Fall 2020


In this Issue:

Message from the Section Chair

Dear Revenue Management & Pricing Section,

I want to start by thanking all of you for giving me the opportunity to serve as chair of the RMP Section for the year 2021. It is a great honor.

Without a doubt, the COVID-19 pandemic has made 2020 an incredibly difficult year for all of us. Despite all the challenges, our RMP Section is in great shape and its membership has kept growing steadily. In so many ways, this success is due to the effort of our previous chair, Ming Hu, and I would like to give him a really big thank-you for all his work.   I also would like to thank our outgoing officers and board members, Ilan Lobel (past chair), Stefanus Jasin (board member) and Jun Li (treasurer/secretary), for their service and welcome our new members: Ozge Sahin (chair-elect), Ruxian Wang (treasurer/secretary) and Santiago Balseiro (board member). I am also grateful to Yao Cui, Sophia Huang, and Sami Najafi for continuing to serve the RMP Section as newsletter editor, social media coordinator and webmaster, respectively.

In the reminder of this newsletter you will find Ming’s summary of state of the RMP Section as well as some of our on-going initiatives including details of our next practice webinar, the data-driven research challenge using Netease Cloud Music dataset and the student live paper series.

I look forward to working with you as the RMP Section Chair for the year. If you have any suggestions or questions, please feel free to reach out to me. Also, don’t forget to invite your colleagues and students to join our RMP Section (details on how to join at the end).

Best wishes and Happy Holidays.

René Caldentey

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Annual State of the Section Address

The past year of 2020 has been challenging for all of us. But despite the pandemic, the section has a successful year. Our finances are steady, and our membership count has reached a record high of 554 by Sep 2020. A set of efforts/initiatives jointly drive this continued growth: (1) free student membership that started in 2019; (2) a broad appeal offered by RMMA departments at various top journals; (3) campaigns to attendees of past RMP Asian workshops; (4) data-driven research challenge with data exclusively available to members.

This year, the RMP board launched a set of new initiatives.

  1. Student live paper series. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVF0N1jTIgHOiepvKgrXAnw/videos We will continue to use this channel to promote our Ph.D. students’ work.

  2. Data-driven research challenge. https://connect.informs.org/rmp/awards/data-competition

  3. Practice webinar series. The inaugural talk by Bob Philipps at Amazon attracted more than 170 attendees.

  4. Section survey. We surveyed the section members in the role of authors, referees, and associate editors and passed the survey results to the journals’ department editors.

Our annual section conferences are postponed for one year sequentially. That is, RMP 2021 will be hosted by John Hopkins University, MIW 2021 will be hosted by Columbia University, live or virtual, RMP 2022 will be hosted by the University of Chicago, joint with MIW 2022, and RMP 2023 will go to Imperial College London.

The RMP Cluster at the past virtual INFORMS 2020 was organized by Santiago Balseiro (Columbia), Jacob Feldman (WUSTL), and Zizhuo Wang (CUHK Shenzhen). The cluster marshaled 40 sessions with 151 talks. Many thanks to the organizers!

During the business meeting at INFORMS 2020, we announced the following award winners:

The 2020 RMP Section Award goes to:

Jun Li (Michigan):

  • For her innovative use of empirical methods to address difficult problems in pricing and revenue management, including the use of structural estimation to determine whether consumers are strategic and the use of field experiments to understand dynamic pricing under competition.

  • Body of work:
    1. Are Consumers Strategic? Structural Estimation from the Air-Travel Industry, Management Science 2014
    2. Competition-Based Dynamic Pricing in Online Retailing: A Methodology Validated with Field Experiments, Management Science 2018

Committee of 2020 RMP Section Award:

  • Ilan Lobel (NYU) - Chair

  • Victor Araman (AUB)

  • Itai Ashlagi (Stanford)

  • Gustavo Vulcano (UTDT)

The 2020 Jeff McGill RMP Student Paper Prizes go to:

First place:

  • Jinglong Zhao (MIT)
    • Design and Analysis of Switchback Experiments
    • Advisors: Iavor Bojinov, David Simchi-Levi

Second place:

  • Can Küçükgül (UTD)
    • Engineering Social Learning: Information Design of Time-Locked Sales Campaigns for Online Platforms
    • Advisors: Ozalp Ozer, Shouqiang Wang

Honorable mentions:

  • Deeksha Sinha (MIT)
    • Optimizing Offer Sets in Sub-Linear Time
    • Advisors: Vivek Farias, Andrew Li
  • Zikun Ye (UIUC)
    • Cold Start on Online Advertising Platforms: Data-Driven Algorithms and Field Experiments
    • Advisors: Renyu Zhang, Heng Zhang, Dennis J. Zhang, Xin Chen

Committee of 2020 Jeff McGill RMP Student Paper Prize:

  • Kostas Bimpikis (Stanford) - Chair
  • Ali Aouad (LBS)
  • Santiago Balseiro (Columbia)
  • Ozan Candogan (Chicago)
  • Srikanth Jagabathula (NYU)
  • Ken Moon (Wharton)
  • Joline Uichanco (Michigan)

Great thanks to the award committees!

A big thank you to all the members of RMP section board 2019-2020:

  • Vice Chair/Chair-Elect: Rene Caldentey (Chicago)
  • Past Chair: Ilan Lobel (NYU)
  • Secretary/Treasurer: Jun Li (Michigan)
  • Board Members
  • 2018-2020: Stefanus Jasin (Michigan)
  • 2019-2021: Daniela Saban (Stanford)
  • Collaborators
    • Webmaster: Sami Najafi (Santa Clara)
    • Newletter Editor: Yao Cui (Cornell)
    • Social Media Coordinator: Sophia Huang (Vistex)

We will have the following newly elected board members:

  • Vice-chair/chair-elect: Ozge Sahin
  • Treasurer/secretary: Ruxian Wang
  • Board member: Santiago Balseiro

The continuing board members are Rene Caldentey (chair), Ming Hu (past chair) and Daniela Saban (board member)

Looking forward to another year of great success under the leadership of Rene!

Best regards,

Ming Hu
Rotman School of Management
University of Toronto
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Practice Webinar Series

We launched the RMP practice webinar series this year to better facilitate dialogues between academics and practitioners. We plan to run the webinar series as a regular event every quarter. The first webinar took place on October 7, where Robert Phillips (Amazon) talked about “Pricing and Analytics - Challenges and Research Opportunities”. The inaugural event was highly successful with 170+ attendees.

The second webinar will take place in February:
  • Speaker: Vahab Mirrokni, Head of the New York and Zurich algorithms research groups at Google Research
  • Date: Wednesday, February 10, 2021Time: 8 pm EST

(Details on how to register for the webinar will be sent a few weeks before the event.)

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Student Live Paper Series

We launched the RMP student live paper series on youtube this year to promote works by RMP Section’s student members. This RMP student live paper series is an ongoing effort, and we will keep adding new presentations to the list. If you are interested, please send an email to RMPlivepaper20@gmail.com. All talks can be accessed through our youtube channel at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVF0N1jTIgHOiepvKgrXAnw/videos.
(Details on how to register for the webinar will be sent a few weeks before the event.)

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Data-Driven Research Challenge

The RMP section is partnering with NetEase Cloud Music, one of the largest music streaming companies in China, to offer RMP members access to NetEase Cloud Music App’s impression-level data and encourage data-driven research on innovative marketplaces. In this competition, researchers will compete by building data-driven models using real data to address either some of the suggested questions below or questions of their own interest.


  • 57+ million impressions/displays of music content cards recommendations
  • 2+ million users from November 1, 2019 to November 30, 2019
  • Data on clicks, likes, follows and user specific information

Example Research Questions:

  • How could the company design the recommender system to minimize the number of inactive users?
  • What are the characteristics and preferences of active users on the platform?
  • How to design the recommender system to encourage more content creation?


  • RMP members are encouraged to participate.
  • At least one author must be an existing RMP member in 2020.
  • Only one submission per RMP member.


  • April 1, 2021: Competition submissions deadline.
  • May 2021: Judges to review submissions and select finalists.
  • June 2021 at RMP Conference: Finalist presentations and winner(s) announcement.

Perks for Finalists:

  • Fast Track at NRL Department of Revenue Management and Marketplace Design
  • Competition review reports forwarded to Revenue Management and Market Analytics department at Management Science

More information can be found at: https://connect.informs.org/rmp/awards/data-competition


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RMP Section – How to Join

To become a member of the Revenue Management and Pricing Section, it is the easiest (but not necessary) just to add it to the regular INFORMS membership. Those who’d rather focus exclusively on the Section’s activities can become members only of the Section by calling 1-800-446-3676. More information can be found at: http://connect.informs.org/rmp/membership/how-to-join

Benefits of Membership

As a member of the Section, you will receive benefits such as our newsletter, registration fee discount to annual section conference, 50% off the subscription rate to the Journal of Revenue and Pricing Management, and listserver announcements. More information can be found at: http://connect.informs.org/rmp/membership/benefits

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