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Analytics Magazine

Conference Preview: INFORMS Analytics & O.R. Conference

January/February 2013

Two senior executives from marquee companies – Nicole Piasecki, VP of Business Development and Strategic Integration at Boeing Commercial Airplanes, and Sandy Carter, VP of Social Business Evangelism and Sales at IBM – will headline the 2013 INFORMS Conference on Business Analytics & Operations Research, April 7-9, in San Antonio, Texas. Piasecki and Carter will deliver thought-provoking talks, highlighting two days of intensive, real-world education on descriptive, predictive and prescriptive analytics.

The conference program is being designed by a 27-member committee of analytic practitioners and academics, chaired by Jim Williams, manager of Advanced Analytics at Land O’Lakes. Two expanded, 10-session tracks will focus on marketing analytics and the analytics process. Other tracks will cover big data, supply chain management, forecasting, decision analysis, soft skills and HR analytics.

The program will feature presentations by more than 100 speakers representing a broad range of industries and applications areas. Speakers already lined up include executives and analysts from Target, Intel, MIT, Gartner, Nielsen, the IRS, Ford, GE and other companies across sectors and industries (see accompanying sidebar story).

The Franz Edelman Competition, showcasing the best in high-impact analytics, will feature presentations by six finalists: Bao Steel, Chevron, Dell, Delta Commissioner of Holland, Kroger and McKesson. A new track for 2013 will highlight applied work that has received recognition in other competitions, including finalists for the Innovative Applications in Analytics Award and winners of the Wagner Prize, INFORMS Prize, UPS George D. Smith Prize and Spreadsheet Guru Prize.

Present a Poster, Save on Registration

While most speakers are hand-picked by the committee to deliver talks on specific topics, interested professionals can submit a poster proposal and receive a 35 percent to 40 percent discount off regular registration rates. The submission deadline is Feb. 1.

The poster format lends itself to works-in-progress on which the presenter is looking for feedback; successful projects that may not be extensive enough for a 50-minute talk; and corporate or consulting work subject to nondisclosure restrictions that can still be presented at a high level. Poster presentations will be scheduled in standalone sessions on two days of the conference.

Special Programs

Two special programs within the conference are designed for future analytics leaders. The Early Career Connection, for junior faculty and young industry researchers, provides participants with insights into the critical problems facing business, helping them to broaden their research agendas and providing important networking contacts.

The INFORMS Professional Colloquium offers a full-day, interactive workshop on career guidance for master’s and Ph.D. students who are interested in practice careers. The colloquium will be held April 7, and students will then stay for the remainder of the conference.

Participants in both programs can register for the full conference at a steep discounted rate of $395; they must be nominated and selected to attend. Limited financial aid is available for the colloquium. The nomination deadline is March 1.

For conference information, visit

Conference Focused Tracks

Marketing Analytics
• Neil Biehn, Ph.D., vice president of Science and Research, PROS, Inc.
• Nathan Brixius, Ph.D., senior vice president, Analytics Development, Nielsen Marketing Analytics
• Allen Crane, M.S., executive director, Applied Analytics, United Services Automobile Association (USAA)
• Maher Lahmar, Ph.D., manager R&D, Merchandising Business Intelligence, Target
• Sorin Patilinet, M.Sc., marketing services manager, Mars Inc.
• Damon Ragusa, chairman & chief strategy officer, ThinkVine
• David Schweidel, Ph.D., associate professor of marketing, co-director of the Emory Marketing Analytics Center, Goizueta Business School, Emory University
• John (Jeff) Tanner Jr., Ph.D., professor of marketing, associate dean, Baylor UniversityBig Data
• Jeff Butler, M.S., director, Research Databases, U.S. Internal Revenue Service
• Michael Cavaretta, technical leader, Predictive Analytics, Research & Advanced Engineering, Ford Motor Co.
• Arnol N. Ghoting, Ph.D., research staff member, IBM TJ Watson Research Center, IBM
• Priyank Patel, director, Product Management, Teradata

Analytics Process
• Don N. Kleinmuntz, Ph.D., executive VP and chief analytics officer, Strata Decision Technology LLC
• Kathy Lange, M.S., senior director, Business Analytics Practice, SAS
• Steve Sashihara, A.B., president & CEO, Princeton Consultants Inc.
• Sam L. Savage, Ph.D., consulting professor, Management Science & Engineering, Stanford University
• Dirk Van den Poel, Ph.D., professor of Marketing Analytics, Faculty of Economics & Business Administration, Ghent University
• Sameer Vittal, Ph.D., manager of Advanced Analytics, General Electric-Power & Water
• Sasha Bartashnik, M.S., strategic analyst, Strategic Planning and Innovation, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center

Supply Chain Management
• Stan Aronow, MBA, supply chain research director, Gartner
• Chris Caplice, Ph.D., executive director, MIT Center for Transportation & Logistics
• Lora Cecere, MBA, CEO, Supply Chain Insights
• Thomas Rucker, Ph.D., director, Technology Development, Intel Corp.

Decision Analysis
• William Haskett, MBA, senior principal, Energy Strategy, Decision Strategies Inc.
• Max Henrion, Ph.D., chief executive officer, Lumina Decision Systems, Inc.
• Freeman Marvin, executive principal, Innovative Decisions, Inc.
• Col. Brian K. Sperling, Ph.D., senior military advisor/military deputy director, Center for Army Analysis, U.S. Army

• Dieter Ambruster, Ph.D., professor, Mathematical & Statistical Sciences, Arizona State University
• Scott A. Bernhardt, president, Planalytics, Inc.
• Michael Gilliland, M.A., MSE, product marketing manager, SAS Institute

Soft Skills for Analysts
• William K. Klimack, Ph.D., decision analysis consultant, Chevron USA, Inc.  (Col. U.S. Army, retired)
• Randy Krum, BSME, president, InfoNewt, LLC

Human Resources Analytics
• Dean Abbott, president, Abbott Analytics Inc.
• Aleksandra Mojsilovic, Ph.D., manager, Predictive Modeling & Optimization, IBM TJ Watson Research Center, IBM

INFORMS Healthcare 2013

In 2011 the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS) introduced a new, highly focused brand of conference with a three-day meeting on healthcare. That meeting was such a success both in terms of attendance and quality of presentations that a second INFORMS conference on healthcare is being planned for June 23-26 this year at the Marriott Downtown in Chicago.

The conference aims to bring a diverse group of researchers and stakeholders together to share information and insights that can improve the long-term efficiency, effectiveness and quality of healthcare delivery. Presentations will span a wide range of problems in the healthcare continuum that are amenable to quantitative approaches. The program will also feature contributions from synergistic fields, including healthcare policy, clinical decision-making, global health, therapy and treatment delivery, public health and data-driven modeling.

General Chair Sanjay Mehrotra, professor of Industrial Engineering and Management Sciences at Northwestern University’s McCormick School of Engineering, has formed an Organizing Committee of respected OR/MS professionals including Steven Shechter, University of British Columbia; Vedat Verter, McGill University; Hari Balasubramanian, University of Massachusetts-Amherst; and Cerry Klein, University of Missouri.

Several INFORMS subdivisions have agreed to be technical co-sponsors of the meeting, including the INFORMS Health Applications Society, Computing Society, Optimization Society, Simulation Society and Data Mining Section. Other organizations outside INFORMS will also participate. With support from these groups, the conference is expected to draw researchers and practitioners from the United States, Canada, Europe and around the world, offering a cross-cultural and multi-disciplinary view of healthcare systems.

The conference will offer a small-scale, collegial environment where high-quality talks are presented by leaders in the field. All submissions will be reviewed by the committee and chairs.

In a new feature, the INFORMS Health Applications Society will hold a Student Paper Competition in conjunction with the meeting. The award will call out papers judged to be the best in the field of health applications, both in terms of methodology and potential for impact.

The conference venue, the Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile, is a renowned Chicago hotel, situated at the best address in a great city, with world-class dining and shopping, top attractions, and the best in theatre and museums within walking distance.

For complete information and to submit an abstract visit:

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