ISE faculty organize international conference in Philadelphia

Tamás Terlaky, chair of the department of industrial and systems engineering (ISE), served as the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS) Conference general chair at the 2015 INFORMS annual meeting in Philadelphia.

INFORMS, the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences, serves the scientific and professional needs of analytics professionals, educators, scientists, researchers, managers, and students, as well as the institutions they serve.

The conference, which ran from Nov. 1– 4 in the Pennsylvania Convention Center and the adjacent Philadelphia Marriott Downtown Hotel, saw more than 5,600 participants from across the globe for more than 4,800 oral presentations in 79 parallel thematic sessions.

“A great program is the best attraction for colleagues from all over the world,” Terlaky said.

The conference offered presentations which surveyed the analytics movement, panel discussions, tutorials, and thousands of oral and poster presentations from leading academics, industry experts, students, and representatives of government agencies.

“Arguably the most important task of the general chair is to assemble an excellent organizing committee,” he said.

Terlaky recruited an 18-member committee, including four Lehigh ISE faculty members: Larry Snyder, program co-chair; Katya Scheinberg, keynote co-chair; Ted Ralphs sponsored sessions co-chair; and Aurélie Thiele, tutorials co-chair.

In addition to coordinating the selections of plenaries, keynotes, tutorials and panels, the general chair is also responsible for generating sponsorship for the conference.

As the INFORMS Annual Conference was hosted in Philadelphia during Lehigh’s Sesquicentennial year, the presence of the 150 logo was not missed. Participants received a conference bag with the Lehigh 150 logo as a gift.

To make sure that all ran smoothly, 60 student volunteers, including 30 Lehigh Ph.D. students helped to guide participants at the conference.

Photo by Christa Neu