Volume 9, No. 1, December 2021
Contents of this Issue
- PSOR Sessions at the 2021 INFORMS Annual Meeting
- PSOR Best Paper
- PSOR Election Results
- Business Meeting
- From the Editor
PSOR Sessions at the 2021 INFORMS Annual Meeting
The 2021 INFORMS annual meeting was conducted in three modes: in-person, online, and hybrid. Across these three modes, the PSOR cluster sponsored a total of 37 sessions with 145 total presentations; note that these were unique due to replication across the different modes of participation. Our cluster included a joint session with the Health Applications Society, a panel session on “Getting Started in Public Sector OR”, the PSOR Best Paper Award session, and four committee’s choice sessions titled:
- “Operations Research and Vulnerable Populations”
- “Analytics for Urban Public Service Operations”
- “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in OR/MS/Analytics” (two sessions)
Other topics in the PSOR cluster included sessions focused on:
- Humanitarian operations and disaster response
- Human migration and trafficking
- Community engaged operations research
- Clean energy and resilient infrastructure
2021 PSOR Best Paper Competition
This year, the Co-chairs of the PSOR Best Paper Competition were Somya Singhvi (USC) and Yanchong Zheng (MIT).
The award committee consisted of Amrita Kundu (McDonough School of Business), Anyan Qi (University of Texas at Dallas), Ashish Kabra (University of Maryland, College Park), Auyon Siddiq (UCLA Anderson), Can Zhang (Duke University), Christian Blanco (The Ohio State University), Divya Singhvi (NYU Stern), Deeksha Sinha (MIT), Ekaterina Astashkina (Ross School of Business), Elisabeth Paulson (Stanford University), Irene Lo (Stanford University), Morvarid Rahmani (Georgia Tech), Priyank Arora (Isenberg School of Management), Ruth Beer (Baruch College), Saed Alizamir (Yale University), Samantha Keppler (University of Michigan), Sebastien Martin (Kellogg School of Management), Song-Hee Kim (USC), Soroush Saghafian (Harvard).
We are grateful to the co-chairs and the committee for their service.
The committee received a total of 52 submissions in the following major areas:
- Healthcare (21)
- Disaster management / pandemic response (10)
- Public policy (10)
- Other areas: Sharing Economy, Agriculture, Standardized Testing, Volunteering
The criteria for selecting the best paper were: problem importance, results, writing, relevance to the public sector, and overall recommendation, all of which were given equal weight. The process was double blind and chairs did not vote.
There were two rounds. In the first round, every paper was evaluated by two judges, subject to no conflict of interest and the 4 top papers were shortlisted as finalists. In the second round, judges with conflicts of interest recused and all remaining judges voted for all the finalist papers.
The four finalist papers were:
- Off-Grid Lighting Business Models to Serve the Poor: Evidence From a Structural Model and Field Experiments in Rwanda, Bhavani Shanker Uppari (Singapore Management University), Serguei Netessine (Wharton School), Ioana Popescu (INSEAD), Rowan P. Clarke (Harvard Business School)
- Deploying a Reinforcement Learning System for COVID-19 Testing at the Greek Border, Hamsa Bastani (Wharton School), Kimon Drakopoulos (USC), Vishal Gupta (USC), Jon Vlachogiannis (AgentRisk), Christos Hadjicristodoulou (University of Thessaly), Pagona Lagiou (School of Medicine, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens), GkikasMagiorkinis (School of Medicine, National and KapodistrianUniversity of Athens), Dimitrios Paraskevis (School of Medicine, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens), Sotirios Tsiodras(School of Medicine, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens)
- COVID-19: Prediction, Prevalence and the Operations of Vaccine Allocation, Georgia Perakis (MIT), Amine Bennouna (MIT), Joshua Joseph (MIT), David Nze-Ndong (MIT), Divya Singhvi (NYU), Omar Skali Lami (MIT), Ioannis Spantidakis (MIT), Leann Thayaparan(MIT), Asterios Tsiourvas (MIT)
- Unmasking human trafficking risk in commercial sex supply chains with machine learning, Pia Ramchandani (Wharton School), Hamsa Bastani (Wharton School), Emily Wyatt (TellFinder Alliance)
The paper “Deploying a Reinforcement Learning System for COVID-19 Testing at the Greek Border” won second place.
The winner of the PSOR Best Paper Competition was “Off-Grid Lighting Business Models to Serve the Poor: Evidence From a Structural Model and Field Experiments in Rwanda”
Congratulations to all participants!