Published: March 26, 2021
For more than four decades, winners of the Edelman Award have been recognized for transforming how we approach some of the world’s most complex problems. This year’s finalists are no exception, with revolutionary contributions in robotics, cancer radiotherapy efficiency, unmanned warehouse technology, mining efficiency and the impact to chemical facilities, scheduling and production at manufacturing plants, and food assistance amid emergency responses. Since its inception, finalists for the Edelman Award have contributed to a cumulative impact of over $302 billion, supported lifesaving efforts across the globe, and transformed how the world does business.
Joining me for this episode are Xinhui Zhang, Alibaba’s senior director, head of supply chain management and operations research committee, and Haoyuan Hu, Alibaba’s head of the AI department, Cainiao Network, to discuss their team’s finalist entry for the 2021 Franz Edelman Award.
I believe this is something quite unique here at Alibaba, where algorithm developers, a lot of them in this case are operation researcher researchers, are tasked actually to write the code to develop systematic solutions to improve the daily operations. So we are not simply a consultant – write an algorithm, implement and leave it – but we are actually the integral part of the business.
Interviewed this episode:
Xinhui Zhang, Haoyuan Hu
Xinhui Zhang is a senior director and head of supply chain management and operations research committee, at Alibaba Group. He was a tenured full professor at Wright State University, a senior consultant at Kroger Corp, and a senior consultant for Linear Power, a GE company. He was a 2013 Edelman Laureate (Finalist) for 2013 Franz Edelman Award for Achievement in Operations Research and the Management Sciences by INFORMS for “Kroger Uses Simulation and Optimization to Improve Pharmacy Inventory”, and recently, a 2021 Edelman Laureate (Finalist) for Franz Edelman Award for Achievement in Operations Research and the Management Sciences by INFORM for “Alibaba VRP Algorithms Have Solved Its On-Time Hour-Level Delivery Problem”. He was also a 2014 Edelman SemiFinalist, and a 2012 Wagner Semifinalist by INFORMS.
Haoyuan Hu is Alibaba’s head of the AI department, Cainiao Network.