2020 April Inside OR

This month: the debate continues on the value of recognition via awards, particularly for practitioners; we look at how mathematical models aids life-saving supply chain management; John Hopes looks at our shared purpose in a world where "people seem
to dismiss evidence that doesn’t accord with their preconceived view”; we call for papers for our annual conference in September; and we discuss what simulation can do in the effort to understand and overcome COVID-19.

Leader: Our Shared Purpose

John Hopes (Immediate Past President) gives his thoughts on our shared purpose, in a world where people seem to seek data only to reinforce their preconceived notions.

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The Spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Yale SOM’s Edward H. Kaplan has used early reports out of Wuhan to evaluate the effectiveness of common tactics to control the spread of the coronavirus. Kaplan’s modelling of the spread of this disease predicts that new outbreaks can likely be contained by isolating infected patients, but it also highlights the importance of identifying new cases as early as possible.

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AI-derived medications

In late January 2020, a short news item hit the world’s media about a molecule invented by AI that could become a new drug to treat humans. This is, as far as we are aware, the first drug to be developed free of human interventions and analysis.

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Beale Lecture 2020

The OR Society’s Beale Medal is awarded each year in memory of the late Martin Beale. It gives formal recognition to a sustained contribution over many years to the theory, practice or philosophy of OR in the UK and, as such, is inevitably awarded to an academic (see on-going debate on awards for practitioners). This is a little ironic as Martin Beale was very much a practitioner.

The 2018 Beale Medal Winner, Professor Russell Cheng gave his talk entitled The Enigma of Choice – When is a Good Decision Possible? on 27 February, at the Royal Society, London.

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The Difficulties of Loading a Ferry

Dr Christine Currie reports on an EPSRC-funded project entitled Dynamic Pricing in the Ferry Industry, in which researchers in the Centre for Operational Research, Management Science and Information Systems (CORMSIS) at the University of Southampton, used their expertise in optimal packing, revenue management and dynamic programming to find ways of making the packing process more efficient.

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