OR61 Plenary Speakers

Plenary Speakers

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Prof Erhan Erkut

Vice Rector of MEF University Istanbul, Turkey, previously in Alberta, Canada (Informs Teaching of Management Science Practice Award)

Kindly sponsored by EURO

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Optimising the Teaching of OR – Yesterday and Tomorrow

When I started teaching operations research in a business school in 1985, I practiced what I had experienced: I lectured using the blackboard and a textbook.  It did not work!  In 1995 I started experimenting with a number of alternative tools and techniques.  The results were beyond my wildest imagination—students loved the course and registrations in our electives and major went through the roof.  I was using instructional technologies (web, discussion boards, Excel, applications), games, cases, real-time modeling, guest speakers, skits, competitions, projects, and even music.  In retrospect, my experiments worked because of one major difference: active learning. I may not have known it back then, but I had transformed my classes by putting the student in the center and by shifting the onus of learning on the students.  Between 1995 and 2005 I have used this pedagogy in a number of courses (required and elective) in different levels (undergraduate, graduate, and executive) with different age groups and in different countries with success.  I am completely convinced that this is how we ought to teach.  In this talk I will discuss my experiences with different forms of active learning.  I will also offer my predictions as to where education is going and how OR might fit into this future.

Short Biography

Dr. Erkut, Vice Rector of MEF University Istanbul, Turkey and previously in Alberta, Canada, received a BS in Industrial Engineering from Bogazici U (Istanbul) and a PhD from the U of Florida.  He taught from 1985 to 2005 in the U of Alberta School of Business, and served as a visiting faculty member at U of Geneve, Ohio State U, NIDA (Bangkok), Bogazici U and Sabanci U. He published over 60 papers in international journals--mostly in the areas of facility location and transportation.  He received nine teaching awards including the INFORMS Teaching of Management Science Practice Award, and the 3M Teaching Fellowship, and five service awards from the Canadian OR Society.  He also established the Centre for Excellence in Operations to facilitate know-how transfer and served as the Founding Editor of the journal INFORMS Transactions on Education.  Upon his return to Turkey he served as Dean of Bilkent's Faculty of Business, and the Founding Rector of Ozyegin U.  Currently he serves as Vice Rector at MEF U.  In Turkey, Dr. Erkut founded the first university-based business accelerator, established the first entrepreneurship degree programs, as well as a number of outreach programs for startups.  Currently he serves on the boards of several education associations and works actively to promote workplace skills development for youth and entrepreneurship.  He wrote over 100 blog articles and two books along his current goals of helping to create startups and disrupt education.

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Prof M Grazia Speranza

Professor Grazia Speranza, IFORS President and former EURO president. Professor of OR, University of Brescia, Italy.

Kernel Search: A general heuristic approach to MILP problems

The Kernel Search (KS) is a general and simple heuristic framework for the solution of Mixed Integer Linear Programming (MILP) problems. The basic idea of the KS is to solve a sequence of MILP sub-problems, each restricted to a subset of variables. The KS has been applied to a variety of problems, often taking advantage of the specific problem structure. The first applications of the KS have been to the multi-dimensional knapsack problem, to a portfolio selection problem and to an index tracking problem. Afterwards, the KS has been successfully applied to capacitated facility location problems, both in the multi-source version and in the single-source variant. More recently, the KS has been extended to the Adaptive Kernel Search (AKS), a heuristic framework for the solution of any MILP problem. The AKS solves a sequence of carefully constructed restricted MILP problems (using a commercial solver). The computational effort required to solve the first restricted MILP problem guides the construction of the subsequent MILP problems. The restricted MILP problems are constructed around a kernel, which contains the variables that are presumably non-zero in an optimal solution. Computational results, on a set of benchmark instances from the MIPLIB library, show that the AKS significantly outperforms other state-of-the-art heuristics for the solution of MILP problems. The AKS also compares favorably to CPLEX and offers more flexibility to trade-off solution quality and computing time. In this talk the KS and the AKS will be presented together with their most relevant applications. On-going research on the application of the KS to a routing problem will also be presented.

Short Biography

Prof. Grazia Speranza, President of IFORS and former EURO president is full professor of Operations Research at the University of Brescia. She served as Dean of the Faculty of Economics and Business. She currently serves as Deputy Rector of the University of Brescia. She also had responsibilities in scientific societies, as President of EURO (association of European Operational Research Societies) and President of the TSL (Transportation Science and Logistics) society of INFORMS. She is currently President of IFORS (Federation of the Operational Research Societies). Her main scientific interests are: mixed integer programming, combinatorial optimization, transportation and supply chain management, portfolio optimization. She is author of about 200 papers that appeared in international journals and volumes, and edited international volumes. She has been plenary speaker at several international conferences and member of the scientific committee of the major international conferences in the field. She has been editor of journals such as Transportation Science, EURO Journal on Transportation and Logistics, International Transactions in Operational Research, 4OR. She is editor-in-chief of the series ‘EURO Advanced Tutorials in Operational Research’.

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Prof Panos Pardalos

School of Industrial and Systems Engineering, University of Florida. (Distinguished Professor and IFORS/EURO Gold medallist 2014, Rome)

Sustainable Interdependent Networks

Sustainable interdependent networks have a wide spectrum of applications in computer science, electrical engineering, and smart infrastructures. We are going to discuss the next generation sustainability framework as well as smart cities with special emphasis on energy, communication, data analytics and financial networks. In addition, we will discuss solutions regarding performance and security challenges of developing interdependent networks in terms of networked control systems, scale-able computation platforms, and dynamic social networks.

Short Biography

Panos Pardalos is a Distinguished Professor and the Paul and Heidi Brown Preeminent Professor in the Departments of Industrial and Systems Engineering at the University of Florida, and a world renowned leader in Global Optimization, Mathematical Modeling, and Data Sciences. He is a Fellow of AAAS, AIMBE, and INFORMS and was awarded the 2013 Constantin Caratheodory Prize of the International Society of Global Optimization. In addition, Dr. Pardalos has been awarded the 2013 EURO Gold Medal prize bestowed by the Association for European Operational Research Societies. This medal is the preeminent European award given to Operations Research (OR) professionals for “scientific contributions that stand the test of time.

Dr. Pardalos has been awarded a prestigious Humboldt Research Award (2018-2019). The Humboldt Research Award is granted in recognition of a researchers entire achievements to date – fundamental discoveries, new theories, insights that have had significant impact on their discipline. Dr. Pardalos is also a Member of the New York Academy of Sciences, the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences, the Royal Academy of Spain, and the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine. He is the Founding Editor of Optimization Letters, Energy Systems, and Co-Founder of the International Journal of Global Optimization, and Computational Management Science. He has published over 500 papers, edited/authored over 200 books and organized over 80 conferences. He has a google h-index of 95 and has graduated 63 PhD students so far. Details can be found in www.ise.ufl.edu/pardalos