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4,000 analytics experts come to Phoenix for INFORMS Annual Meeting

When 4,000 analytics experts in everything from predicting the winner of the U.S. Presidential election to keeping Arizona's borders secure come to Phoenix on October 14, the city will find itself filled not only with smart people who use math for a living but also problem solvers who tackle some of today's greatest challenges.

The annual meeting of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS) takes place at the Phoenix Convention Center from Sunday, October 14-Wednesday, October 17.

Operations research, also known as analytics and business analytics, is the application of advanced analytical methods to help make better decisions. Information about the field is at

Among the highlights of the annual meeting are:

Obama or Romney?

  • U.S. Presidential Election Forecasting: Who Will Win the White House? Pollsters say that this year's Presidential election will be closer than ever. So why did one respected forecaster predict two years ago that President Obama would certainly win and why does he stand by his forecast? Hear contrasting predictions. Including Allan Lichtman, American University, keeper of The Keys to the White House 2012 and Sheldon Jacobson, University of Illinois and creator of Election Analytics. Sunday October 14, 4:30-6 PM.

Personalized Medicine

  • Personalized Medicine: The Analytical Challenges and Opportunities with George Poste, Arizona State University and the Complex Adaptive Systems Initiative. Pharmaceuticals, diagnostics, devices, computing, telecommunications and consumer social media networks will radically reshape the future healthcare landscape and the competitive environment. This confluence will generate data on an unprecedented scale. Discover the intersection of personalized medicine and Big Data. Sunday October 14, 3:10-4 PM.

High Performance Computing

  • The Future of High Performance Computing with Alan Gara, Intel Fellow and Director of Exascale. A former IBM Fellow and chief architect of IBM's Blue Gene platform now at Intel, Gara will look at the math and technology of the world's fastest computing processing power and where it will lead the computers of tomorrow.

Keeping the Borders Secure

  • Improving Border Patrols Using Game Theory with Heidi Taboada and Oswaldo Aguirre, University of Texas at El Paso. The authors use game theory to improve border patrolling by minimizing down time, the infiltration ratio, and cost. Wednesday, October 17, 3:20-4:50 PM.

Triage Systems for Emergency Rooms

  • An Improved Triage System for Emergency Departments delivered by Soroush Saghafian, Arizona State University (co-authors: Wallace Hopp and Mark Van Oyen, University of Michigan, Jeffrey Desmond and Steven Kronick, Univesity of Michigan Hospital). The authors propose a new triage system for hospital emergency rooms that incorporates patient complexity and medical urgency. Monday, October 15, 1:30-3 PM.

HS Teacher Training in Math You Can Use

  • High School Math Teacher Training coordinated by Dr. Kenneth Chelst of Wayne State University. Presented in conjunction with Project Mindset, which has been funded by the National Science Foundation, this program equips Phoenix-area high school math teachers with techniques and lesson plans that will catch the attention of high schoolers. Teaching concepts like decision science, uncertainty, and linear programming, the topics include Crime Scene Investigation, maximizing the impact of political ads, picking a family cell phone plan, and choosing a college. Tuesday, October 16, 8 AM-3 PM at Arizona State University, 502 E. Monroe St., Bld C, Phoenix.
  • The chair of the INFORMS Annual Meeting in Austin is Ronald Askin of Arizona State University. The President of INFORMS is Terry P. Harrison of Penn State University. The President Elect of INFORMS is Anne Robinson of Verizon Wireless.


Contact: Barry List
Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences

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