Student Chapter Highlights

University at Buffalo

Spring 2018 was the most eventful semester for INFORMS student chapter at University at Buffalo (UB INFORMS). We had 21 events, beating our own previous record of 15 events (Fall 2017)! These events were highly diverse, spanning apparel sale, alumni talks (from two ex-presidents of our chapter!), pro-bono analytics projects, research seminars, software/technology workshops, officer elections, and general meetings. Additionally, considering that our chapter is growing both in terms of the quality and quantity of events and in terms of engaging with the student body and the community, we have been working on improving the organizational and functional framework of our chapter. We had a meeting in the first week of May, exclusively for revising/updating our constitution/by-laws. The idea is to have such a meeting at the end of each academic year, so that constitution/by-laws are updated systematically. We celebrated the end of a successful year in the last week of the semester with a “darts-social” mix. The chapter is looking forward to another, more eventful year ahead with the newly elected officers, and also, to its first ever quarter-zip apparel that will be delivered soon!

Koç University Industrial Experience Society

Since its establishment in 2000, the INFORMS Student Chapter at Koç University, the Industrial Experience Society (IES) has sought to be a family with a professional environment, while embracing the values of hard work, integrity, honesty and sincerity. The members of IES are chosen with a democratic electoral system and come from a variety of faculties, including nursing, engineering, administrative science & economics and social sciences.
The aim of IES is to assist its members and the participants of its projects on the formation of their career path. This is achieved by the presentation of several career opportunities through different activities such as LEAP, The One, Be Pro, IndEx and BOM. All of our organizations are simulations of different career paths. For instance, LEAP aims to support young entrepreneurs, whereas IndEx brings together C-Level managers of different corporations with 500 participants.
IES is member of IAESTE, INFORMS and EMT because IES values expending its relations with different communities and developing their ideas. For more information you can check out our social media platforms using the name “ieskocuni”.

KOC UNIVERSITY IES

University of Michigan

INFORMS at the University of Michigan (UM) supports and encourages the academic, social, and professional pursuits of its student members, the Industrial and Operations Engineering Department, and wider INFORMS-related community. This past year, our chapter hosted many initiatives to serve our community (through OR, of course!). Two of our most successful events include innovative fundraising seminars which combined fundraising with state-of-the-art OR research.
The first event was Engineering Resilience, where Byron Tasseff, Dr. Sara Shashaani, and Dr. Pascal Van Hentenryck presented their work on using data-driven analytics for mitigating, responding to, and recovering from natural disasters. Fundraising efforts for this event totaled over $900 for the victims of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria.
The second event, Movember, focused on men’s health issues including prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and mental health. Participants abstained from shaving throughout November and raised a total of $1440. The event culminated in a men’s and women’s mustache competition and a seminar by Dr. Brian Denton on his research group’s recent advances in detecting and treating prostate cancer using machine learning and optimization techniques.
Other highlights this year include our Healthcare Journal Club, International Movie Night Series, Pro-bono Initiatives, and the Data-driven NCAA Bracket Challenge.

Mississippi State University

The INFORMS Student chapter at Mississippi State University is an organization which is committed to encourage and develop interest in the fields of operations research (OR) and management science (MS). We provide a means of communication and networking among people with interests in OR/MS. We also provide an informal means of exchange about OR/MS educational programs and opportunities. We share information among students by conducting a number of activities which include Speaker Seminars, Professional Training Workshops, and Career Development Events, to list a few. In 2018, the INFORMS Student chapter at Mississippi State organized workshops on Artificial Neural Networks, MATLAB, and Supercomputing. We were lucky to have Dr. Jessica L. Heier Stamm, Assistant Professor, Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering, Kansas State University visit this February. She shared some of her research experiences with the members and provided guidance on ways to cope with professional challenges. We also hosted Dr. Halit Üster, Professor in the Department of Engineering Management, Information, and Systems at Southern Methodist University in April 2018. In addition to presenting his recent research, he made some valuable suggestions to make the INFORMS student chapter more successful. We are planning to organize more workshops and events both in this summer and upcoming Fall that will include the members of other on-campus student organizations. The goal is to extend the knowledge of OR and MS to other student communities and promote collaborative efforts. We would like to collaborate with INFORMS student chapters at other universities as well. We believe collaboration at a larger scale would add new dimensions to the success of the INFORMS student chapter at Mississippi State University.

Mississippi State

Texas A&M University

The INFORMS Student Chapter at Texas A&M’s primary mission is serving its community and students well. The A&M student chapter hosted a #gradTax phone-a-thon last fall where almost 100 students and faculty pledged to call/email Texas legislators to protest the proposed tax on graduate student tuition (and hey, it worked!). We participated in both the local SPARK conference and an Engineering Open House, where our members hosted STEM activities for elementary schoolers. We are also partnering with an elementary school to support an after-school engineering club (first activity: a shortest path obstacle course!). We try to balance the needs of students pursing academic and industry careers. Our industry affairs team invited some of our graduate alumni in the healthcare, construction, retail, and chemical industries to conduct a panel on preparing for jobs in industry. We also had a Faculty Search Process panel, where various faculty and one of our post-doctoral students offered advice for navigating the academic job hunt. This semester we piloted student-led workshops, including crash-courses in Linear and Nonlinear Programming, Machine Learning, Integer Programming, and JMP software. But, as you know, all work and no play are no good, so we also hosted a professor-student karaoke party for a mid-semester break! Finally, we rounded out the semester with a little bit of scandal: during our end-of-semester potluck, we discovered that the winner of the “Best Dish” award used a store-bought sauce in their chicken-quinoa curry! To see what else we are working on, consider following our chapter on Facebook and Twitter.