What is … an interview with Sam Buttrey, winner of Jeopardy! Tournament of Professors!

Good Luck in the FINALS of the 2022 Tournament of Champions, Dr. Buttrey!! In this week’s episode I’m thrilled to be joined by a very special guest, Sam Buttrey, an associate professor of operations research at the Naval Postgraduate School and winner of the first-ever Jeopardy! Tournament of Professors. Sam competed against professors from across the country and in a variety of disciplines to win not only the $100,000 grand prize, but an opportunity to further compete in the 2022 Jeopardy! Tournament of Champions.

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Customer service calls: To transfer or not to transfer? ‘When’ is the question

This episode is sponsored by Fordham University’s Ph.D. in computer science. In an effort to address customer questions and concerns as thoroughly and quickly as possible, service centers such as call centers and back-office support organizations often employ frontline workers to handle some of the more common issues. These workers may end up addressing customer questions themselves, or transferring them to another employee with more expertise in that area. Since these workers provide a gateway to an expert, they are sometimes referred to as ‘gatekeepers.’ An important part of the gatekeeping process is knowing when to stop working on the…

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2021 Franz Edelman Competition: Alibaba

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…

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Approaching COVID-19 reopening as an O.R. problem

As the country begins to reopen, we are seeing restrictions put in place to counteract the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic begin to loosen. I think many of us are battling conflicting emotions: excitement at the idea of a return to something closer to normal as well as uncertainty and anxiety, with each state reopening at a different rates and even inconsistencies in requirements regarding the use of face masks. And with some states seeing new spikes in infection rates, it begs the question, in a desire to return to normal are we moving too quickly, or perhaps simply going…

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How video game companies can “level up” their profits

The video game industry is growing at a phenomenal rate, generating a record $43.4 billion in revenue in 2018, an increase of nearly 20 percent from the year before. The largest area of growth within this industry has been in the online gaming community. But with players functioning at different skill levels and an even wider range of interest areas, how can companies ensure players remain engaged and their products continue to grow in popularity? Joining us for this episode to provide new insight into online gamer behavior is Yan Huang from Carnegie Mellon University, whose research which was recently…

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Is your favorite restaurant at risk of failing its health inspection?

Has this ever happened to you? Walking up to your favorite local restaurant, looking forward to a delicious meal only to discover … it has failed its restaurant inspection! Yuck. I think there are few events that will convince you to eat at home more. But what if there was a way to anticipate if a restaurant was at risk of failing an inspection well before this actually happened? In this episode, we will hear from James Howard, a scientist at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, whose research has helped identify if a restaurant will fail an inspection before…

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Looking Back at the Origins of O.R.

In this episode, we will be taking a look back, way back actually, to the first time the term Operations Research was employed, and some of the earliest applications of O.R. during World War II, when it helped the Allied forces in Europe achieve victory over Germany. I am joined by Gerald Brown, Emeritus Distinguished Professor of operations research at the Naval Postgraduate School and an INFORMS Fellow, to discuss these earliest applications, their impact, and how O.R. has grown since then. 

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Protecting our National Security with O.R.

From effectiveness of deployed forces to manpower and training, operations research professionals in the military space are constantly addressing both new and old challenges. These have been increased in recent years by advances in non-traditional warfare, to include cyberspace.  The large investments in terms of manpower, time and money that nations spend in this sphere drives the need for thoughtful, professional operations research and analytics to wisely drive investments and security. In this episode, I am joined by Harrison Schramm, U.S. Navy veteran and Senior Fellow with the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments to discuss his journey from military…

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