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Conference Preview: 2018 INFORMS Annual Meeting heading to Phoenix

“Smart City and Sustainable Communities” theme sets stage for Nov. 4-7 conference at the Phoenix Convention Center and Hyatt Regency Phoenix.

The INFORMS Annual Meeting in Phoenix will draw more than 5,000 academics, industry experts, students and government agency representatives. Source. ThinkStock

The INFORMS Annual Meeting in Phoenix will draw more than 5,000 academics, industry experts, students and government agency
representatives.
Source. ThinkStock

“Smart City and Sustainable Communities” is the theme of the 2018 INFORMS Annual Meeting to be held Nov. 4-7 at the Phoenix Convention Center and Hyatt Regency Phoenix in the heart of downtown Phoenix. Smart cities are the new paradigm when it comes to urban sustainability. They make sustainable urban solutions such as public transit, renewable energy systems and resource-efficient buildings more attractive and efficient by adding information and communication technologies (ICTs).

ICTs enable us to track arrival times of trains, regulate the temperature at home with our smart phones, and balance supply and demand of renewable energy in smart grids. A smart city uses ICTs to enhance its livability, workability and sustainability. The light rail transportation system in Phoenix was built to spur urban development along its 20-mile corridor, and it is a perfect example of this. The Central Arizona Project, designed to bring approximately 1.5 million acre-feet of Colorado River water annually to Pima, Pinal and Maricopa Counties, is another example.

The INFORMS Annual Meeting offers unique opportunities to connect and network with the more than 5,000 INFORMS members, students, prospective employers, employees, and academic and industry experts who compose the INFORMS community. You can listen to intriguing plenary and keynote presentations, panel discussions, tutorials and some of the thousands of oral and poster presentations.

Young-Jun Son, chair of the 2018 INFORMS Annual Meeting.

Young-Jun Son, chair of the 2018 INFORMS Annual Meeting.

Meeting Chair Young-Jun Son, professor and department head at the University of Arizona, and his volunteer committees and INFORMS staff have organized a long list of receptions, networking opportunities and other special events to complement the four days of talks, tutorials and technical sessions. Cornell University’s Brenda Dietrich will give the opening plenary on “Riding Technology Waves: Perspectives and Opportunities for Operations Research.” Other confirmed plenary and keynote speakers include Kenneth Fletcher of Kestrel Hawk Consulting, Inc., Anna Nagurney of the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, Jorge Calzada of National Grid, Erica Plambeck of Stanford University, Evà Tardos of Cornell University, Mario Veiga Pereira of PSR, Russell Allgor of Amazon and Garrett van Ryzin of Lyft.

Other noteworthy events include the Pro Bono Analytics program, which has partnered with St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance, a food bank and distribution network. In Arizona, nearly 30 percent of the population is considered working poor, living on wages that barely cover housing and other basic necessities and have little money to spare on food. This difficult standard of living has left more than 36,000 people homeless and unsure of where their next meal will come from. INFORMS has coordinated a volunteering initiative for the Annual Meeting attendees to build meal bags for Phoenix’s homeless population to help make a positive impact on our host city. You can register for this initiative on the Annual Meeting website. Your support helps INFORMS purchase the necessary items and build the meal bags that will be distributed on the streets of Phoenix to those who need them the most.

Pre-conference workshops will include the INFORMS Combined Colloquia, the INFORMS 10th Conference on Information Systems & Technology, the INFORMS 1st Conference on Service Science, the INFORMS 13th Workshop on Data Mining & Decision Analytics, the QSR 20th Anniversary Celebration Workshop, the INFORMS Workshop on Data Science and numerous technology workshops. All of these events will be held on Saturday, Nov. 3, and some require a separate registration.

New to the event this year will be the Flash Paper Sessions, which are six-minute presentations that include slides. Anyone can submit an abstract for a Flash Paper Session. The Hyatt Regency is just across the street from the Convention Center and both venues are within walking distance to many popular attractions. Four other area hotels – Sheraton Grand Phoenix Hotel, Renaissance Phoenix Downtown, Residence Inn by Marriott Phoenix Downtown and the Courtyard by Marriott-Phoenix Downtown –are offering an INFORMS group rate, all within a five-minute walk of the conference venues. These room blocks will sell out fast so make sure you secure your reservations long before the cut-off date of Oct. 4. Sky Harbor International Airport is just 3.5 miles away from the heart of downtown Phoenix, making travel to and from the airport a breeze.

Join the thousands of academics, industry experts, students and government agency representatives for the OR/MS event of the year. For more information regarding the 2018 INFORMS Annual Meeting please visit meetings.informs.org/phoenix2018.

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UPCOMING ANALYTICS EVENTS

INFORMS-SPONSORED EVENTS

INFORMS Computing Society Conference
Jan. 6-8, 2019; Knoxville, Tenn.

INFORMS Conference on Business Analytics & Operations Research
April 14-16, 2019; Austin, Texas

INFORMS International Conference
June 9-12, 2019; Cancun, Mexico

INFORMS Marketing Science Conference
June 20-22; Rome, Italy

INFORMS Applied Probability Conference
July 2-4, 2019; Brisbane, Australia

INFORMS Healthcare Conference
July 27-29, 2019; Boston, Mass.

2019 INFORMS Annual Meeting
Oct. 20-23, 2019; Seattle, Wash.

Winter Simulation Conference
Dec. 8-11, 2019: National Harbor, Md.

OTHER EVENTS

Advancing the Analytics-Driven Organization
Jan. 28–31, 2019, 1 p.m.– 5 p.m. (live online)

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