INFORMS in the News

STEM literacy, CAP, 2016 elections and more

Compiled by Ashley Kilgore and Olivia Schmitz

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

STEM crisis, STEM surplus and STEM literacy

Is there a STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) crises or a STEM surplus, and if STEM literacy is so important for today’s job seekers, why don’t more young people take STEM courses? Those are some of the questions a recent article in The Wall Street Journal considered, an article that leaned heavily on a 2012 opinion piece by Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor and former president of INFORMS Richard Larson, who says, “A person has STEM literacy if she can understand the world around her in a logical way guided by the principals of scientific thought.”
- The Wall Street Journal, Aug. 16

Standing out in the crowd: CAP certification helps distinguish young analytics talent

As the demand for analytics professionals continues to grow, and more and more universities are adding or expanding their analytics programs, it is increasingly important for young analytics professionals to stand out to potential employers. In an editorial for KDnuggets, INFORMS member Alan Briggs, a project manager and data scientist with Elder Research, Inc., discusses how the new Associate Certified Analytics Professional (aCAP™) program can place emerging analytics professionals on the path to success.
- KDnuggets, Sept. 13

Building CEO trust in data

According to a recent KPMG study, CEOs are relying on an abundance of data and analytics to make critical management decisions, however many CEOs do not trust the data they receive. INFORMS member and University of Notre Dame Professor Scott Nestler discusses the value of the Certified Analytics Professional (CAP®) program in an editorial for insideBIGDATA. The high standards adhered to by the CAP certification program can instill confidence in CEOs and other leadership of the quality of an analytics professional’s data.
- insideBIGDATA, Sept. 13

Minimizing supermarket line wait times

Tired of waiting in line at the supermarket? You aren’t alone. According to Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor and former president of INFORMS Richard Larson, Americans spend an estimated 37 billion hours a year waiting in lines. However, keeping certain tips and tricks in mind can help minimize your wait time.
- The New York Times, Sept. 7

Consumer online search habits provide opportunity for retailers and advertisers

After identifying a sample of 1,000 digital camera purchases from the browsing and purchase history of more than two million consumers, INFORMS members Bart Bronnenberg of Tilburg University and Carl Mela of Duke University, with Jun Kim of the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, discovered unique insight on how advertisers and retailers can influence the final purchase. Their findings will be published in the INFORMS journal Marketing Science.
- The Times of India, Sept. 7

Leading the data analytics pack

As women are making an increasingly significant impact on the data analytics field, Forbes featured a list of nine accomplished female analytics experts, including Brenda L. Dietrich, former INFORMS president, who leads the data science function of IBM Business Analytics Insights as a Service unit.
- Forbes, Aug. 29

Using analytics to predict the 2016 elections

Sheldon Jacobson

Starting with the 2000 presidential elections, INFORMS member Sheldon Jacobson, professor with the University of Illinois, and a team of fellow researchers and students, have used a combination of poll numbers, algorithms, and analysis to make a state-by-state assessment of who is most likely to be elected in the upcoming presidential and Senate elections [see page 30].
- Fox Illinois, Aug. 19

Why we ignore security alerts

Naked Security, the online news room for data security company Sophos, highlighted an article in the INFORMS journal Information Systems Research addressing the effectiveness of system-generated computer security warnings. As much as 87 percent of these warnings are simply ignored, due to a combination of badly timed interruptions and our inability to multitask.  
- Naked Security, Aug. 19

Maximizing 2016 Olympics’ coverage

Press covering the Olympic Games in Rio this summer faced multiple challenges in their efforts to attend as many events as possible, including event timing and location, weather and travel logistics. Carnegie Mellon professor and INFORMS member Michael Trick helps a New York Times reporter create a plan to approach his coverage of the 2016 games.
- The New York Times, Aug. 18

As the CEO, a good golf score may mean you are underperforming in the office

A study published in the INFORMs journal Marketing Science explores the relationship between a CEO’s golf game and his or her corporate performance. This study found that the more time CEOs spend on the golf course, the less time and effort they are likely to commit to their organization. The study also found that CEOs whose pay packages include stock options and stock grants have more incentive to focus on their work than golf as they have a greater stake in the firm’s success. In addition, according to Biggerstaff, “We are finding evidence that if you play a lot of golf you tend not to be the CEO next year.”
- The Fiscal Times, Aug. 8

Clarkson University recognized by INFORMS Rothkopf Rankings

The “Rothkopf Rankings,” published in May 2016 in the INFORMS journal Interfaces, recognized Clarkson University as a top U.S. school for contributions to operations research practice literature.
- North Country Now, Aug. 6

Using Twitter to predict TV program ratings

INFORMS members Professor Xiao Liu of New York University and Professors Param Vir Singh and Kannan Srinivasan of Carnegie Mellon University conducted a study on which digital platforms are the most effective at gauging the success of a TV program. The study, which will be published in the INFORMS journal Marketing Science, found that Twitter is significantly more effective than other platforms, including Google Trends, Wikipedia, IMDb and The Huffington Post, at predicting TV ratings.
- Science Newsline, Aug. 2

Kuwaiti healthcare reforms maximize efficiency

According to Nicos Savva, INFORMS member and associate professor at the London Business School, the reforms to the Kuwaiti healthcare system outlined in the Kuwait Development Plan for 2015-2020 could result in one of the most efficient healthcare systems in the world. In particular, investments in specialization and preventative care hold the key to improving both patient outcomes and hospital productivity.
- Kuwait Daily News, Aug. 1

Utilizing RFID to monitor hospital hand-hygiene compliance is only part of the solution

A study that will be published in the INFORMS journal Management Science was highlighted for the insight it provided on the efficiency of radio frequency identification (RFID) systems in monitoring hand-hygiene compliance in healthcare facilities. INFORMS member Professor Bradley Staats of the University of North Carolina was among the researchers on the study who found that while individual electronic monitoring can dramatically improve compliance, managerial commitment must continue for these positive results to be sustained.
- RFID Journal, Aug. 1

Smart technology, not body cameras, leads to less lethal force by police

Using data from a Washington Post comprehensive report, two INFORMS members investigated the impact of technology on police performance and practice. Professors Min-Seok Pang and Paul Pavlou, both from Temple University’s Fox School of Business, found that the use of analytics and smartphones to access intelligence led to decreased instances of lethal force by police, whereas wearable video cameras were linked to an increase in lethal force on civilians by police.
- Security Magazine, Aug. 1

Revolutionizing promotional pricing

Georgia Perakis, INFORMS member and professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, led a team of Ph.D. students, in partnership with Oracle, in developing a model approach to determine optimal promotional retail pricing. Compared to current methods, the newly developed model is able to identify the potential for 3-10 percent improvement in profits.
- The Huffington Post, July 26

Optimizing Monday Night Football

Two INFORMS members from the University of Iowa’s Tippie College of Business, doctoral student Bhupesh Shetty and Associate Professor Jeffrey Ohlmann, in conjunction with Professor Gary Gaeth, developed an optimization model to improve Monday Night Football schedules. By analyzing every Monday night game played between 1993 and 2008, the researchers discovered three factors that have the greatest impact on generating high ratings: games played by Super Bowl champions, teams with high profile players or coaches joining the team, and teams with high-powered offenses.
- Science 2.0, July 26

Minimizing food waste, especially meat products, can help the environment

The global demand for meat is continuing to rise, and with meat waste accounting for 21 percent of the global food waste carbon footprint, it is more important than ever to limit how much of our meat leftovers go to waste. Ronald McGarvey, INFORMS member and assistant professor at University of Missouri’s Industrial & Manufacturing Systems Engineering Department, discusses the impact that food waste, particularly meat, has on the environment.
- The Huffington Post, July 25
For links to the complete articles mentioned above, visit

Ashley Kilgore ( is the public relations manager at INFORMS.

Olivia Schmitz ( is the marketing coordinator at INFORMS.