracket odds

March 14, 2017. “Live at Four” WISC-TV (CBS affiliate in Madison, WI) to talk about bracketology. “Professor helps you build the perfect bracket.”

March 20, 2017. “Republicans Press Professors to Spend More Time Teaching” New York Times.

March 20, 2017. “Just Ask Us: When did it become popular to make March Madness brackets?” Wisconsin State Journal.

March 30, 2017. 30 minute interview on WORT FM Radio 89.9 Madison on “Perpetual Notion Machine.”

July 30, 2017. The Evolution of Aviation Security, University of the Air, an hour-long interview on Wisconsin Public Radio.

August 23, 2017: Wisconsin hopes to win big in Powerball jackpot, evening news segment on WISC-TV (CBS affiliate in Madison).

March 8, 2018. Interest Down Ahead of NCAA Tournament, But Bracket Playing About Steady by Edward Graham, Morning Consult.

March 14, 2018. “WN@TL – Advanced Analytics for Emergency Response, Bracketology, & Beyond” lecture viewable on YouTubeNote: this episode aired on Wisconsin Public Television’s University Place series on July 23, 2018 at 4:07pm on the Wisconsin Channel.

May 12, 2018. Whad’ya Know podcast interview with Michael Feldman.

May 21, 2018. I gave the opening remarks entitled “Operations Research & Analytics: Saving Lives, Saving Money, Solving Problems” (viewable on YouTube) at the INFORMS Government & Analytics Summit in Washington, D.C.

November 12, 2018. Special report: Secrets of the Lottery on CBS 58 10pm news in Milwaukee, WI.

March 19, 2019. Filling out your NCAA bracket: Do you go with your gut or look at the statistics? Evening news segment on WISC-TV (CBS affiliate in Madison).

March 20, 2019. Using Mathematical Models To Fill Out Your March Madness Bracket, Wisconsin Public Radio (WPR), Central Time.

March 27, 2019. I was on WTMJ 620 news radio in Milwaukee to discuss Powerball odds and why I don’t play the lottery.

October 22, 2020. Easing Election Day delays through industrial and systems engineering. Featured expert on IISE podcast “Problem Solved.”

June 13, 2019. I was on the MIT Sports Analytics Podcast “Counterpoints” to discuss the College Football Playoff.

August 12, 2019. I was on WORT-FM (89.9 FM in Madison, WI) to discuss cyber-security and women in engineering.

October 29, 2019. Algorithms gone awry: The impact of inappropriate data use. The Badger Herald.

March 20, 2020. Featured in How to Triage Patients who need critical care by Jim Daley, Scientific American.

March 27, 2020. Featured in Some are saying Milwaukee is a top city for coronavirus spread, but more data, consistent testing needed before comparing, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

April 21, 2020. Featured in UW Health prepares for uncertainty of peak patient numbers amid COVID-19 pandemic in the Badger Herald.

May 12, 2020. Featured in Would airport coronavirus testing get people flying? Not alone, experts say, ABC News.

May 26, 2020. Featured expert in “Is MLB Going to Be Able to Pull This Back?” Health Experts Break Down Baseball’s Plan, the Ringer.

May 29, 2020. Featured expert in, “Don’t bother having a baseball season,” The Week magazine.

June 25, 2020. Featured expert in “MLB Has a Plan for Games. But What About a Plan for Safety?” the Ringer.

July 11, 2020. Featured expert in “America isn’t ready to bring back sports,” Huffington Post.

July 23, 2020. Interview on 1050 Bascom Podcast, “Bringing baseball back! COVID-19 Modeling, Testing, and Contact Tracing.”

July 27, 2020. Featured expert in “MLB Already Has a Coronavirus Outbreak. What Happens Now?” The Ringer.

July 31, 2020. Featured expert in “Bubble vs. baseball: Why experts say NBA is safer than MLB. WISN 12 (Milwaukee ABC affiliate) evening news.

August 3, 2020. Featured expert in “NFL fighting futile battle against relentless foe” (USA Today network)

August 3, 2020. Featured expert in “Lottery sales increase during pandemic.” Urban Milwaukee.

October 5, 2020. Featured expert on Central Time on Wisconsin Public Radio to discuss election logistics.

October 21, 2020. IISE Podcast guest, Easing Election Day delays through industrial and systems engineering.

October 23, 2020. INFORMS Resoundingly Human podcast guest, Will we be facing long lines at the polls?

November 24, 2020. Co-host of Central Time on Wisconsin Public Radio: How The Airlines Are Managing Going Into The Holidays.

December 9, 2020. Schedule changes come quickly and often in college basketball amid pandemic. The Washington Times.

January 15, 2021. What are your chances of winning the lottery? WTMJ 620 in Milwaukee.

January 28, 2021. Invited guest on the “Perpetual Notion Machine” program on WORT-FM to discuss sports analytics and the NFC championship game, election security, and industrial engineering research, Madison, WI.

Badger Talks Live, How will COVID-19 change air travel and transportation? January 28, 2021.

Badger Talks Live, How will COVID-19 change air travel and transportation? January 28, 2021.

February 22, 2021. Guest on “A Public Affair” on WORT-FM in Madison, WI.

March 29, 2021.  Guest on NBC 15 evening news, How important are those vaccination cards?

April 29, 2021. Guest on “Live at Four” WISC-TV (CBS affiliate in Madison, WI) to talk about international travel and vaccine passports, 

April 30, 2021. Several countries are planning for international visitors. The U.S. travel industry fears being left behind. The Washington Post.

May 5, 2020. Guest on Here and Now on Wisconsin Public Television, Madison, WI.

June 24, 2021. Interview on the Bascom 1050 podcast, “Modeling Covid-19 and what a return to “Normal” looks like

July 22, 2021, Guest on WISC-TV, “Olympic athletes testing positive for Covid.”

July 23, 2021, Guest on NBC-15 news about Olympic athletes testing positive for Covid.

July 30, 2021. Guest on news on WISN-TV in Milwaukee to discuss National Football League Covid planning for the 2021 season.

August 28, 2021. Coverage of my research, The Cap Times, Madison addiction recovery program reduces six month recidivism odds.

January 28, 2022. What is a Bomb Cyclone? A winter storm explained.  The Wall Street Journal.

March 16, 2022. March Madness Bracket Help segment on Live at Four on WISC-TV in Madison.

March 28, 2022. JetBlue starts Milwaukee flights as Wisconsin airports recover from COVID-19. Wisconsin Public Radio.

April 1, 2022. Featured in New reports pressure Minneapolis, state officials to update emergency plans in the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

July 19, 2020. Featured in “‘Were U Wondering’ … how math can tame traffic?” A two minute science video. and

July 29, 2022, Guest to discuss Mega Millions odds on WISC-TV in Madison.

August 18, 2022. Perpetual Motion Machine: What’s math got to do with it? Math & the social good on WORT FM, Madison, WI.

September 29, 2022. IISE Operations Research podcast. OR for social good.

2022. Featured in the book Field Guide to Compelling Analytics by Walter Degrange and Lucia Darrow.

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