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4,000 numbers crunchers count on San Diego

September 25th, 2009
When 4,000 experts in everything from problems with California's hospitals to a perpetual game of Monopoly come to San Diego on October 11, the city will find itself deluged not only by smart people who use math for a living but also problem solvers who tackle America's greatest threats.

The annual meeting of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS®) takes place at the San Diego Convention Center and the Hilton San Diego from Sunday, October 11 - Wednesday, October 14.

Operations research, also known as analytics, is the application of advanced analytical methods to help make better decisions. Information about the field is at www.scienceofbetter.org. Analytics is experiencing a rebirth in organizations like HP, the U.S. Navy, and technology-based companies like Intel and Cisco. It is the subject of the popular business title Competing on Analytics by Thomas H. Davenport and Jeanne G. Harris.

Among the highlights of the annual meeting are:

  • Healthcare


    • Responding to the H1N1/Swine Flu Epidemic: Prof. Eva K. Lee of the Georgia Institute of Technology, working with the Centers for Disease Control, examines different strategies for containing infectious diseases and bioterror attacks. Prof. Lee is currently advising the White House on responding to the swine flu outbreak and homeland security preparation. Monday, October 12, 8-9:30 AM.
    • The upsetting secret about cardiac care hospitals in California: Prof. Christian Terwiesch, formerly of UC San Diego, and Prof. Diwas KC Emory University find that specialized care hospitals actually deliver lower quality of care to the average patient. Wednesday Oct 14, 12:45 - 14:15

  • The Economy: Prof. Professor Harry Markowitz, Rady School of Management, UC San Diego, builds on his Nobel Prize-winning work in portfolio theory to recommend changes at the federal level that address still-existing dangers to our economy. Monday, October 12, 8-9:30 AM.

  • Firefighting: With the Los Angeles wildfires in recent memory, forestry experts who use operations research devote special attention to strategic fire planning, arson, and prevention .

  • Fun and Game Theory


    • Chinook, the computer that challenges man to checkers: Prof. Jonathan Schaeffer of the University of Alberta recounts his 18-year quest to develop a computer program that could beat the masters at checkers. Sunday Oct 11, 13:30 - 15:00
    • It's not your imagination: monopoly never ends…: Prof. Shane Henderson of Cornell University explains why a straightforward game of Monopoly could go on forever!

    The chair of the INFORMS Annual Meeting in San Diego is Dr. Soheila Jorjani of California State University San Marcos.

    Source: Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences

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