FALL 2004 UMASS Amherst
Operations Research / Management Science Seminar Series

Date: Friday, October 1, 2004

Time: 12:00 PM
Location: Isenberg School of Management, Room 128

Speaker: Professor Donald Fisher

Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering
University of Massachusetts at Amherst
Biography: Donald Fisher is a Professor of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering and the Director of the Human Performance Laboratory at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.  Projects in the laboratory include Project MIDAS (Massachusetts Interactive Driving and Acoustic Simulator), whose goal is to test the safety and useability of many of the new technologies that will form the backbone of Intelligent Transportation Systems, Project PROTO, whose goal is to develop the tools for rapidly prototyping the visual and auditory interface between users and new and evolving products such as audio remote controls, cellular phones, voice mail, ATMs and so on, and Project CARE (Cognitive Aging Research and Engineering), a campus wide effort, is to undertake the basic research needed to improve the physical and mental well-being of older adults.
TITLE: How a Philosopher Became a Psychologist
Who Fell in Love with Operations Research

Abstract: The dreams of philosophers and psychologists are not often filled with thoughts of the transient completion time distribution of customers making their way
through tandem queuing networks.  Yet, as first a philosopher and then a psychologist, I found just such happening.  In my talk, I want to describe the critical role that stochastic networks can play when attempting to optimize the interface between an individual human user and the environment with which he or she interacts.  I will begin by describing a general method which lets one represent difficult real world problems as stochastic networks, from which a closed form solution can often easily be derived.  I will then talk about applications to multimedia intelligent tutors, in-vehicle technologies (including cell phones), Variable Message Signs, and something as common as everyday reading.
This series is organized by the UMASS Amherst INFORMS Student Chapter. Support for this series is provided by the Isenberg School of Management, the Department of Finance and Operations Management, and the John F. Smith Memorial Fund.

For questions, please contact the INFORMS Student Chapter President, Ms. Tina Wakolbinger, wakolbinger@som.umass.edu