2020 Ambassador Projects

An Analysis Of Diversity In INFORMS Journal Editorial Boards

2020 DEI Ambassadors Margaret Brandeau & Laker Newhouse

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We assess the level of diversity in the editorial boards of the 16 INFORMS journals. We examine gender, whether an individual is an underrepresented minority, and the individual’s current affiliation, and we perform a network analysis to identify coauthor relationships between editorial board members. We find that the editorial boards have low levels of diversity and some of the INFORMS journals have a high level of connectivity between editorial board members (as measured by coauthor relationship). We provide a set of recommendations for broadening diversity and reducing connectivity on the INFORMS journal editorial boards.

Bringing Awareness about Analytics to African Americans at HBCUs

2020 DEI Ambassador Charles Pierre

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The DEI program sponsored the INFORMS DEI Ambassadors program, where newly minted Ambassadors were charged with finding strategies to increase the numbers of underrepresented groups in the systems engineering area and in other areas such as analytic/data science. The program challenged me to find strategies to increase the number of African Americans in the field of analytics/data science and to network with other DEI Ambassadors. It also afforded me the opportunity to network with five HBCUs to find ways to increase the number of African Americans in analytics/data science.

Bringing STEM Education to Underserved Communities

2020 DEI Ambassadors Aida Rahmattalabi, Caroline Johnston, Phoebe Vayanos

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Industry and academia suffer from lack of full participation in STEM fields, excluding those from traditionally marginalized groups. To help address this problem, we have partnered with Code in the Schools, a non-profit in Baltimore city and STEM academy of Hollywood, a high school in Los Angeles to bring students from traditionally under-represented groups in STEM together and engage them in fun AI/OR projects for social good. The students will work in teams and are guided by mentors from the INFORMS community to address problems in areas including public health, conservation, etc. The goal is to raise students' interest in AI/OR and help them build a network with mentors and fellow students.

Deploying the Seth Bonder Camp in Minority High Schools

2020 DEI Ambassador Pascal Van Hentenryck

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The Seth Bonder Summer Camp in Computational and Data Science for Engineering is intended for high school students interested in engineering who have no or minimal background in data science and computer programming. The camp only requires that participants are able to use a browser and have the desire to learn computational and data science through meaningful and exciting applications, in machine learning, optimization, computational social science, and genomics.

The 2019 edition of the Seth Bonder camp was held at Georgia Tech on July 22-26. See the introductory video. Check also this article on the 2019 Camp.

The camp uses Snap!, a visual programming language that is easy to learn. Key concepts underlying computational thinking and data science are introduced in the context of relevant applications. The camp will combine lectures with significant lab time, during which students will develop compelling Snap! programs.

The camp is supervised by Pascal Van Hentenryck and an army of amazing graduate and undergraduate students in computer science and industrial and systems engineering. They share a passion for teaching, technology, and the applications of technology for societal benefits. The camp is partly supported by a generous gift from the Seth Bonder Foundation. It is based on a course Pascal designed and taught at the Australian National University in the beautiful country of Australia in 2015. The course was intended for college students with no background in computer science.

Empowered Community For Women Of Color

2020 DEI Ambassadors Julie Ivy, Maria Mayorga, Karen Hicklin

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The objective of this project is to develop a community of women of color (WoC) who are empowered to navigate the tenure track and handle microaggressions. We will host a series of activities specifically focusing on WoC to address the additional challenges associated with intersectionality and advancement through the academic pipeline. The goal of our activities is to combat imposter syndrome resulting from microaggressions and unconscious bias uniquely faced by WoC in Academia by creating a safe space within INFORMS for professional and community development. This project seeks to change this narrative for WoC in INFORMS by making a welcoming environment for WoC in ORMS to develop professionally.

INFORMS en Español

2020 DEI Ambassador Cesar A. Uribe

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INFORMS -en Español is an online lecture series on operation research, analytics, and optimization in Spanish. It seeks to promote diversity and inclusion within INFORMS by breaking a language barrier and provide a bridge that facilitate communication and experience sharing with the Spanish speaking community around the world. We want to provide access to the Spanish speaking community to state-of-the-art research via lectures that will be streamed and recorded online for free. Moreover, we want to explain the undergraduate, graduate, and/or postdoc application process at different schools across the USA specifically tailored to LGBTQ+, female, and under-represented minorities.

LGBTQ community building

2020 DEI Ambassadors Alison Dwai & Dwaipayan Pan

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The goal of this DEI project is to improve engagement of the LGBTQ community within INFORMS and to increase awareness about the idiosyncratic challenges and support needs of the LGBTQ community within INFORMS.

Studying Academic Bullying

2020 DEI Ambassador Mark Velednitsky

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We introduce our new website, academiabullying.org, which focuses on bringing departments together to create happy and productive workplaces free from bullying.