Spring 2006 UMASS Amherst
Operations Research / Management Science Seminar Series

Date: Friday, March 3, 2006

Time: 11:00 AM
Location: Isenberg School of Management, Room 112

Speaker: Professor Edward H. Kaplan

Yale School of Management
Yale School of Medicine
Yale University

New Haven, CT

Biography: Edward H. Kaplan obtained his BA from McGill University with First Class Honors in Economic and Urban Geography, and proceeded to graduate study at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he completed three masters’ degrees (in Operations Research, City Planning, and Mathematics) in addition to his doctorate in Urban Studies.  He currently serves as the William N. and Marie A. Beach Professor of Management Sciences at the Yale School of Management, and Professor of Public Health at the Yale School of Medicine.

An elected member of both the National Academy of Engineering (2003) and the Institute of Medicine (2004), Kaplan is an expert in operations research, mathematical modeling and statistics who studies problems in public policy and management.  His recent research has focused on counterterror topics such as the tactical prevention of suicide bombings, bioterror preparedness, and response logistics in the event of a smallpox or anthrax attack. These studies have influenced national and international bioterror policy, and his work on smallpox was awarded the 2003 Koopman Prize of the INFORMS Military Applications Society.

Kaplan has also conducted award-winning research that evaluates the effectiveness of HIV prevention programs while developing new mathematical models for the study of HIV transmission, prevention, and resource allocation. His empirical and modeling research demonstrating the effectiveness of New Haven’s needle exchange program remains among the most creative and important examples of HIV prevention program evaluation to date. Honors for his HIV-related research include induction into the Omega Rho operations research honor society in 2000, the 2002 INFORMS President’s Award recognizing work that advances the welfare of society, the 1997 Ira Hiscock Award of the Connecticut Public Health Association, the 1994 Lanchester Prize for the best publications in the operations research literature, the 1992 Franz Edelman Award for management science achievement, and the 1991 State of Connecticut Health Department’s AIDS Leadership Award.

Kaplan served twice as the Lady Davis Visiting Professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem—in the School of Public Health and Community Medicine in 1994, and in the Department of Statistics in 1997 -- and is also an elected member of the Board of Governors of the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology.

For all of his contributions to the operations research profession, Kaplan was designated an INFORMS Fellow in November 2005.

TITLE: Getting Started
Abstract:  The operations research mindset views the world as an endless sea of decision problems awaiting recognition and formulation as such. Where do good problems come from? How can individual researchers tell if a particular issue is worth pursuing?  Without claiming any global discoveries, I will revisit the front end of some personal adventures in policy modeling to try and figure out how they began. 
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, INFORMS, and the John F. Smith Memorial Fund. The Chapter wishes to thank Professor Anna Nagurney, its Faculty Advisor, for her help and  support of this series.

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