Winter 2018

In This Issue:
Message from the Section Chair 
I hope your new year is off to a great start. Thank you all for the opportunity to serve as Chair of the RMP Section for the year 2018.
Gustavo Vulcano, the former Chair, provides a detailed summary of the state of the Section by December 2017 in his message. I would like to offer a BIG thank you to him as well as the outgoing board members: Darius Walczak, John Quillinan, and Dana Popescu. I would also like to take this opportunity to welcome the new officers: Ilan Lobel (vice-chair), Pavithra Harsha (treasurer), and Kalyan Talluri (board member).
Under Gustavo’s leadership last year, the section has made strides in several different areas. In particular, we are now represented in a new area called Revenue Management and Market Analytics in both Operations Research and Management Science, the two flagship journals of our profession. Please consider submitting your manuscripts to the new area. Sustained high-quality submissions are the only way to ensure the long-term success of the new area. Our effort to start the new area would not have been successful without the support from the organizers of the Marketplace Innovation Workshop (MIW), including Ramesh Johari, Ilan Lobel, Costis Maglaras, and Gabriel Weintraub. Going ahead, we look forward to furthering the ties with the MIW community.
The section prizes offer a way to recognize outstanding work by our members. The RM&P Section Practice Award recognizes outstanding applications of revenue management and pricing techniques. The winner in 2017 is “Omni-channel markdown optimization,” submitted by the team Markus Ettl, Pavithra Harsha, Shivaram Subramanian (IBM), and Joline Uichanco (Michigan Ross). The practice award committee was chaired by Bob Phillips (Uber), and the committee members are Sharon Hormby (Marriott) and Pelin Pekgun (University of South Carolina).
The RM&P Section Dissertation Prize is awarded for the best doctoral dissertation in the field of pricing and revenue management written in English. The first place winner in 2017 is Negin Golrezaei (MIT Sloan; Ph.D., University of Southern California). Her dissertation, titled “Efficient Policies and Mechanisms for Online Platforms,” was co-supervised by Hamid Nazerzadeh and Paat Rusmevichientong. The honorable mention award winner is Jake Feldman (Washington St. Louis Olin; PhD, Cornell ORIE). His dissertation, titled “New Perspectives on Incorporating Customer Choice into RM,” was supervised by Huseyin Topaloglu. The dissertation award committee was chaired by Georgia Perakis (MIT) and the committee members are Rene Caldentey (Chicago Booth) and Ilan Lobel (NYU Stern).
The RM&P Section Prize is awarded for the best contribution to the science of pricing and revenue management published in English, and is the highest honor conferred by our section. The 2017 winners of the prize are Richard Ratliff (Sabre), Garrett van Ryzin (Cornell Tech), and Gustavo Vulcano (Universidad di Tella, Argentina) for the paper “Estimating Primary Demand for Substitutable Products from Sales Transaction Data,” published in Operations Research in 2012. The section award committee was chaired by Vivek Farias (MIT), and the committee members are Yossi Aviv (Tel Aviv University) and Hamid Nazerzadeh (University of Southern California).
Congratulations to all award winners! I would also like to take this opportunity to thank all the award committee chairs, members and the contestants. We greatly appreciate your support for the section!
The 2018 edition of the awards are well underway. More details will be coming soon. I encourage you to consider submitting your work to one of our awards this year. The 2018 Dissertation Award committee is chaired by Hamid Nazerzadeh (University of Southern California), and the Section Award is chaired by Omar Besbes (Columbia). I would like to take this opportunity to thank them for leading their respective prize committees. In our last board meeting at the INFORMS Annual Meeting held in October 2017, the board decided to change the Practice Award from once a year to once every two years. The board also increased the cash award from $1000 to $2000, to be shared among all winners. The changes were made in response to the relatively small number of submissions received last year. The award will be skipped this year and resume next year.
In 2017, the section board began working on an INFORMS society status application. Gaining society status will enhance the impact of our section within INFORMS and the research community at large. The section board plans to continue the society status application in the coming months and work with INFORMS leadership regarding this matter. 
Our webmaster, Sami Najafi, has diligently updated the section website over time. The website is our primary platform in the INFORMS community. Sami has invested considerable time and effort to ensure the website is up to date with respect to news and events. My special thanks to him. Feel free to reach out to Sami if you have any suggestions or updates for the website.
After serving as the newsletter editor for several years, Anton Ovchinnikov recently passed the role to Yao Cui at Cornell University. I would like to thank Anton for the great work he has done over the years and welcome Yao to his new role. Yao and Sami have worked together to convert our newsletter to a web-based format, which provides easier navigation and does not require logging on to view the newsletter. I hope that you find this change helpful. Let us know if you have any suggestions or feedback.
Finally, as you plan for your 2018 conference travel, I would like to remind you that our 2018 Annual Conference will take place at the Scotiabank Conference Center in Toronto, Canada on June 21-22. The conference will be hosted by Smith School of Business, Queen’s University. It will be preceded by the Marketplace Innovation Workshop on June 19-20. More information will be available soon.
Thank you for taking the time to read this newsletter. Please feel free to contact me for any suggestions regarding the aforementioned issues or anything else.
Dan Zhang
Leeds School of Business, University of Colorado Boulder
Email:; Voice: (303) 492 2340
Annual State of the Section Address
After a year term, I want to thank all members of the RMP Section for your support. In the interest of time and in order to avoid repetition, I will just highlight a few focal points of last year and defer announcements to the message of Dan Zhang, the incoming Chair. In particular, I want to mention:
  • RMP Annual Conference: In 2017, our section annual meeting moved to an international location with great success. It took place at the CWI Amsterdam in past June. The conference hosted 65 talks in 25 sessions, two plenary talks, and was attended by 122 people. Our past summer newsletter provides further details and a message from Arnoud den Boer, on behalf of the Organization Committee. Our big thanks to Arnoud and colleagues!
  • RMP cluster in the INFORMS Annual Meeting: It was a record-breaking presence of our section in the schedule of the general meeting, with 59 sessions and 239 talks, a big increase from the already impressive numbers of 48 sessions in 2015, and 47 sessions in 2016. Many thanks to the organizers: Dana Popescu (Univ. of Virginia), Ruxian Wang (Johns Hopkins University), and Wei Wang (PROS).
  • Financial status: The Section maintains a healthy balance of $73,202 by 11/30/2017, similar to the $73,615 of the previous year.
  • Current membership: As of 9/30/2017, the number of section members was 392. We are aiming at a number of 500 to give a strong support to the society status application.
The RMP Section Board focused on the following initiatives over the last year:
  • New INFORMS Connect platform. We migrated the old-style section website to the more updated INFORMS Connect platform. This could not have been done without the invaluable effort put in by our webmaster, Sami Najafi (Santa Clara University).
  • Mission update. We have updated the old RMP Section mission statement, which used to be oriented to traditional, airline- and hospitality-oriented methods and applications, towards new interests of our community, including revenue and pricing analytics, and market design.
  • Connection with the Marketplace Innovation Workshop (MIW) community. We had several conversations with the workshop organizers (Ramesh Johari -Stanford University-, Ilan Lobel -NYU Stern-, Costis Maglaras -Columbia University-, and Gabriel Weintraub -Stanford University-) and agreed on trying to co-locate that event with our annual conference for the next few years, starting with Toronto 2018.
  • New editorial areas in the INFORMS flagship journals. This is probably one of the best academic news that we had last year as a community. Jointly with the MIW organizers, we have approached the search committees for the new EIC of the two INFORMS flagship journals, Operations Research and Management Science, with the proposal to open new editorial areas on revenue management and market analytics. The letter was later also addressed to the new appointed EICs, John Birge, and David Simchi-Levi, respectively. Both EICs were very supportive; we are deeply thankful to them. Starting in January 2018, both journals have specific editorial areas dedicated to our field.
  • Definition of the relationship with the Journal of Revenue and Pricing Management (JRPM). The journal is a Springer publication affiliated with our RMP Section. After several iterations in the discussion with the EIC, Ian Yeoman (Victoria University of Wellington), we have decided to maintain the status quo for now. Our RMP Section members get a 50% discount on the personal subscription to that journal.
  • Preparation of the society status application. We have started the long process of gathering material, especially trying to recover some missing historical information of our section, in order to apply for the INFORMS “Marketplace and Revenue Analytics Society”.
All this work could not have been possible without the continuous and hard work of the officers and board members. According to our bylaws, three members are renewed on an annual basis. In 2017, we had another full slate of candidates for the three positions. The elections were smoothly and timely organized by Omar Besbes (Columbia University). Big thanks to all the candidates who stepped forward: Nicolás Stier-Moses (Facebook), Hamid Nazerzadeh (USC) and Jun Li (Univ. of Michigan). And congratulations to the winners:
–    Vice Chair/Chair-Elect: Ilan Lobel (NYU Stern)
–    Secretary/Treasurer: Pavithra Harsha (IBM)
–    Board Member: Kalyan Talluri (Imperial College),
and a big thank-you for their contributions in 2017 and previous years to the officers and board members who have stepped down: Darius Walczak (PROS), John Quillinan (IBM) and Dana Popescu (Univ. of Virginia). 
The conferences and the awards build off the Section’s backbone of various support functions and we would like to thank the volunteers for those.  Some of them have been doing it for several years now. Our appreciations to the 2016-2017 team:
–    Website Editor-in-Chief: Sami Najafi (Santa Clara)
–    Newsletter Editor: Anton Ovchinnikov (Queen’s Univ.)
–    Social Media Coordinator: Tom Gorin (PROS)
–    Corporate Sponsorship Coordinator: John Quillinan (IBM)
–    Job Listings Coordinator: Dirk Sierag (CWI). 
Personally and especially, I would like to thank the 2016-2017 officers and board members that I was fortunate to chair, and the aforementioned volunteers. I will stay on for one more year as the Past Chair.
All the best to Dan and the new team! 
Gustavo Vulcano
Universidad Torcuato di Tella.
New RM Department/Area in MS and OR
A new department/area of “Revenue Management and Market Analytics” has been added in both Management Science and Operations Research. The department editors in Management Science are Kalyan Talluri (Imperial College London) and Gabriel Weintraub (Stanford University). The area editors in Operations Research are Gustavo Vulcano (Universidad Torcuato Di Tella) and Ramesh Johari (Stanford University). Please consider submitting your manuscripts to the new department/area.
Upcoming Conferences
2018 INFORMS Revenue Management and Pricing Section Conference
June 21-22, 2018
Smith School of Business, Queen’s University
Scotiabank Conference Centre, Toronto (Canada)
The 18th Annual INFORMS Revenue Management and Pricing (RM&P) Section Conference will be hosted by the Smith School of Business, Queen's University, on Thursday, June 21, 2018, and Friday, June 22, 2018, at the Scotiabank Conference Centre in Toronto, Canada. Abstract submission deadline is April 1, 2018. The conference will be preceded by the Marketplace Innovation Workshop on June 19-20. More information can be found at:
Other Related Conferences
2018 INFORMS Business Analytics Conference
April 15-17, 2018, Baltimore, MD
POMS 28th Annual Conference
May 4-7, 2018, Houston, TX
Chairs of the RMP track:
2018 INFORMS International Conference
June 17-20, 2018, Taipei, Taiwan
Chair of the RMP track: Chia-Wei Kuo (, National Taiwan University
2018 MSOM Conference & SIG Meeting
July 1-3, 2018, UT Dallas, Dallas, TX
29th European Conference on Operations Research
July 8-11, 2018, Valencia, Spain
Upcoming RMP Awards
2018 INFORMS RMP Section Award
The 2018 INFORMS RMP Section Award is chaired by Omar Besbes (Columbia University). Nominations should be submitted to him ( by July 31, 2018. More information can be found at
2018 INFORMS RMP Section Dissertation Award
The 2018 INFORMS RMP Section Dissertation Award is chaired by Hamid Nazerzadeh (University of Southern California). Nominations should be submitted to him ( by August 11, 2018. More information can be found at
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
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