Throughout the academic year, INFORMS@USF invites distinguished scholars, professors and leaders of the field from all over the nation to the Del and Beth Kimbler Lecture Series at USF. Speakers conduct discussions on the state-of-the-art and elucidate the audience about their latest research.




Barbara Gastel, PhD

Professor of integrative biosciences, medical humanities, and biotechnology at Texas A&M University

Presentation abstractWriting and publishing journal articles can be bewildering,
intimidating, and frustrating. However, greater knowledge of appropriate article structure, increased understanding of 
the publication process, and establishment of more productive attitudes and habits can decrease stress and increase success.  This presentation therefore is designed to provide such knowledge and understanding and promote such attitudes and habits. Intended largely for early-career researchers and
those who mentor them, it will address topics such as the following:

• establishing an effective mindset
• integrating writing into a busy schedule
• making journals’ instructions a bridge, not a barrier
• reverse-engineering articles in your target journal
• structuring each section of a journal article
• editing one’s own drafts systematically
• obtaining internal review before submission
• making best use of peer reviewers’ feedback
• interacting effectively with journal editors
• helping make one’s articles visible and accessible

The presentation also will identify resources that can aid in writing and publishing journal articles. Much of the presentation will apply not only to journal articles but also to other professional and academic writing, such as grant proposals.

The path to publication does demand hard work. But many common obstacles can be avoided or minimized. Come join us for this chance to make the path clearer and the journey more satisfying and successful.


Gokul Iyer, PhD

Scientist at the Pacific Nothwest National Laboratory's Joint Global Change Research Institute (JGCRI).

Presentation abstract - In this seminar, Gokul Iyer will talk about recent advances in the modeling of the energy systems within the context of interactions of the energy system with other systems such as water, land, climate, and economy across spatial and tempoal scales. The talk will first motivate the need for integrated modeling and then present examples from previous as well as ongoing work. The modeling examples will include applications based on US natural gas pipeline infraestructure, US electricity trasmission infraestructure, and impacts of future climate variability and extremes on US power sector investments. Together, the three examples will desmostrate both the value of integrated modeling and the need to understand the long-term evolution of the energy system within the broader context of the interactions of the energy system across other human and Earth systems.


Natashia Boland, PhD

Professor of the Stewart School of Industrial & Systems Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Presentation abstractOptimization problems in which some or all of the variables are constrained to take integer values are of broad applicability in a wide range of fields, ranging from medicine and healthcare to banking and finance to environmental management and conservation. Over recent decades, exact algorithms for their solution have become faster and more efficient, culminating in a variety of commercial software platforms and public domain codes that provide exceptional capability for solving practical problems to optimality. However, this seems to have only increased the appetite of practitioners to solve ever-larger problems, which challenge the state-of-the-art. In this talk, we bring together two apparently disparate observations: (i) many practical problems have decomposable structure and (ii) despite the enormous strides in solution algorithms, one key element common to all of them, namely, the branching rule, has remained largely untouched since it was first presented in the 1960’s. Yet the branching rule defines how the search space is divided in the ``divide-andconquer’’ paradigm that forms the basis of all exact algorithms; it is central to the algorithm. Here, we will describe a new idea for exploiting decomposable structure in problems to derive alternative, powerful, new branching rules. These rules are demonstrated to speed up commercial solvers by orders of magnitude, on two classes of problems having different characteristics. The potential to generalize these ideas will also be discussed.



Pitu B. Mirchandani, PhD

 Design, Logistics, Management of Recharging Infrastructure for Electric Vehicles.

Dr. Pitu B. Mirchandani [UCLA, BS/MS in Engineering; MIT, SM (Aero and Astro) ScD in Operations Research] is a Professor and the AVNET Chair for Supply Chain Networks in the School of Computing, Informatics, and Decision Systems Engineering at Arizona State University. He is the Director of the Advanced Traffic and Logistics Algorithms and Systems Laboratory (ATLAS). He is also the Chief Scientist of the recently awarded DHS Center for Accelerating Operations Efficiency, and a Senior Scientist, at ASU's Global Institute of Sustainability. For close to 40 years, Pitu Mirchandani has been studying relevant problems on Dynamic Stochastic Networks, with interests in models and systems for making strategic/tactical/operational decisions in dynamic and stochastic networked environments. Problems related to traffic flow on transportation networks can be typically addressed as such. Mirchandani’s contributions are in: (1) Location Decision Modeling, (2) Traveler and Vehicle Routing Models, (3) Real-time Data-Driven Decision Systems, and (4) general theoretical contributions to OR modeling, methods, and algorithms.


Rajan Battta, Ph.D.

 Location-Coverage  Models for Patrolling Interurban Transportation Networks While Remaining Responsive to Emergencies. 

Dr. Rajan Batta is a SUNY Distinguished Professor in the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering at the University of Buffalo, State University of New York. His research philosophy is that of being problem motivated-that is, given a relevant, interesting, real-world application, develop and analyze mathematical models for the related problem. Recent work has been in the following areas: Implications of Social Sensing in Humanitarian Logistics, Pothole Repairs, Hazardous Materials Routing/Logistic, Routing/Scheduling for Search Missions, Convoy Routing, School Bus Routing, Gasoline Supply Logistics, Electric Vehicle Routing and Location of Charging, Evacuation Planning, Disaster Relief Supply in Mountainous Area, and Grocery Store Layout Optimization. 


Patrick McDonald, Ph.D.

Predicting Return Visits Following Hospitalization.

Dr. Patrick McDonald is currently a professor of Mathematics at New College of Florida, where he is also the Founding Director of New College's first and only graduate program, a Master's Program in Data Science. His original training was in geometric analysis where he has written extensively on the interaction of analytic, geometric and probabilistic ideas, with special attention to determinants of elliptic operators and heat content, and their use as differential geometric tools. He has also written extensively in high energy physics where his interests lie primarily in the effects of symmetry breaking on the Standard Model. He has recently begun working in optimization and machine learning, with a special interest in material involving health records. 


Jonathan Cole Smith, Ph.D.

Mathematical Optimization Models & Algorithms for Dynamic Detection on Networks.

Dr. J. Cole Smith is professor and Chair of the Industrial Engineering department at Clemson University. His research has been supported by the NSF, DARPA, AFOSR, DTRA, and the ONR, and he has spent one summer as a Distinguished Visiting Professor in the National Security Agency's summer program in operations research technology. His research regards mathematical optimization models and algorithms, especially those arising in combinatorial optimization. His teaching has also been recognized by IISE  with their Excellence in the Teaching of Operations Research award. Dr. Smith's research focuses on mathematical optimization theory and algorithms, especially related to interdiction and multilevel optimization problems. His recent papers on this topic have appeared in Operations Research, Management Science, Mathematical Programming, Networks, and INFORMS Journal on Computing.


Sauleh Siddiqui, Ph.D.

An Exact Method for Binary Equilibrium Prob-lems with Compensation & the Power Market Up-lift Problem

Sauleh Siddiqui is an Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering and Applied Mathe-matics & Statistics at the Whiting School of Engineering, Co-Director of the Center for Systems Science & Engineering, and Research Fellow at DIW Berlin. He is also a core faculty member of the Malone Cen-ter for Engineering in Healthcare and the Center for Systems Engineering in Healthcare. He is a recipient of the Young Researcher Prize from the Energy Natural Resources and the Environment sec-tion of INFORMS, where he serves as the Secretary/Treasurer and was past Chair of the Energy Cluster. He serves as Vice Chair for Linear and Conic Optimization for the INFORMS optimization society and is an Associate Editor for the journals Optimization & Engineering and Energy Systems. His research is on understanding and guiding societal decision-making in large-scale energy and health systems through math-ematical optimization and game theory models representing human-system interactions. These include applications to ener-gy infrastructure, healthcare planning, and urban transporta-tion.



Martin Savelsbergh, Ph.D.

Dynamic Discretization Discovery: Solving Discrete Time Integer Programs

Martin Savelsbergh is James C. Edenfield Chair and Professor at the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial & Systems Engineering in Georgia Tech. Martin is an optimization and logistics specialist with over 20 years of experience in mathematical modeling, operations research, optimization methods, algorithm design, performance analysis, logistics, supply chain management, and transportation systems. Martin has a track record of creating innovative techniques for solving large-scale optimization problems in a variety of areas, ranging from sup-ply chain master planning and execution, to world-wide tank container management, to service network design, to production planning, and to vehicle routing and scheduling. He was Director of the Centre for Optimal Planning and Operations and Professor of Applied Mathematics at the University of Newcastle, Australia. Ongoing research projects that Martin is pursuing include innovations in last-mile delivery, advances in dynamic ride-sharing, methods for multi objective optimization, and dynamic management of time-expanded networks.


Julie Simmons Ivy, Ph.D.

To be Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise: Using Decision Modeling to Personalize Policy in Health, Hunger Relief, and Education

Julie Simmons Ivy is a Professor at North Carolina State University in the Edward P. Fitts Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering and Fitts Faculty Fellow in Health Systems Engineering. She previously spent several years on the faculty of the Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan. She received her B.S. and Ph.D. in Industrial and Operations Engineering at the University of Michigan. She also received her M.S. in Industrial and Systems Engineering with a focus on Operations Research at Georgia Tech. She is a President of the Health Systems Engineering Alliance (HSEA) Board of Directors. She is an active member of the Institute of Operations Research and Management Science (INFORMS), Dr. Ivy served as the 2007 Chair (President) of the INFORMS Health Applications Society and is immediate past President for the INFORMS Minority Issues Forum. Her research interests are mathematical modeling of stochastic dynamic systems with emphasis on statistics and decision analysis as applied to health care, public health, and humanitarian logistics.

Lawrence M. Seiford, Ph.D.

The Art & Science of IE Practice: Michigan’s Tauber Institute Student Projects Save Hundreds of Millions of Dollars Annually

Lawrence M. Seiford is the Goff Smith Co-Director of the Tauber Institute for Global Operations and Professor of Industrial and Opera-tions Engineering at the University of Michigan. Prior to joining the University of Michigan he was Program Director of the Operations Research and Production Systems programs at the National Science Foundation (1997-2000) and was a member of the faculty at the University of Massachusetts, the University of Texas at Austin, the University of Kansas, and York University. Professor Seiford’s teaching and research interests are primarily in the areas of quality engineering, productivity analysis, process improvement, distributed-system design issues, and performance measurement. His current research involves the development of bench-marking models for identifying best-practice in manufacturing and service systems. He is presently engaged in multi-year studies examining best-practice in the financial services sector and health care delivery systems.

Enrique del Castillo, Ph.D.

High dimensional statistical inference in non-parametric models with applications

Dr. Enrique del Castillo is a Distinguished Professor in the Department of Industrial & Manufacturing Engineering and a Professor in the Department of Statistics at Penn State University. He is the author of over 100 refereed papers which have appeared in a variety of technical journals in Engineering, Statistics and Science. He is the author of the book Process Optimization, A Statistical Approach (Springer, 2007), and of the book Statistical Process Adjustment for Quality Control (Wiley, 2002). Dr. del Castillo is a past editor-in-chief of the Journal of Quality Technology and a past Associate Editor of the Technometrics journal. His research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, Intel Corporation, General Motors, Minitab Corporation, and NATO. Dr. del Castillo’s educational background is in Mechan-ical and Electrical Engineering (National U. of Mexico and U. Panamericana, Mexico City), Operations Research (Cornell University) and Industrial Engineering and Statistics (Arizona State U.). He is a former recipient of an NSF CAREER award and is a former Fulbright Scholar. Dr. del Castillo has held visiting professorship positions in several occasions at the Universities of Tilburg (Netherlands), Navarra (Spain), Politecnico di Milano (Italy), Wuerzburg (Germany), and the National University of Singapore.



Jianjun Shi, Ph.D.

Online Monitoring of High-Dimensional Streaming Data for Quality Improvement

Dr. Jianjun Shi is the Carolyn J. Stewart Chair and Professor at H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology. Prior to joining Georgia Tech in 2008, he was the Lawton and Johnson Chair Professor of Engineering, Professor of the Department of Industrial and Operations Engineering, and Professor of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Michigan. He received his B.S. and M.S. in Electrical Engineering at the Beijing Institute of Technology in 1984 and 1987, and his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Michigan in 1992.

Professor Shi's research interests focus on system informatics and control for the design and operational improvements of manufacturing and service systems. He has published one book and more than 160 papers (110+ Journal papers, and collectively received about 5200+ paper citations). Professor Shi is the founding chairperson of the Quality, Statistics and Reliability (QSR) Subdivision at INFORMS. He is currently serving as the Focus Issue Editor of IIE Transactions on Quality and Reliability Engineering. Associate Editor, ASME Transactions, Journal of Manufacturing Science and Engineering; Editor, Journal of Systems Science and Complexity; and Senior Editor of Chinese Journal of Institute of Industrial Engineering. He is a Fellow of IIE, a Fellow of ASME, and a Fellow of IN-FORMS, an Elected Member of the International Statistical Institute (ISI), an Academician of the International Academy for Quality, and a life member of American Statistics Association (ASA).

Phil Kaminsky, Ph.D.

Centralized and Decentralized Warehouse Logistics Collaboration

Dr. Phil Kaminsky is Professor and Chair of the Industrial Engineering and Operations Research Department at the University of California, Berkeley, where he also serves as co-director of the Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology, and director of the Initiative for Research in Biopharmaceutical Operations. He received his PhD in Industrial Engineering and Management Science from Northwestern University. Prior to that, he worked in production engineering and control at Merck and Co. His current research focuses on the analysis and development of robust and efficient tools and techniques for design, operation, and risk management in logistics systems and supply chains, with a particular recent focus on the pharmaceutical and transportation industries. He is a co-author of “Managing the Supply Chain: the definitive guide for the business professional” and “Designing and Managing the Supply Chain: Concepts, Strategies and Case Studies." He has been an associate editor for Management Science, Production and Operations Management, Naval Research Logistics, Operations Research Letters, and IIE Transactions and has chaired various INFORMS prize committees. He consults in the areas of production planning, logistics, and supply chain management.

Vishnu Nanduri, Ph.D.

Title: Analytics for the Internet of Things (IoT)

He received his Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering from the University of South Florida (USF) in 2009 and subsequently served as a tenure track Assistant Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee for four years in their Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering Department. For the previous two years he has been working in Big Data Analytics industry as a Senior Data Scientist and is currently the Practice Head for Data Science and Engineering in IT Operations Analytics at one of the largest IT Companies in the world. He has over a decade of experience in unsupervised machine learning, statistics, and stochastic optimization. He has applied machine learning and advanced text analytics methods in energy, healthcare, telecommunications, and IT industries. 

Andres Medaglia, Ph.D.

Title: On the combined Maintenance and routing optimization problem.

He is professor and chair of the Industrial Engineering and the director of the Centro para la Optimización y Probabilidad Aplicada (COPA) at Universidad de los Andes (Bogotá, Colombia). He earned his Ph.D. in Operations Research (OR) (2001) from North Carolina State University. His current research interests include the development and application of optimization techniques to problems in transportation and logistics. His research has led to over 40 peer-reviewed publications. He has served as Secretary and Vicepresident of the Latin-Ibero American Association of OR; as Vicepresident of Central/South America for the Institute of Industrial Engineers; and as the Vicepresident of the Colombian Operational Research Society (ASOCIO). In INFORMS, he has served in the Transportation Science & Logistics Society (TSL) as the Liason for the Americas and in the Best Paper Award Committee. He has been the (co-)recipient of several prizes, among others, the first prize in the 2011 INFORMS Railway Application Section Problem Solving Competition and the EURO Award for the Best EJOR (Review) Paper in 2015. 


Diego Klabjan, Ph.D.

Title: Optimization via Clustering in Machine Learning 

Diego Klabjan is a professor at Northwestern University, Department of Industrial Engineering and management  Sciences. He is also Founding Director of Master of Science in Analytics. After obtaining his doctorate from the School of Industrial and Systems Engineering of the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1999, in the same year he joined the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  In 2007 he became an associate professor at Northwestern. His research is focused on analytics-based algorithms and analyses with concentration in transportation, finance, sustainability, healthcare, and retail. 

Binil Starly PhD.

Title: Manufacturing of Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine Technologies

Binil Starly is an Associate Professor in the Edward P. Fitts Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering in North Carolina State University. He directs the Laboratory for Engineering Biological Tissue Systems engaged in the scale-up automated production of engineered tissue systems for pharmaceutical drug screening, toxicity testing and regenerative medicine applications. As part of the regenerative medicine cluster, his work will involve building production platforms for engineered biological tissue leveraging advances in computer aided tissue scaffold production, bioprinting, intelligent machines, non-invasive sensors and advanced bioreactors to achieve the goal of ‘tissue engineering on-demand’. 

Qiang Huang, Ph.D.

Title: Stochastic Modeling of Graphene Growth Processes

Prof. Qiang Huang is an Associate Professor and Gordon S. Marshall Early Career Chair in Engineering in the Daniel J. Epstein Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, University of Southern California, Los Angeles. His research focuses on modeling and analysis of complex systems for quality and productivity improvement,  with special interest in integrated nanomanufacturing and nanoinformatics, and additive manufacturing. He was a faculty member at IMSE department at USF from 2003 to 2009.

Wanpracha Art, Ph.D.

Title: Decision models of Medical Signal and Imaging data to Improve Medical Diagnosis

Wanpracha Art Chaovalit wongse is Professor in the Departments of Industrial & Systems Engineering and Radiology at the University of Washington, Seattle (UW). He also serves as Associate Director of the Integrated Brain Imaging Center at UW Medical Center. His research group conducts basic computational science, applied, and translational research at the interface of engineering, medicine, and other emerging disciplines. His work thus far has focused on (a) computational neuroscience, (b) computational biology, and (c) logistics optimization. He holds three patents of novel optimization techniques adopted in the development of seizure prediction system. 

Benjamin Hobbs, Ph.D.

Title: Modeling Electricity Markets with Optimization: Why It's Important (and Fun!)

Benjamin F. Hobbs earned a Ph.D. (Environmental Systems Engineering) in 1983 from Cornell University. He holds the Theodore M. and Kay W. Schad Chair of Environmental Management at the Johns Hopkins University, where he has been in the Department of Geography & Environmental Engineering since 1995. He also holds a joint appointment in the Department of Applied Mathematics & Statistics, and is founding director of the JHU Environment, Energy, Sustainability & Health Institute. His research and teaching concerns the application of systems analysis and economics to electric utility regulation, planning, and operations, as well as environmental and water resources systems. 



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