FALL 2004 UMASS Amherst
Operations Research / Management Science Seminar Series

Date: Friday, December 10, 2004
Time: 11:00 AM
Location: Isenberg School of Management, Room 112

Speakers: Professor Sara A. McComb
Ralitza Patrashkova

Department of Finance and Operations Management
Isenberg School of Management
University of Massachusetts at Amherst
Biographies: Sara Ann McComb is an Associate Professor of Operations Management in the Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst.  She received her B.S.I.E. from GMI Engineering & Management Institute and an M.S.E.S. from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.  Professor McComb was an employee of General Motors throughout both her B.S. and M.S. programs where she held many positions including production supervisor, production engineer, buyer, and supplier development engineer.  In 1995, she left General Motors to pursue her Ph.D. at Purdue University in the School of Industrial Engineering.  She completed her Ph.D. program in 1998.  Professor McComb’s research interests are in the area of cross-functional project teams.  Specifically, she is interested in topics such as the internal team processes used by teams, the complexity of team assignments, and the organizational context in which teams function.  To examine these issues, she utilizes a variety of research methods including modeling and simulation, laboratory experiments, and field research.

Ralitza Patrashkova received a M.Sc. degree in Computer Science from the Technical University, Sofia, Bulgaria in 1995. She is currently a Ph.D. Candidate in Management Science at the Isenberg School of Management, University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Her research interests include effective team communication, modeling human behavior in teams, and applying different simulation techniques to social systems modeling. She is a member of INFORMS and AOM.

TITLE: It's Not Easy Being a Team:
Researching Collaboration from All Sides

Abstract: In this presentation, we examine how management science and behavioral research can be combined to provide a more comprehensive understanding of human behavior. Specifically, we discuss the various methods that we have employed for researching team behavior.  We begin by presenting the results of our research on team communication obtained through empirical data analysis, through simulation, and through optimization.  By reviewing these results together, we demonstrate how the various techniques can be combined to better inform research.  Our discussion then turns from how teams communicate to how teams collaborate by providing an overview of our shared mental model experimental research.  We conclude by highlighting the ways in which we are combining the experimental data we have collected and management science techniques to model team collaboration.
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