INFORMS in the News

Library of things, ORION and airlines

Compiled by Olivia Schmitz, marketing coordinator at INFORMS.

INFORMS members, initiatives and journals continue to make news on a wide range of topics in a variety of media forums. Following are recent excerpts of “INFORMS in the News”:

CAP in the U.K.

Michael Mortenson, a Ph.D. student at Loughborogh University researching the development of analytics education in U.K. universities and a CAP® certified professional, recommends the CAP exam “both to analytics/O.R. professionals seeking to ‘prove’ their practical expertise, and to employers looking for recruits who can genuinely hit the ground running.”
- Impact, April 2016

Libraries are reducing clutter, increasing environmental sustainability

You’ve heard of the Internet of Things; now introducing the library of things – a new program at local libraries where people can check out useful items like sewing machines, printers, tools and more. This is an effort to reduce waste and build a “sharing economy” – the business model similar to that of AirBnB and Uber. [INFORMS member] Saif Benjaafar, professor of engineering and director of the sharing economy initiative at the University of Minnesota, says that, “Economy-wide, there is significant waste associated with these cheaper items, as they tend to be poorly maintained and frequently replaced. The concept of Library of Things has the potential of significantly reducing such waste.”
- Huffington Post, April 29

ROI for UPS’ ORION project decreases costs with predictive analytics

Tom Davenport provides his “marginal” description of predictive analytics and the ORION (On-Road Integrated Optimization and Navigation) Project, created by the parcel delivery company UPS. “It’s basically prescriptive analytics for UPS’ 55,000 drivers in the United States (the international rollouts will come soon). Instead of following the same route every day, ORION analyzes the packages to be delivered that day and determines an optimal routing for the “package cars.” The drivers are told where to go next by their handheld computers.”

Davenport also provides an answer to: What does ORION do? “This project won the 2016 Franz Edelman Award which recognizes excellence in operations research and analytics in the public and private sectors that change the involved organizations.”
- Tom Davenport inData Informed, April 19

What can predictive analytics do for airlines?

PROS, the revenue and profits realization company, showcased its new application of operations research methodology for the airline industry at the AGIFORS Revenue Management Conference in Frankfurt, Germany, on May 18-20. According to the Business Wire article published on May 11, the project – “A Capacity-Sharing Model with Movable Curtain”  – was developed from research gathered from PROS airline customers.

“It is a revenue management model in which an aircraft’s seating capacity is shared between business and economy compartments. More specifically, the respective compartment capacities can be adjusted by means of curtain installed shortly before departure, depending on demand realization, and economy passengers can be dynamically considered for accommodation in the business compartment, which leads to better utilization of the aircraft’s capacity and improved profitability.”
- Business Wire, May 11

Virginia Tech honors industrial & systems engineers

The Grado Department of Industrial & Systems Engineering (ISE) and Virginia Tech honored three distinguished alumni on April 25. Among the three winners is INFORMS member Dr. Janis P. Terpenny. Dr. Terpenny is a pillar as an academic in the analytics and operations research industry.
- Roanoke Times, May 12

ASU honors leader in engineering education

Arizona State University, a leader in engineering education, honors [INFORMS member] Ron Askin as a dedicated, driving force behind its rise and recognition.  Askin became the director of the School of Computing, Informatics and Decision Systems Engineering (CIDSE) in 2009. Since then, he has been successful in strengthening the discipline and increasing the size of the student body.
- ASU News, May 12

Syngenta and INFORMS award Crop Challenge winners

Analytics and operations research can have a huge impact on science techniques in agriculture. Just ask the 2016 Syngenta Crop Challenge winners:  Stanford University. Their entry, “Hierarchy modeling of soybean variety yield and decision making for future planting plan,” was awarded the $5,000 Syngenta Crop Challenge prize at the INFORMS Conference on Business Analytics and Operations Research.
“Operations research and advanced analytics can contribute to variety development and evaluation, reducing costs and improved efficiency,” said Xiaocheng Li, a member of the Stanford team.
- Farm Futures, April 26

Twitter identifies if your brand image is green or healthy

What do Toyota, Aveda and Clif Bar have in common? An article in the INFORMS journal Marketing Science finds that Twitter fans of these brands are all more likely to follow accounts that tweet about the environment. This in turn creates a greener image than other brands in their sectors.
- Management Science, April 18 ORMS