Industry News

Entries sought for AIMMS/MOPTA Optimization Competition

AIMMS recently announced the ninth annual AIMMS/MOPTA Optimization Competition. Finalists are expected to attend and present their results at the 2017 MOPTA (modeling and optimization theory and applications) Conference to be held Aug. 16-18, 2017, at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pa.

This year’s challenge involves a simplified model of production and delivery of radio-pharmaceuticals (RP). The goal is to minimize the production and distribution cost of RP. Solutions are due by June 15.

Teams of at most three students can participate. The team leader must be a graduate student, though the other members of the team can be advanced undergraduate students. Each member of the team must be registered as a full-time student at a recognized educational institution during the spring term of the 2016-2017 academic year. Students with any background are eligible. Collaboration between students from different departments is strongly encouraged. Each team must declare a team advisor with which the team may consult about the problem and their solution.

As the conference is international, so is the competition. Teams from all over the world can participate, as long as at least one team member can come to the conference, should the team make it to the final round. The official language of the competition is English.  

After your team has registered, you will receive license files and download paths for AIMMS software. For questions about the competition, contact Martin Takac ( For questions about the AIMMS software, contact For more information, visit

Southwest Airlines wins FICO Decisions Award

Analytics software firm FICO announced that Southwest Airlines has been awarded the 2016 FICO Decisions Award in the Decision Management Innovation category for its Baker Airline Operations Recovery Optimizer tool. The Baker, as it is referred to by Southwest Airlines, is the airline industry’s first real-time, integrated recovery solver that generates solutions to operational disruptions such as maintenance problems and weather events, while minimizing the impact to passengers and flight and ground crews.

Since its implementation in November 2015, Baker has yielded significant cost savings by demonstrating significant improvement in key metrics such as on-time performance (OTP), customers delayed more than two hours, and mishandled luggage. On days with irregular operations in which more than 2 percent of flights were cancelled, OTP was 10 percent to15 percent higher than similar events in the past – equating to more than 2 percent increase in OTP since the tool was launched.

The Baker utilizes several algorithms, advanced in-memory cache technology and hundreds of carefully calibrated parameters to achieve real-time performance and high-quality, integrated decision-making.

U.S. Army enlists IBM for $62 million cloud deal

IBM announced that the U.S. Army has signed a five-year, multi-million-dollar contract with IBM to build, manage and operate a cloud solution for greater IT flexibility, efficiency and performance.

Designed for the Army’s Redstone Arsenal near Huntsville, Ala., the solution is part of the Army Private Cloud Enterprise (APCE) program, a one-year task order with four additional one-year options under the Army Private Cloud 2 (APC2) contract. If the Army exercises all options, the contract would be worth approximately $62 million over the five years.

In addition to building the infrastructure, IBM will provide the Army with Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) services, enabling it to provision computing power on an as-needed basis for the most efficient and cost-effective IT. The Army also will begin migrating applications to the private cloud, moving up to 35 applications to the private cloud in the first year.

“With this project, we’re beginning to bring the IT infrastructure of the U.S. Army into the 21st century,” said Lt. Gen. Robert Ferrell, U.S. Army CIO. “Cloud computing is a game-changing architecture that provides improved performance with high efficiency, all in a secure environment.”

EY program: optimized workforces for digital environment

EY announced a new service offering a holistic program that helps companies develop workforces optimized for the new, highly digital work environment. Future Work Now offers business leaders configurable tools and processes to assist organizations in diagnosing, assessing and leading transformation and change to activate and inspire individuals, teams and organizations for success in tomorrow’s marketplace.

“Effective leadership in this technology-driven era of workforce and workplace change will require a complete rethinking of how people, culture and organizational strategies are managed,” said George Brooks, EY Americas People Advisory Services Leader. “More than ever, employees want to find purpose and human connection at work. At the same time, we’re seeing a continued shift to a gig economy and virtual workforce.

“Digital innovation and technology, like bots and artificial intelligence, are shifting the workplace dynamic – companies need to augment workers with automation to leverage the best of what humans and technology bring to the workplace,” Brooks continued. “At the same time, businesses must work aggressively to adapt to keep their people and organizations engaged and inspired to do their best work in an increasingly competitive talent market.”

Future Work Now offers business leaders a clear road map to organizational transformation. The seven interconnected levers of the Future Work Now framework help organizations transition to a more comprehensive talent management framework tailored to re-shape how they attract the right talent.