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Conference Preview: Houston, we solve problems

The 2017 INFORMS Annual Meeting will light up Houston in October.
Source: Thinkstock

2017 INFORMS Annual Meeting prepares for launch in ‘Space City’

The 2017 INFORMS Annual Meeting will be held in Houston, Texas, on Oct. 22-25.

Houston is world renowned for its economy based in aeronautics, energy, manufacturing and transportation. Houston’s energy industry is recognized worldwide for its renewable energy sources, including wind and solar power. Houston is the most diverse city in Texas and has a large and growing international community. Because it is the home of the NASA Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center and its strong ties to the aeronautic industry, it has earned the nickname “Space City.” With a little of something for everyone, Houston lends itself as the perfect location for the next INFORMS Annual Meeting.

The meeting will take place at the George R. Brown Convention Center and the Hilton Americas, with all technical sessions taking place at the Convention Center. INFORMS also has group rates at the Marriott Marquis Houston and the DoubleTree by Hilton Houston Downtown. Only a limited number of rooms are blocked and they will sell out quick, so please make your reservations as soon as possible.

Pre-Conference Workshops

This year INFORMS is introducing a new pre-conference workshop in conjunction with the Annual Meeting. The Academic Leadership Workshop will take place on Oct. 21, the day before the start of the Annual Meeting. The all-day event is designed for faculty of all ranks with an interest in every level of academic leadership. The workshop provides information that can be useful for becoming efficient and effective leaders. Panel speakers are highly visible world-class current and former academic administrators. Participants will have an opportunity to ask questions and network with peers in academic leadership positions. All participants must be nominated by a department head/chair or college dean.

Another pre-conference workshop that is being introduced this year is the INFORMS Workshop on Data Science. Sponsored by the INFORMS College on Artificial Intelligence, this workshop is a premier research event dedicated to developing novel data science theories, algorithms and methods to solve challenging and practical problems that benefit business and society at large. The conference invites innovative data science research contributions that address business and societal challenges from the lens of statistical learning, data mining, machine learning and artificial intelligence. Contributions on novel methods may be motivated by insightful observations on the shortcomings of state-of-the art data science methods in addressing practical challenges, or may propose entirely novel data science problems. Research contributions on theoretical and methodological foundations of data science, such as optimization for machine learning and new algorithms for data mining, are also welcome.

Networking

Along with the abundance of educational opportunities, the conference will offer several opportunities for connecting and networking. The Welcome Reception will be held on Oct. 22. Subdivision meetings will be held predominantly on Oct. 23 in the evening. On Oct. 24, INFORMS will host the General Reception at Minute Maid Park, Home of the Houston Astros.

Another unique networking opportunity for student members is the Coffee with a Member program. This wonderful program connects INFORMS students with some of INFORMS most enthusiastic members for 15-minute impromptu meetings and some sage INFORMS advice. We know the Annual Meeting can be a bit overwhelming and hope these casual meetings will make students more comfortable, knowledgeable and enthusiastic about both the meeting and INFORMS. Space is limited and open to first-time attendees/participants only. Students may enroll for this program when they register for the meeting.

Career Center

A huge benefit of the INFORMS Annual Meeting for employers and job seekers is the INFORMS Career Center. The Career Center and activities provide employers with the opportunity to meet and collect resumes from numerous job seekers in a short period of time, early in the meeting, and to schedule and set up private interviews later in the meeting. Career Center activities are free for all individual meeting registrants. Job seekers should register in the INFORMS Career Center so employers will know you are attending. Be sure to post your resume or anonymous career profile that will lead employers to you. Job seekers should review Career Center Resources prior to attending the job fair to make sure their resumes and interviewing skills are in tip-top shape.

We hope you will attend this unique opportunity to connect and network with more than 5,000 INFORMS members, students, prospective employees, and academic and industry experts. We look forward to seeing you in Houston!

For more information on any of the events listed in this article or other activities at the Annual Meeting, visit www.meetings.informs.org/houston2017.

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