INFORMS News: 'Doing Good' Committee Names Finalists

The Doing Good with Good O.R. Student Competition is held each year to identify and honor outstanding projects in the field of operations research and the management sciences, conducted by a student or student group, that have (or are likely to have) a significant societal impact. “Societal impact” should be construed to mean an impact on individuals, communities and organizations that goes beyond that associated with a private-sector for-profit initiative. In addition to societal impact, operations research and management science methods and tools (broadly interpreted) must be central to the success of the projects described. Projects will also be judged on innovation through theory, creative computational methods, and how implementation challenges were addressed.

The Doing Good with Good O.R. Student Competition Committee (co-chairs Jim Cochran and John Fowler and members Cindy Barnhart, Ozlem Ergun, Donna Llewellyn and Michael Johnson) have selected six finalists from the many worthy nominations for the 2010 award. The finalists and their projects are

  • Carleton Coffrin (Brown University) for “Strategic Planning for Disaster Recovery with Stochastic Last Mile Distribution”;
  • Justin Henriques (University of Virginia) for “Safe Water, Sanitation, and Household Energy in Developing Communities”;
  • Dani Slaton (Georgia Institute of Technology) for “Optimizing Food Aid Delivery in Africa”;
  • Jonathan Turner (Northwestern University) for “Improving the Educational Outcomes of Future Surgeons”;
  • Greg Werker (University of British Columbia) for “Strategic Planning of Radiation Therapists: An IP Approach with Duration and Experience Constraints”; and
  • Jingyu Zhang (North Carolina State University) for “Prostate Cancer Screening: What is the Societal Benefit?”

Each finalist will present a summary of her/his research efforts in one of two special Doing Good with Good O.R. Student Competition sessions on Nov. 7 during the 2010 INFORMS Meeting in Austin. Henriques, Turner and Werker will speak during the 1:30 p.m.-3 p.m. session, while Coffrin, Slaton and Zhang will speak during the 4:30 p.m.- 6 p.m. session. Later that evening the winner will be announced during the Awards Ceremony & Dessert Reception.

These sessions promise to be extremely interesting and lively, and we invite all to attend and learn about the innovative and socially relevant contributions these students are making through the use of operations research. Visit the Doing Good with Good OR Student Competition Web site ( for further information.