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Plenaries & Keynotes


Koen Peters

Koen Peters

World Food Programme
About Koen Peters

Koen Peters is head of optimization for the World Food Programme’s Supply Chain Planning & Optimization branch. For the last decade he has been leading initiatives in the area of optimization and analytics, including tools that are now used to inform the design of food baskets, sourcing strategies, and delivery networks. These user-friendly solutions ensure that WFP can reach as many people in need as possible with available resources, and were awarded with the 2021 Franz Edelman Award for Achievement in Advanced Analytics, Operations Research and Management Science. Koen holds an MSc degree in operations research and management science from Tilburg University, and is pursuing a PhD in humanitarian analytics at Tilburg University’s Zero Hunger Lab.

Fireside Chat

Cynthia Rudin

Cynthia Rudin

Duke University
About Cynthia Rudin

Cynthia Rudin is Earl D. McLean, Jr. Professor of Computer Science, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Statistical Science, Mathematics, Biostatistics & Bioinformatics at Duke University, and directs the Interpretable Machine Learning Lab. She holds degrees from the University at Buffalo and Princeton. She is the recipient of the 2022 Squirrel AI Award for Artificial Intelligence for the Benefit of Humanity from AAAI (the “Nobel Prize of AI”). She is also a three-time winner of the INFORMS Innovative Applications in Analytics Award, and a 2022 Guggenheim Fellow. She is a fellow of the American Statistical Association, the Institute of Mathematical Statistics, and AAAI. Her goal is to design predictive models that people can understand.

Michael Littman

Michael Littman

National Science Foundation
About Michael Littman

Michael L. Littman is currently serving as Division Director for Information and Intelligent Systems at the National Science Foundation. The division is home to the programs and program officers that support researchers in artificial intelligence, human-centered computing, data management, and assistive technologies, as well as those exploring the impact of intelligent information systems on society. Littman is also University Professor of Computer Science at Brown University, where he studies machine learning and decision-making under uncertainty. He has earned multiple university-level awards for teaching and his research has been recognized with three best-paper awards and three influential paper awards. Littman is a Fellow of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence and the Association for Computing Machinery.

Harriet Nembhard

Harriet Nembhard

Harvey Mudd College
About Harriet Nembhard

Harriet B. Nembhard has served as Harvey Mudd College’s sixth president and professor
of the college since July 1, 2023. She is nationally recognized leader in the field of
industrial and operations engineering, an expert in health systems, a voice on the national
level for transforming undergraduate STEM education, and a champion for Harvey Mudd’s
mission. President Nembhard is leading the development of an ambitious strategic plan to
fortify Harvey Mudd’s standing as a distinctive liberal arts college for science, engineering,
and mathematics.

Prior to her appointment at Harvey Mudd, Nembhard was dean of engineering at the
University of Iowa and had previously held leadership positions at Oregon State and Penn
State. She has been the principal investigator on several research projects supported by
the National Science Foundation to improve the efficiency and quality of healthcare
delivery to patients. Nembhard is an elected Fellow of the American Society for Quality,
Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers, and American Institute for Medical and
Biological Engineering, and currently serves on the National Academies of Sciences,
Engineering, and Medicine Roundtable on Systemic Change in Undergraduate STEM

Nembhard earned a BA from Claremont McKenna College, BS from Arizona State
University, and an MS and PhD from the University of Michigan.


Pinar Keskinocak

Pinar Keskinocak

Georgia Tech
About Pinar Keskinocak

Pinar Keskinocak is the William W. George Chair and Professor in the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering and the co-founder and Director of the Center for Health and Humanitarian Systems at Georgia Tech. She is a fellow and past-president of INFORMS.

Thomas Sharkey

Thomas Sharkey

Clemson University

The Importance of Lived Experience for Better, Smarter OR Models to Disrupt Sex Trafficking

Given the complexity and range of experiences in human trafficking, research and practice in this space has the potential for unintended consequences. Even well-meaning research and action can cause great harms if based on fuzzy conceptualization, overgeneralizations, or incomplete data.   This talk will demonstrate the importance of including experts with lived experience, commonly referred to as survivors, in creating OR approaches to disrupt sex trafficking.  It will show how our conceptualization of sex trafficking became better (more accurate, attuned to context, and actionable) and how our OR models and analysis became smarter because of our inclusion of experts with lived experience as research partners.  The talk will then discuss how the OR and analytics community can include people with lived experience in our community’s efforts to help disrupt sex trafficking.

About Thomas Sharkey

Thomas Sharkey is a Professor of Industrial Engineering at Clemson University.  He is part of a transdisciplinary research team that combines OR, social science, and lived experience expertise to study sex trafficking.  The team has been funded by several grants from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Institute of Justice (NIJ).  He leads efforts of the team to model effective disruptions to trafficking networks.  He obtained his PhD in Industrial and Systems Engineering from the University of Florida in 2008 and spent twelve years as a faculty member at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. His research applies network optimization to social issues, including community resilience and disrupting illicit networks.  It has been funded by the NSF, including a CAREER award, the NIJ, and the Department of Homeland Security.  He has received multiple teaching awards for creating blended learning environments for undergraduate OR courses, including the IISE OR Division annual teaching award, the Rensselaer Alumni Association Teaching Award, and the Murray Stokely Excellence in Teaching Award from Clemson University. 

Tugce Martagan

Tugce Martagan

Eindhoven University of Technology

OR/MS Applications in the (Bio)Pharmaceutical Industry: Vision and Future Research Directions

About Tugce Martagan

Tugce Martagan is an Associate Professor at the School of Industrial Engineering at Eindhoven University of Technology. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2015. Tugce specializes in stochastic modeling and optimization with applications in pharmaceutical supply chains. Her research has been recognized by various international awards, including the 2022 Franz Edelman finalist for her joint work with Merck, first prize in the POMS Applied Research Challenge, first prize in the INFORMS TIMES dissertation award, and honorable mention in the INFORMS George Dantzig dissertation award. She has also received several teaching awards. She has obtained a Marie Curie research grant from the European Commission, and the VENI (early career) and VIDI (mid-career) grants from the Dutch Science Foundation. She is a research director of the European Supply Chain Forum and associate editor of Operations Research.