Resoundingly Human

INFORMS

Resoundingly Human, the podcast from INFORMS, is dedicated to bringing O.R. and analytics to life by highlighting the incredible contributions of the men and women who are using O.R. and analytics to save lives, save money, and solve problems.

Wading through the hype to find the best solutions for your business
Aug 31 2022
Wading through the hype to find the best solutions for your business
Operations research, analytics and data science can provide a wide range of solutions to many of the challenges facing organizations, from staffing to resource allotment to evaluating success and failure, if you have a business problem, O.R. and analytics can provide an effective, data-based solution. But making sure you are picking the correct solution, the right approach for your unique problem, is just as important. Sure, having AI or machine learning-based solutions might sound super cool, but how do you know it’s actually the right answer to your problem? And when organizations are investing thousands if not more in these solutions, a lot is riding on the choice you make.    We’ll be exploring the answers to these questions and more, with a particular focus on data-centric vs. decision-centric analytics and solutions, with Karen O’Brien. Karen O’Brien is an analytics leader and a 20-year public servant, having served in diverse analytics and leadership roles within the Department of the Army as a member of the Army Civilian Corps. Her applied operations research experience ranges from ballistics to logistics and she has built advanced data analytics capabilities in multiple organizations. By training, her undergraduate work was in physics and chemistry, and she leverages her MS in Predictive Analytics from Northwestern University to bridge the worlds of big data analytics and classic operations research.
We’re gonna need a bigger … data set: Shark attacks and wicked problems
Aug 19 2022
We’re gonna need a bigger … data set: Shark attacks and wicked problems
Today’s episode will be a little different than most, we’re going to take a bit of a detour but stick with me and I promise, I’ll bring us back around to data science. I’m going to take us back in time a little, back to the first time I watched what was to become my favorite movie, Jaws. It was the summer between 4th and 5th grade (probably way too young to be watching a movie about a killer shark) and I was at a sleepover where the next day, after being thoroughly terrified by this movie, we went to the beach where, wait for it, a shark had washed up on shore! Needless to say, I spent much of the rest of that summer playing in the dunes, BUT, it cemented in me an absolute fascination and, let’s be honest, fear of sharks. So fast forward a couple of decades to this summer, I’m on my morning run through the Pennsylvania woods, far from any beach, and listening to my newest podcast obsession, “Réunion: Shark Attacks in Paradise,” which is about a series of unprecedented shark attacks on the French island of Réunion. All of a sudden, I hear the host mention “the totally fascinating academic journal Management Science.” That’s right, the INFORMS journal Management Science! He’s referring to an article by UC Berkeley professor Charles West Churchman titled “Wicked Problems” and proceeds to lay out the shark attacks on Reunion as a wicked problem! I literally stop dead in my track, I’m texting my coworkers, “The coolest thing ever just happened!” and of course, I keep bingeing the podcast. So needless to say, I am beyond excited to welcome Daniel Duane, award winning journalist and author, and host of my new favorite podcast, to talk about what exactly data science has to do with a series of shark attacks on a small island in the Indian Ocean.
Resoundingly Human: Collaborating to improve the lives of mothers and children on the opposite side of the globe
Jun 10 2022
Resoundingly Human: Collaborating to improve the lives of mothers and children on the opposite side of the globe
As the host of this podcast, I am in a unique position to hear first-hand from people who are having an incredible impact on the world in such an amazing variety of ways, which in my role, I then have the pleasure of sharing with our listeners. While each episode of the podcast communicates an important discovery or significant impact, it’s seemed like a number of recent episodes, at least in my eyes and ears, have captured stories of the impact of O.R. and analytics that regardless of whether you have a background in these fields, are pretty inspiring. From reducing poaching to help revitalize populations of wild tigers, to helping teach AI to think more like we do, to helping craft better policies to protect and better serve some of our most vulnerable dialysis patients, to interviews featuring the 2022 Franz Edelman Award finalist teams, these episodes have shared stories of brining together skilled people from a variety of fields, organizations and backgrounds to collaborate on addressing significant problems across the globe. And I’m excited to share that today’s episode, is no exception. Joining me is Ayan Mukhopadhyay, a research scientist with Vanderbilt University and one of the recipients of the 2021 Google AI for Social Good Impact Scholar Award. Ayan is involved in a number of projects that are having a significant positive impact on the world around us, but today we’ll be talking in particular about his work with HelpMum, a non-profit organization based in Nigeria dedicated to improving the lives of African mothers and children.
Resoundingly Human: 2022 Franz Edelman Competition: Janssen
Mar 29 2022
Resoundingly Human: 2022 Franz Edelman Competition: Janssen
This podcast is part of a special series featuring the 2022 finalist teams for the INFORMS Franz Edelman Award for Achievement in Advanced Analytics, Operations Research and Management Science, the most prestigious award for achievement in the practice of O.R. and advanced analytics. For more than four decades, the Edelman Award has recognized contributions that are transforming how we approach some of the world’s most complex problems. Finalists for the Edelman Award have contributed to a cumulative impact of more than $336 billion since the award’s inception, as well as countless other nonmonetary benefits. The winner of this year’s award will be announced at the 2022 INFORMS Business Analytics Conference, April 3-5. Joining me for this episode are Dimitris Bertsimas, professor with the MIT Sloan School of Management and Najat Khan, Chief Data Science Officer and Global Head, Research and Development Strategy & Operations with Janssen Research and Development, LLC,  to discuss the finalist entry from the team at Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson and Johnson (Janssen). To accelerate the development of the Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, the Research and Development Data Science team at Janssen worked with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to co-develop and refine a machine learning-based COVID-19 epidemiological disease spread model, building on MIT’s DELPHI scenario analysis tool, capable of predicting future COVID-19 infection spread months in advance at a global level. This model enabled Johnson and Johnson to expedite a highly accurate clinical trial for the first single-dose COVID-19 vaccine, as well as gain valuable insight on virus variants.
Resoundingly Human: 2022 Franz Edelman Competition: General Motors
Mar 25 2022
Resoundingly Human: 2022 Franz Edelman Competition: General Motors
This podcast is part of a special series featuring the 2022 finalist teams for the INFORMS Franz Edelman Award for Achievement in Advanced Analytics, Operations Research and Management Science, the most prestigious award for achievement in the practice of O.R. and advanced analytics. For more than four decades, the Edelman Award has recognized contributions that are transforming how we approach some of the world’s most complex problems. Finalists for the Edelman Award have contributed to a cumulative impact of more than $336 billion since the award’s inception, as well as countless other nonmonetary benefits. The winner of this year’s award will be announced at the 2022 INFORMS Business Analytics Conference, April 3-5. Joining me for this episode are Peiling Wu-Smith, Research Manager and Technical Fellow, and Kathryn Schumacher, Staff Researcher, both with the Advanced Analytics Center of Expertise in Chief Data & Analytics Office, to discuss the finalist entry from the team at General Motors. General Motors (GM) is on a journey toward helping to create a world with zero emissions, zero crashes and zero congestion. Decisions on new product content, packaging and pricing are central to this goal and the GM customer experience. Vehicle Content Optimization (VCO) helps GM make these decisions while offering a full-line portfolio of vehicles that meet the vast diversity of customer needs and preferences. Developed entirely within GM, VCO combines advanced consumer market research, discrete choice models and novel optimization algorithms into a user-friendly, fully productionized system which has had a significant impact on GM’s Global Vehicle Development process.
2022 Franz Edelman Competition: U.S. Census Bureau
Mar 17 2022
2022 Franz Edelman Competition: U.S. Census Bureau
This podcast is part of a special series featuring the 2022 finalist teams for the INFORMS Franz Edelman Award for Achievement in Advanced Analytics, Operations Research and Management Science, the most prestigious award for achievement in the practice of O.R. and advanced analytics. For more than four decades, the Edelman Award has recognized contributions that are transforming how we approach some of the world’s most complex problems. Finalists for the Edelman Award have contributed to a cumulative impact of more than $336 billion since the award’s inception, as well as countless other nonmonetary benefits. The winner of this year’s award will be announced at the 2022 INFORMS Business Analytics Conference, April 3-5. Joining me for this episode are Vicki McIntire, Assistant Regional Director for the Denver Regional Office, and Tammy Adams, Senior Advisor for IT and Operations, to discuss the finalist entry from the team representing the U.S. Census Bureau. The U.S. Census Bureau conducts the Decennial Census every 10 years as mandated in the U.S. Constitution. Prior to the 2020 Census, this was done with manual assignments. In 2020, optimization and machine learning techniques automated the scheduling, workload assignments and management of field data collection. MOJO, an operational control system based on these techniques, provided optimization of caseloads handled by enumerators through a geographic information system. The 2020 Census resolved 99.9% of all addresses in the nation and MOJO, via assignment optimization, provided a productivity increase of over 80%. The system was developed in collaboration with Princeton Consultants as well as others in the private sector and academia.
Resoundingly Human: 2022 Franz Edelman Competition: Gobierno de Chile
Mar 11 2022
Resoundingly Human: 2022 Franz Edelman Competition: Gobierno de Chile
This podcast is part of a special series featuring the 2022 finalist teams for the INFORMS Franz Edelman Award for Achievement in Advanced Analytics, Operations Research and Management Science, the most prestigious award for achievement in the practice of O.R. and advanced analytics. For more than four decades, the Edelman Award has recognized contributions that are transforming how we approach some of the world’s most complex problems. Finalists for the Edelman Award have contributed to a cumulative impact of more than $336 billion since the award’s inception, as well as countless other nonmonetary benefits. The winner of this year’s award will be announced at the 2022 INFORMS Business Analytics Conference, April 3-5. Joining me for this episode are Andrés Couve, the Chilean Minister of Science, Technology, Knowledge and Innovation, Leonardo Basso, Professor with the Universidad de Chile in the Civil Engineering Department and Director of the Complex Engineering Systems Institute, to discuss the finalist entry from the team representing the country of Chile. During the COVID-19 crisis, the Chilean Ministries of Health and Sciences partnered with the Complex Engineering Systems Institute and telecom company Entel to develop innovative methodologies and tools that placed operations research and analytics at the forefront of the battle against the pandemic. These innovations have been used in key decisions that helped shape the strategy against the virus, including tools that shed light on the actual effects of lockdowns in different municipalities and over time; helped allocate limited intensive care capacity; allowed multiplying the testing capacity; provided on-the-ground strategies for the active search of asymptomatic cases based on anonymized mobility data; and implemented a nationwide serology surveillance program that greatly influenced Chile’s decision regarding booster doses and provided valuable insight to the rest of the world.
Resoundingly Human: 2022 Franz Edelman Competition: Alibaba
Mar 3 2022
Resoundingly Human: 2022 Franz Edelman Competition: Alibaba
This podcast is part of a special series featuring the 2022 finalist teams for the INFORMS Franz Edelman Award for Achievement in Advanced Analytics, Operations Research, and Management Science, the most prestigious award for achievement in the practice of O.R. and advanced analytics. For more than four decades, the Edelman Award has recognized contributions that are transforming how we approach some of the world’s most complex problems. Finalists for the Edelman Award have contributed to a cumulative impact of more than $336 billion since the award’s inception, as well as countless other nonmonetary benefits. The winner of this year’s award will be announced at 2022 INFORMS Business Analytics Conference, April 3-5. Joining me for this episode are Xinhui Zhang, Senior Director, Head of Supply Chain Management and Operations Research Committee, and Yuming Deng, Director, Digital Supply Chain, to discuss their team, Alibaba’s, finalist entry. Alibaba, which aims to build the future infrastructure of commerce, has designed many multiplatform retail business models. These range from mobile apps to brick-and-mortars and more. Merchandise on Alibaba’s platforms covers general supplies to fresh produce. Each of these different channels and their products brings unique features regarding demand forecast and inventory management. These challenges are being solved through a series of algorithms to align supply with demand, which in turn has had a significant impact on the business.
Resoundingly Human: 2022 Franz Edelman Competition: Merck Animal Health
Feb 25 2022
Resoundingly Human: 2022 Franz Edelman Competition: Merck Animal Health
This podcast is part of a special series featuring the 2022 finalist teams for the INFORMS Franz Edelman Award for Achievement in Advanced Analytics, Operations Research and Management Science, the most prestigious award for achievement in the practice of O.R. and advanced analytics. For more than four decades, the Edelman Award has recognized contributions that are transforming how we approach some of the world’s most complex problems. Finalists for the Edelman Award have contributed to a cumulative impact of more than $336 billion since the award’s inception, as well as countless other nonmonetary benefits. The winner of this year’s award will be announced at the 2022 INFORMS Business Analytics Conference, April 3-5. Joining me for this episode are PK Yegneswaran, Vice President of Manufacturing Science and Technology, and Oscar Repping, Executive Director Biotech Solutions, to discuss the finalist entry from the team at Merck Animal Health. Merck Animal Health offers veterinarians, farmers, pet owners and governments one of the widest ranges of veterinary pharmaceuticals, vaccines and health management solutions. After four years of collaboration where vision met opportunity, a portfolio of optimization and decision support applications were implemented that substantially improved biomanufacturing effectiveness. Biomanufacturing uses living organisms (i.e., viruses and bacteria) to grow active ingredients in vaccines and therapeuticals. This high-tech manufacturing process generates challenges not found in many other industries. Additionally, the high cost of equipment and labor-intensive nature of operations precluded the ability to just add capacity. Operations research played a critical role in helping Merck Animal Health increase the output of critical medicines in specific areas.