Tepper School of Business Professors Win Top Honors for Research at the INFORMS Annual Meeting

Two Tepper School of Business professors were recognized for their research by the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS). INFORMS serves the scientific and professional needs of specialists and researchers including educators, scientists, students, managers, analysts and consultants. INFORMS aids professionals in communicating with each other and reaching out to related societies.

Fatma Kılınç-Karzan, assistant professor of operations research, won this year's INFORMS Junior Faculty Interest Group (JFIG) Paper Competition for her study, Two-Term Disjunctions on the Second-Order Cone, co-authored by Sercan Yildiz, Ph.D. ’15, MS ’13.

Two-Term Disjunctions on the Second-Order Cone studies the structure of the convex hull of a two-term disjuncture when applied to the second-order cone, and develop a procedure to derive closed-form expressions for convex inequalities. The approach was created by first illustrating the structure of undominated linear inequalities, and then using conic duality to derive a family of convex, valid inequalities that correspond to these linear inequalities. The study identifies situations where valid inequalities can equivalently be expressed in conic quadratic form and where a single inequality from this family is sufficient to describe the convex hull.

The INFORMS JFIG Paper Competition was created in 2001 to promote research among junior faculty related to operations research and management science. Papers are evaluated based on the importance of the topic, appropriateness of the research approach and the significance of research contribution, and first place winners earn a $500 cash prize. Kılınç-Karzan competed against more than 50 other submissions, with many excellent papers under consideration.

Soo-Haeng Cho, associate professor of operations management, also won top honors from INFORMS for his study, Simultaneous Location of Trauma Centers and Helicopters for Emergency Medical Service Planning. Cho’s study is co-authored by Hoon Jang and Taesik Lee, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology; and John Turner, Paul Merage School of Business, University of California, Irvine, Ph.D. ’10. The group received the William Pierskalla Best Paper Award from the INFORMS Health Applications Society.

This paper studies the problem of simultaneously locating trauma centers and helicopters in emergency situations, aside from the standard approach of using busy fractions to model the random availability of helicopters. The study found that these fractions cannot be accurately estimated, because the demand for each helicopter cannot be determined until the trauma center locations are selected. The study devised a specialized algorithm, called the shifting quadratic envelopes algorithm, which runs a trace-based simulation on a full year of patient data that has outperformed former systems by up to 20 percent. The group applied the integrated method to the design of a nationwide trauma care system in Korea.

The Pierskalla Award recognizes research excellence in the field of health care management science. The award includes a $1,000 prize for the best paper presented in a Health Applications Section sponsored session at the INFORMS Annual Meeting. The award is named after Dr. William Pierskalla to recognize his contribution and dedication to improving healthcare services through operations research.

Kılınç-Karzan and Cho presented their work and received recognition at the INFORMS Annual Meeting on Sunday, November 9, 2014. With 1,000 informational sessions and approximately 4,000 papers being presented, the INFORMS Annual Meeting covers the broad landscape of operations research and advanced analytics research and practice.