Informs News: People

Ed Kaplan

Ed Kaplan

Ed Kaplan, past president of INFORMS, received a personal letter of gratitude from the former Minister of Health of Israel in recognition of Kaplan’s work on a committee that evaluated Israel’s blood donation policy. Based on the committee’s report, the Israeli Ministry of Health recently agreed to reverse a blood donation policy and will now allow some Ethiopian immigrants, homosexuals and elderly people to donate blood. According to the Jerusalem Post, the change is a result of “new local and foreign epidemiological data and the improvement in medical technologies and risk assessment.”

In his role on the committee, Kaplan developed models for the probability that infectious blood (HIV, HBV) could enter the blood supply for alternative blood exclusion/ deferral policy proposals under different scenarios. This updated Kaplan’s published research from as far back as 1998 by taking into account improvements in the characteristics of tests used to detect HIV along with the best epidemiological estimates of HIV infection among would-be donors in Israel, all of which helped to buttress the conclusions and recommendations of the committee.

In her letter to Kaplan, former Health Minister Yael German wrote, “Your effort and dedication contributed to public health in Israel, as well as the fight against prejudice and racism, and will now enable healthy Israelis of Ethiopian origin as well as MSM to donate blood.”

Kathy Stecke

Kathy Stecke

Kathy Stecke, Ashbel Smith Professor of Operations Management at the University of Texas at Dallas and a longtime, active member of INFORMS, will receive Purdue University’s Outstanding Industrial Engineering Award in April. The award recognizes IE alumni who have “demonstrated exemplary achievements and leadership throughout their career.” In 2014, Stecke received Purdue’s Distinguished Woman Scholar Award. She is the first person to receive both alumni awards.

In 2015, Stecke received the Education for Service Award from her undergraduate school, Boston State College (now the University of Massachusetts Boston). She earned two master’s degrees (1974 and 1977) and Ph.D. (1981) in industrial engineering at Purdue.

An internationally recognized scholar in flexible manufacturing and supply chain issues, Stecke’s involvement with INFORMS dates back to her days as a grad student. Since then, she has chaired international and national conferences and held numerous other volunteer posts for the organization, including serving two terms on its board of directors. Stecke received the Kimball Medal from INFORMS in 2008 in recognition of her service to the profession and the organization, and in 2009 she was named an INFORMS Fellow.

Matt Carr

Matt Carr

, vice president of business analytics with the Regal Entertainment Group and a member of INFORMS, was selected for the Knoxville Sentinel’s top “40 Under 40” for his role in helping Regal grow from a company without a formalized analytics group to one that makes decisions and pursues strategies based on actionable data analysis. Regal Entertainment Group operates more than 560 movie theaters.

“My team and I are responsible for analyzing data for different departments within Regal,” Carr says. “Our analysis is used by the various departments as they make decisions.”

Regal President and Chief Operating Officer Greg Dunn, who hired Carr, 36, as Regal’s first financial analyst in 2009, wrote that Carr is, “integral in providing input to operational decisions … ensuring that Regal utilizes available data to operate its theaters as efficiently as possible.”