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Friday, November 13

Here we are, the final day of the Virtual Annual Meeting! With another packed day of sessions, I’m looking forward to getting started!  I have been truly impressed throughout the week with the excellent quality and variety of sessions provided by the plenary and keynote speakers on each day. In fact, today I’m looking forward to all three keynote sessions, starting with David Simchi-Levi, Statistical Learning in Operations: The Interplay between Online and Offline Learning. I’m also looking forward to the winner reprise of the Wagner Prize competition, and then this afternoon’s keynote by Richard Tapia, Underrepresentation in STEM: A Danger to the Health of the Nation.

I have another big list of sessions that I’m hoping to drop into, but since there are quite a few I will definitely be revisiting these on demand to learn more! These include, Interface of Service Operations and Information Systems, Technology Innovation and Influence on Society, Information Systems and Operations Management,  Information System Analytics for Social Science, and Information, Learning and Inference.

In addition, I’m looking forward to attending the Diversity Statements and Beyond panel discussion.

In the coming weeks I plan not only to continue exploring this content, but to furthering professional relationships with the individuals I met in the Networking Lounge and continuing our interactions in INFORMS Connect.

Thursday, November 12

As we are coming into the final days of the conference, I have to keep reminding myself not to panic, I don’t have to cram everything into the final two days. We can continue to access all this terrific meeting content for the next THREE MONTHS! That is perhaps the most exciting components of this conference, the ability to continue to explore and revisit presentations long after the actual meeting has ended.

Today I looking forward to listening to both of this morning’s keynote sessions as they both address COVID-19. I’m looking forward to attending Linda Burtch’s The New Normal? COVID-19’s Impact on the Analytics Landscape & Developing Trends. I heard her speak at the virtual Analytics Conference earlier this year and am excited for the opportunity to hear from her again! I’m also very interested in Matteo Fischetti’s keynote, Mathematical Optimization for Social Distancing. Another great perk of a virtual meeting, if two sessions occur at the same time, you don’t have to choose which one to go to, you can attend one live and the other on demand!

Later on today I have a number of other sessions that I have added to my Playlist that I want to visit, and in the coming weeks hope to take a deeper dive on. These include: Globalization and Information Systems, Service Operations and Information Systems, and Information Design in Operations.

I also am planning to spend some time in the Awards Hall to learn more about all the winners and their work recognized during last night’s Awards Ceremony. I also have to say, I really enjoyed Jorge Cham’s talks during the ceremony, truly a fun addition to a wonderful evening!

Wednesday, November  11

Today I have a lot of sessions that I plan to visit! I’m hoping to catch a couple of sessions in each one as well as some of the Q&As. I’ve added them all to my Meeting Playlist so what I’m not able to watch live, I’ll catch up on later! These include Information Systems and Technology Management, Online Platforms and Digital Processes, IS and Economics, and Economics of Information Systems.

I’m prioritizing attending two sessions live today, the INFORMS TutORial Information Design in Operations, as well as additional DEI-focused content taking place today, Diversity and Inclusion in the Field of Analytics.

And I will definitely be attending the INFORMS Virtual Awards Ceremony this evening!

And be sure to check out my coverage in this morning’s eNews Daily of yesterday’s plenary session, The Future of Federal Statistics and the Role of the Chief Statistician, where Nancy Potok discussed her role as the most recent U.S. Chief Statistician. She provided really fascinating insight and I really enjoyed hearing from her.

 Also, if you haven’t already visited the Special Events Lounge to try one of the Cocktails of the Day, I highly recommend it. Yesterday’s was delicious!

Tuesday, November 10

Good morning everyone! I’m ready for another exciting day of virtual meeting content :)! Yesterday was excellent, starting with some really wonderful conversations in the Networking Lounge. In addition to stopping by in the morning, I popped in on and off throughout the day whenever I had some free time. I found a lot of other attendees with similar meeting goals and professional goals to myself, and look forward to continuing to interact in INFORMS Connect! The meeting Networking Lounge really is such a terrific tool, it’s been wonderful and refreshing to communicate and connect with people face to face again!

I look forward to spending more time in the Networking Lounge again today, and am planning on attending Sommer Gentry’s FacilitatOR session, Anti-racist Teaching Practices. This is just one of many informal networking sessions taking place in the lounge throughout the week. Several of the people I have interacted with so far have attended them and really enjoyed the opportunity to engage in conversation with attendees interested in the same topics they are! Sommer’s will take place on Floor 5 of the Networking Lounge at 2:30pm EST.

I’m starting my day off bright and early again with Information Systems and Social Media Analytics, and am really looking forward to taking a deeper dive into this content. If your schedule enables you to attend sessions live, I highly recommend it as the Q&A really provides a terrific opportunity to delve deeper into what was discussed with the presenters.  

I’m also really looking forward to today’s plenary session, The Future of Federal Statistics and the Role of the Chief Statistician, featuring Nancy Potok. We obviously all understand the important role of data, and in particular access to high quality, accurate data and I am just very intrigued to hear insight from Nancy on how government utilizes data.

 In addition, I plan to participate in the NSF Proposal Writing Workshop. As an early career professor it’s not only important to continue to develop my own contributions to the field, but to position myself to be able to better advise and guide my students. I am hoping for some interesting insight from this session!

Speaking of my students, I had the opportunity to catch up with several of them at the end of the day yesterday (in the Networking Lounge of course!) and they shared that they had attend the Job Search Panels (either the Academic or Industry-focused, depending on their professional trajectories). They were all very impressed by the panelists, and the insight given, and asked that I give them a “shout out” in my blog today :).

Monday, November 9

Wow! What an exciting first day! I did not expect to feel this tired at a virtual conference, but that is just so much to see and do. I feel like I’ve been “running” around all day, even though I never actually even put my shoes on ;)! And though I hadn’t initially planned to, I also attended the Member Meeting and it was really exciting to hear from the new Executive Director Elena Gerstmann. Despite the challenges of the past year, INFORMS experienced a great deal of growth and milestones achieved, and 2020 also happens to be the 25th anniversary of INFORMS!

Tuesday morning, I thought it would be fun to start early and take my morning coffee in the Networking Lounge, I’d love to connect with some other attendees to see how their first days went as well.

Then bright and early I plan to attend Information Systems Applications, there are some REALLY interesting presentations in this session! I am also looking forward to the Time Management and Staying Productive While Working Remotely panel discussion. I think this is an issue we are all dealing with and I look forward to some valuable insight from my peers and others on this.

I also look forward to learning more about the new DEI Ambassador program and all that the participants have accomplished in the past year. I’m encouraging my students to attend this as well and look forward to discussing it with them!

While I probably won’t be able to watch all the presentations, I’m hoping when I have some free time to watch some of the Wagner Prize finalist project presentations (Session I, Session II and Session III), this year’s finalists have some really interesting applications that I’m looking forward to learning more about! There’s a lot of great work being done!

Sunday, November 8

I am very excited for the official start of the Virtual Annual Meeting! I spent much of yesterday familiarizing myself with the meeting platform, and I have to say, I’m very excited for the rest of the week. The virtual lobby makes navigating to the different meeting locations very easy, and the Networking Lounge is such a creative and FUN approach to virtual networking.

I plan to start the day with the opening plenary, “Operations Research and Public Policy: Making a Difference” featuring Sheldon Jacobson. I am interested in also checking out some additional content later in the week that looks at the impact of O.R. and analytics on public policy and advocacy, and how they are making a difference!

In addition, I plan to check out the poster sessions and competition. I think it will be really interesting to be able to peruse the different entries virtually and am excited to learn who the winners are!

I was also very excited to see in the Annual Meeting eNews Daily preview that went out earlier this week, a section highlighting the diversity, equity and inclusion-focused content! I will be exploring all the content listed there for today, including a session on “Women Junior Faculty Empowerment” and “Diversity and STEM Policy Considerations for INFORMS Members.” Truly excited not only for the content of these sessions BUT the live Q&A following!

I also plan on attending the Minority Issues Forum Business Meeting in the evening, I’m really looking forward to this unique opportunity to learn and network. And I will absolutely be making myself one of the “Cocktails of the Day” that are listed in the special events hall. What a fun idea and a great way to end the day!

Welcome to my Annual Meeting blog!

Hello everyone!

I’m so excited to be serving as a Virtual Guide for the 2020 INFORMS Annual Meeting AND writing for the eNews Daily meeting newsletter.

Throughout the meeting I’ll be sharing my schedule for each day here on my blog, as well as tweeting it out from @patrice_informs on Twitter. Please reach out to me there with your thoughts, questions, or if you would like me to check out your meeting presentation! I’m very interested in information systems, content addressing diversity and inclusion in the field, and new research and applications relating to the COVID-19 pandemic. I’ll also be checking out some new topics I’m interested in learning more about and look forward to your suggestions!

For my first post, I thought I would do something fun, and share that I’ve already picked out my outfit for the first day!

Professional blouse? Check!
Matching jewelry? Check!
Pajama pants and matching fuzzy socks? Check!
Fluffy coworker? Double check!

Will anyone else be wearing business wear on the top and pajamas underneath?! And who else has a fuzzy family member who likes to make inopportune appearances on Zoom calls :)?

I’m 31 and I’m an Assistant Professor at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. Help me by answering a couple of questions, then keep scrolling to learn a little more about me.

Skill set
PhD, critical thinking, creative solutions, communication skills

Personal Goals 
Believe it or not, in school I was on track to be an English literature major when I was in undergrad! By chance, I was introduced to operations research and the rest is history! I ultimately entered this field because I saw an opportunity to make a difference, to conduct research that contributes to improving the world around us, creating efficiencies and making life easier for those in need.

2020 Annual Meeting Goals
I am very excited at the opportunity to grow my personal network beyond my small university, both for collaboration as well as mentorship opportunities. I have recently joined my institution and look forward to learning and growing from the experiences of my peers! I am very excited about meeting other individuals in similar positions at institutions across the country and world! The greater the variation and diversity in perspectives I can learn from, the more beneficial my impact will be for my students. 

After the events of this spring, I am interested to learn about trends in research that relate to the COVID-19 pandemic. We have all been witness to this global crisis and the myriad ways that operations research and analytics can help are still unfolding. I’m excited to meet others interested in contributing to this work. 

After so much time spent feeling isolated this spring, I’m ready to feel connected to people again! I’m excited to learn how my peers have spent their time in quarantine, what projects they have been tackling, and where they have been drawing inspiration!

What’s hard right now?
In addition to a desire to grow my network and connections, I’d love to meet more people like me, women of color in OR/MS! I think we have a unique opportunity to collaborate and share our unique experiences, and help create an open dialogue and more diverse community overall.

Favorite color
My favorite color has always been orange, the brighter the better!

What do you always have with you?
I keep a small journal with me to write down my thoughts, reflections, and interactions throughout the day. Whether personal or relating to my work, I find it helps me to look back at what I was thinking or feeling in a particular moment and I’m better able to address any challenges I might be facing!

Personal Motto
Be positive and open to new opportunities, you never know when your next great friendship and or professional collaboration will come along.

Running (I’ve competed in a few half marathons and would love to one day run a full marathon!). I also love reading, a throwback to when I thought my life path would lead me in a more literary direction! I also love watching home improvement shows, I love a good DIY project!

Patrice stylized headshot

Join Me for 2020 Annual Meeting