Welcome from the General Chair
Welcome to the INFORMS Annual Meeting in Seattle! The Convention Center and Sheraton Hotel in the heart of downtown Seattle offer an excellent layout for this conference. They are located in a vibrant area near many restaurants and shops, not far from landmarks such as the Space Needle and the Pike Place Market.
We have organized the meeting around the broad themes of theory and practice of OR/MS, data science, analytics, artificial intelligence, and machine learning, within the context of applications such as education, energy, healthcare, humanitarian logistics, manufacturing, revenue management, supply chain management, sustainability, and transportation.
We have invited three well-known visionaries as plenary speakers: the Sunday opening plenary will be delivered by Dr. Gary S. Kaplan, Chairman and CEO of the Virginia Mason Health System in Seattle; Professor Robert Vanderbei of Princeton University will present the OMEGA RHO Distinguished Lecture on Monday; and Dr. Russell Allgor, Chief Scientist at Amazon, will round out the list with a Tuesday plenary.
The organizing committee has also put together an impressive list of academic scholars and industry experts as keynote speakers. They include Dr. Bar Ifrach, who heads the Marketplace team at Uber Freight; Professor Russell Tedrake, who directs the Center for Robotics at the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab at MIT; Professor Kamalini Ramdas from the London Business School; Professor Linda Green from Columbia Business School; Professor Susan Athey from Stanford Business School; Professor Karen Wilcox, Director of the Oden Institute for Computational Engineering and Sciences at the University of Texas at Austin; Dr. Eric Horvitz, Technical Fellow and Director of Microsoft Research; Ramayya Krishnan, INFORMS 2019 President, Heinz College of Information Systems and Public Policy, Carnegie Mellon University; Pascal Van Hentenryck, ISYE, Georgia Tech University; Dr. Nicolas Stier-Moses, who co-directs Facebook Core; Data Science Professor Andy Philpott of the University of Auckland will deliver the IFORS Distinguished Lecture keynote. The UPS Smith Prize and the Edelman Award reprises, and the Wagner Prize winner also promise to offer excellent keynotes, as always.
Please partake in networking opportunities at the Welcome Reception, General Reception, Career Center, and Exhibit Hall. The General Reception on Tuesday will be held conveniently right at the Convention Center.
I also encourage you to participate in the INFORMS Pro Bono Analytics program. They have partnered with a Seattle-based non-profit called FareStart. Their micro-volunteering project at the conference will provide opportunities to build hygiene kits and make blankets for the homeless. The Boeing Future of Flight tour is one of Seattle’s popular destinations. We thank Boeing for organizing a visit there.
I want to take this opportunity to thank all INFORMS staff for their unwavering support. The conference would not be possible without them. We also appreciate guidance and help from INFORMS leadership and the Meetings Committee. A big thank you to volunteers from various INFORMS communities, sections, and societies for organizing clusters and sessions that define the core of the conference.
A heartfelt note of appreciation for the 2019 organizing committee for their hard work over one whole year: Program Chair Professor Ted Klastorin of the University of Washington; Plenary and Keynote Chair Professor John Birge of the University of Chicago; TutORials Chair Professor Serguei Netessine of The University of Pennsylvania; Emerging Topics Sessions Chair Professor Simge Küçükyavuz of Northwestern University; Sponsored Sessions Chair Professor Surya Pathak of the University of Washington Bothell; Contributed Sessions Chairs Professor John Gunnar Carlsson of the University of Southern California and Professor Harish Krishnan of the University of British Columbia; Poster (Interactive) Sessions Chairs Professor Shan Liu and Professor Michael Wagner, both from the University of Washington; Practice Curated Program Chairs Dr. Shervin Beygi from Boeing and Dr. Amitabh Sinha from Amazon; and Arrangements Chair Professor Zelda Zabinsky from the University of Washington.
Last, but certainly not least, the INFORMS community is grateful for the generous support we have received from all conference sponsors.
Enjoy the conference!
University of Washington, Seattle