'Science of better' convenes operations researchers in Denver


Led by decision-making specialists in homeland security, corporate management, and public health, the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS®) holds its annual meeting in Denver from Sunday, October 24 to Wednesday, October 27 at the Adams Mark Hotel.

Operations research, known as the "Science of Better," is the discipline of applying advanced analytical methods to help make better decisions. Following are meeting highlights for the media --

Procter & Gamble Wins Top Decision-Making Award

  • INFORMS Award. Procter & Gamble is being recognized by INFORMS for its far-reaching integration of operations research (OR) into the decision making structure of the firm to tackle issues such as global manufacturing site location and sourcing, inventory management, supply chain design, and strategic decision making. Since being a finalist in an earlier INFORMS competition, Procter & Gamble's Global Analytics organization has delivered modeling and analysis techniques leading to pronounced cost savings for the company, helping P&G to grow and manage the complexity of a $50 billion organization operating in 80 countries. P&G is recognized for the way OR principles permeate efforts to understand how products compete and can best be supplied in local markets around the world. Glenn Wegryn of P&G is available for interview. Monday, October 25, 11:40 AM – 12:45 PM, Plaza Building-Ballroom A Risks to Our Homeland Security

  • The New Registered Traveler System: Can Airports Be Secure and Board Us Faster? The Transportation Security Agency is evaluating a Registered Traveler (RT) System at five airports. Hear why expert Alfred Blumstein of Carnegie Mellon University thinks that the SWIFT (Short-Wait Integrated Flight Travel) design holds promise for American travelers. Monday Oct 25, 10:00 - 11:30 AM Plaza Building-Room 3302

  • The Risk of Terrorist Attack in the U.S. Expert Detlof von Winterfeldt, Co-Director of the Homeland Security Center at USC, is available for interview about the innovations that operations researchers bring to assessing the risks of terrorist attacks and to simulating their consequences. The professor heads a team that examines the threat of weapons of mass destruction and dirty bombs. Other teams at the Center examine the threat of surface-to-air missile attacks on airplanes and attacks on the electricity system. Prof. Von Winterfeldt will be available for interview on Monday, Oct. 25, 9:30 AM, Plaza Building-Directors Row E. Improving Our Health Care System

  • No Choice: Health Care Delivery Must be Improved. William Pierskalla, Professor Emeritus, UCLA. Our health care system faces fundamental change over the next 10 years. The bad news is that quality gaps are everywhere, costs are increasing at double-digit rates, waste is extensive, delivery systems are outmoded, access is restricted, and many developed countries have better health care systems' performances at lower costs. The good news is that operations researchers skilled at analyzing these weaknesses are offering new approaches to the seemingly intractable problems. Expert William Pierskalla sheds light on this important new work being done in health care operations, policy, and economics, as well as clinical practice. Sunday, October 24, 11:40 AM – 12:30 PM, Plaza Building-Ballroom A

  • IT's Increasing Impact on Health Care: Kevin Leonard, University of Toronto, Dean Sittig, Director, Applied Research in Med Informatics, Kaiser Permanente. There is a revolution taking place in health care that many people believe is long overdue. This revolution applies Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) to solving health care delivery system issues. Citing lessons that American health care can learn from Canadian experience, the authors show that increased ICT capabilities, availability, and use leads directly to improved clinical quality, safety, and effective inpatient care. Sunday, October 24, 1:30 – 3:00 PM, Plaza Building -Room 3304

  • Making Better Decisions to Prevent Breast Cancer. Elissa Ozanne, Harvard Medical School, Laura Esserman, University of California San Francisco Medical Center. A woman's risk profile is crucial to the decision-making process when considering options to prevent breast cancer. Biological markers hold promise to improve the prediction of risk and the response to interventions. The authors discuss the pilot version of software that helps physicians advise patients about their individual cancer risk and how to weigh the prevention and treatment choices. Sunday, October 24, 1:30 – 3:00 PM, Plaza Building -Directors Row H Sports and Math Geeks

  • Can't make the pros? Crunch the numbers instead. James J. Cochran, Louisiana State University. Whether they're thwarted athletes or math geniuses who just plain love sports, operations researchers offer new approaches to determining the most deserving teams to make the playoffs, scheduling games, playing fantasy sports, and making a winning decision on the playing field. Monday Oct 25, 4:30 - 6:00 PM, Plaza Building -Room 3404

    The INFORMS annual meeting includes sessions that apply to numerous fields, including airlines, health care, the military, information technology, energy, transportation, marketing, and e-commerce. More than 2,000 papers are scheduled to be delivered.

    The General Chair of the convention is Prof. Manuel Laguna, University of Colorado Boulder, Leeds School of Business. Additional information about the conference is at http://www.informs.org/Conf/Denver2004 and http://www.informs.org/Press. Sponsors include, from the Denver area Coors, Jeppesen, and the University of Colorado at Boulder, Leeds School of Business; and IBM Research and ILOG.

    Source: Eurekalert & others

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