APORS 2022 & WHO Winter School

Kia ora koutou,

I’m writing to let you know about two APORS events next year.

The first is APORS 2022 in Cebu, Philippines. 500 word abstracts are due by April 1, 2022 (and can be submitted from Februrary 1, 2022). More details can be found on the Call for Papers.

The second is the online Winter School of Operational Research in Public Health EmergencieS (ORPHES) – a partnership with the World Health Organisation (WHO), EURO, Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network (GOARN) and APORS. Applications are due by December 1, 2021. More details can be found on the short and long versions of the Call for Applicants.

Noho ora mai, Mike (ORSNZ President)

IFORS Webinar @ Nov 17: Global Sports Analytics

O.R. in Practice: Global Sports Analytics
November 17, 2021
9:00 am Washington DC/ 3:00 pm Rome /10:00 pm Beijing

Michael Trick (IFORS Past-President)
Frits Spieksma (Incoming IFORS Vice-President)

Register for this free webinar on the IFORS website:  www.ifors.org

Invited Speakers

Elizabeth Wanless
Ohio University

Stephanie Kovalchik
ISEAL and Tennis Australia

Dmitry Dagaev
Higher School of Economics, Moscow

Mario Guajardo
Norwegian School of Economics, Bergen

IFORS Webinar @ Sep 20: Excellence in Operations Research Showcase

Excellence in Operations Research Showcase: IFORS-ITOR-Wiley Best Paper Awards
September 20, 2021
9:00 am Washington DC/ 3:00 pm Rome /9:00 pm China

Grazia Speranza, Italy (IFORS President); Stefan Nickel (EURO Vice-President);
Celso Ribeiro (ITOR Editor-in-Chief)

Register for this free webinar on the IFORS website:  www.ifors.org

Invited Speakers:

Isabel Narbon-Perpina and Kristof De Witte
“Local governments’ efficiency: A systematic literature review”


Kenneth Sorensen, Florian Arnold, and Daniel Cuervo
“A critical analysis of the “Improved Clarke and Wright savings algorithm”

Save the dates: ORSNZ Conference 2021

The ORSNZ Annual Conference for 2021 will be held at the University of Auckland from on Thursday 25 November and Friday 26 November 2021.

A conference programme will be announced by the end of August.

The Easychair platform is set up for Abstract submissions (the submission deadline is 1 November).

We are planning to have sessions on healthcare modelling, energy and emissions policy, and digital twins. If you are interested in organising a session, with (approximately) four presentations around a common theme, please contact the conference organisers at [email protected] by August 31.

Please see the conference website for further details.

Upcoming abstract deadlines for IFORS and INFORMS conferences

The submission deadline for abstracts for the IFORS conference, being held online August 23-27, is Friday May 14. You can find the details here.

The INFORMS annual meeting will be held October 24-27 in Anaheim, California (there is also a virtual registration option). The deadline for abstract submissions is Saturday May 15. You can find the details here.

WiDS Worldwide Conference

On March 8, 2021, International Women’s Day, Women in Data Science will host the inaugural 24-hour online Women in Data Science (WiDS) Worldwide conference. Registration is now open and early bird pricing is in effect through February 19, 2021. All are welcome and encouraged to attend.

For more details see the official announcement here:

After 5’s with Vaughan Grant – Designing supply chain networks

The Centre for Supply Chain Management (CSCM, within the Business School at the University of Auckland) invites you to hear from Vaughan Grant, Chief Operating Officer – T&G Fresh, at our next After 5’s event on Monday 8 March.

Vaughan will present a methodology for designing supply chain networks based on his experience with a variety of companies in Australasia. His approach addresses the needs many organisations have, to simultaneously increase availability and decrease working capital, and to optimise capacity and improve network resilience, and supply chain visibility, transparency, and traceability.


Prior to his appointment as COO of T&G Fresh, Vaughan held senior executive roles (CEO and COO) in firms including Halls Group, Foodstuffs North Island, Fletcher Building, and Woolworths. He is a Chartered Accountant, and has a BMS degree from the University of Waikato.

Event details
Date: Monday 8 March 2021
Time: 5.15pm – 7.15pm

5.15pm registration
5:30pm presentation
6:30pm networking with light refreshments

Location: The University of Auckland Business School
OGGB 4, Level 0, Owen G Glenn Building, 12 Grafton Road, Auckland
Cost: $20 for non-University staff and students

Click here to register

If you are not already a regular visitor to the Centre for Supply Chain Management and would like to check out our website and LinkedIn page, please click here: CSCM website and LinkedIn page.

If you would like to be added to our Invitation list, please email Alisha at: a.castelino AT auckland.ac.nz

ORSNZ AGM/Council Meeting 2020 – Time Confirmed for Zoom

Kia ora koutou,

The ORSNZ AGM for 2020 will be held online next week (week starting 30 November). The meeting will run from 2-4pm on Thursday 3 December on Zoom – https://auckland.zoom.us/j/91644407507?pwd=bG5JTXg2eFBUcFpnSlhWU0Y0LzBCQT09. Apologies if you can’t make that time, but it was the most popular option on the Doodle poll.

The current agenda for the meeting is:

  1. Apologies (to [email protected]);
  2. Minutes of the previous AGM;
  3. Matters arising from the minutes;
  4. President’s report;
  5. Honorary Treasurer’s report and financial statements;
  6. Future Conferences;
  7. Election of officers and auditor;
  8. Other business.

Please send through additional agenda items to [email protected] by 5pm Tuesday 1 December.

If you cannot attend the meeting, you can assign a proxy to vote on your behalf using the 2nd page of this form. (So long as the form is emailed to [email protected] by the morning of Wednesday December 2, that is fine.)

The ORSNZ Council Meeting will be held immediately after the AGM or, if needed, another time will be scheduled.

Ngā mihi, Mike O’Sullivan (ORSNZ President)

Interpretable AI & Women in Data Science

The ORSNZ is sponsoring an event next Monday (10 February 2020) with two international experts in the field of data science and machine learning. This is being hosted at the University of Auckland, as a NZ Data Science + Analytics Forum event.

The event will be held from 3:45pm-6:00pm in the Neon Lecture Theatre in Engineering (401.439) at 20 Symonds Street. There will be pizza and drinks provided after the presentations.

Parking is available in the Owen G Glenn Building (OGGB) carpark accessed via Grafton Road, opposite Stanley Street.

The event is free of charge and kindly sponsored by the University of Auckland and the Operations Research Society of New Zealand.


Professor Margot Gerritsen from Stanford University is the co-director and co-founder of the global Women in Data Science (WIDS) phenomenum. Started as a conference at Stanford in November 2015, WiDS now includes a global conference with approximately 150+ regional events worldwide and a datathon, that encourages participants to hone their skills using a social impact challenge. Professor Gerritsen is also the host of the very popular WIDS podcasts featuring leaders in data science talking about their work, their journeys, and lessons learned.

Professor Dimitris Bertsimas has consulted widely in a variety of industries and has co-founded several very successful Analytics/AI startups. These include Dynamic Ideas (subsequently sold to American Express) which developed machine learning methods for asset management, D2 Hawkeye, a data mining health care company specialising in machine learning, and most recently P2 Analytics LLC, a consulting company and Interpretable AI, a machine learning company. Professor Bertsimas’ talk will focus on this latter work where he is building AI solutions that are human explainable. The benefits of using models, such as decision trees, that humans can interpret are well recognised. However, these models have often given poor performance when compared with black-box approaches. The dominant approaches for generating interpretable models were developed in the 80s, when computing power was limited. Bertsimas’ work is leveraging advances in modern optimization to revisit these approaches, delivering models that are both high performing and interpretable.

Come along and hear from these two international leaders in data science and artificial intelligence.


Professor Margot Gerritsen, Stanford University, USA

Professor Gerritsen was born and raised in the Netherlands. After receiving her MS degree in Applied Mathematics at the University of Delft, she moved to the U.S. in search of hillier and sunnier places. In 1996 she received her Ph.D. in Scientific Computing and Computational Mathematics at Stanford University. Before returning to Stanford in 2001, she spent nearly five years in Auckland, New Zealand as a faculty member in the Department of Engineering Science.

Professor Gerritsen is a professor in the Department of Energy Resources Engineering at Stanford, interested in computer simulation and mathematical analysis of engineering and natural processes. From 2010 to 2018, she directed the Institute for Computational and Mathematical Engineering (http://icme.stanford.edu). Since 2015, she has been the Senior Associate Dean for Educational Affairs in the School of Earth, Energy and Environmental Sciences, as well as the co-director of Women in Data Science (WiDS, widsconference.org) and the host of the WiDS podcasts.

Professor Dimitris Bertsimas, MIT, USA

Professor Dimitris Bertsimas is currently the Boeing Professor of Operations Research, the Associate Dean of Business Analytics at the Sloan School of Management, MIT. He received his SM and PhD in Applied Mathematics and Operations Research from MIT in 1987 and 1988 respectively. He has been with the MIT faculty since 1988. His research interests include optimization, machine learning and applied probability and their applications in health care, finance, operations management and transportation. He has co-authored more than 200 scientific papers and five graduate level textbooks. He is the editor in Chief of INFORMS Journal of Optimization and former department editor in Optimization for Management Science and in Financial Engineering in Operations Research. He has supervised 72 doctoral students and he is currently supervising 25 others.

Professor Bertsimas is a member of the National Academy of Engineering since 2005, an INFORMS fellow, and he has received numerous research and teaching awards including the John von Neumann theory prize for fundamental, sustained contributions to the theory of operations research and the management sciences and the president’s award of INFORMS recognizing important contributions to the welfare of society, both in 2019, the Morse prize (2013), the Pierskalla award for best paper in health care (2013), the best paper award in Transportation (2013), the Farkas prize (2008), the Erlang prize (1996), the SIAM prize in optimization (1996), the Bodossaki prize (1998) and the Presidential Young Investigator award (1991-1996).

Professor Bertsimas has consulted widely in a variety of industries and has cofounded several very successful companies. In 1999, he co-founded Dynamic Ideas, LLC, which developed machine learning methods for asset management. In 2002, the assets of Dynamic Ideas were sold to American Express. From 2002-2010, he was the head of the quantitative asset management group of Ameriprise Financial, responsible for $12 billion of assets. In 2001, Bertsimas cofounded D2 Hawkeye, a data mining health care company and responsible for its machine learning capabilities. The company was sold to Verisk Health in 2009. In 2011 he cofounded Benefits Science Technologies LLC, a company that designs health care benefits, Savvi Financial LLC, a financial advice company and Alpha Dynamics LLC, an asset management company. In 2015 he cofounded P2 Analytics LLC, a consulting company and in 2018 Interpretable AI, a machine learning company.

Represent ORSNZ at IFORS 2020

Dear ORSNZ members,

There is an opportunity to represent ORSNZ at the upcoming IFORS (given that the Coronavirus situation has been resolved). Our IFORS representative, Andy Philpott, is not going to IFORS this year so if you are planning on going and would like to represent ORSNZ please let me know (president[AT]orsnz.org.nz). Below is a letter to Andy that outlines some opportunities for ORSNZ’s rep at IFORS 2020.

Kind regards,
Mike (ORSNZ President)


IFORS 2020 is coming up and I do hope to see you there. As you know, it is during our Triennial Conferences that we get to meet during the Board of Representatives meeting where the Administrative Committee reports on its activities.

We would like to hear from you, our members, and for this, we have organized a session called the Lightning Talks and the Roundtable Discussion which I describe below.   

Lightning Talks- Perspectives on the Local State of OR and the Role of National Societies 

The lightning talks are intended to be a way of opening up windows into different aspects of OR practice across various national settings and how each national society performs its role of promoting the discipline. Representing a country, each speaker will deal with the national state of OR study and practice, which forms the backdrop in which the national OR society operates.  For one hour, five speakers will each be asked to do a 10-minute presentation. The idea is for the audience to get an overview of the state of OR study and practice in the locality. For the second half, each speaker will touch on the successes and challenges faced by the society and how these are achieved and addressed, respectively. These talks are meant to drum up interest of the audience, stimulate discussions, and provide food for thought for the succeeding session on how OR national societies tackle the successes and challenges that face them in the short term and on the long term as they strive to fulfill their objectives.

Roundtable Discussion: Learning from Successes and Challenges of National OR Societies 

This 1-1/2 hour session will involve dividing participants into small groups of not less than 5 per group. During the group discussion, each participant will speak for his or her society, guided by a questionnaire. Each group will have a facilitator, recorder and reporter. At the end of the session, reports from each group will be shared with the audience.

The group will tackle these questions:

  1. How is OR practice and education in your country?
  2. How has this affected your national OR society? 
  3. What did your national society do well? In which aspects could it do better?
  4. Are there other experiences shared by others that you could try with your national society?
  5. What do you think are your society’s key success factors?
  6. What could IFORS and/or its national societies do to help countries who are struggling to drive OR forward?

At the end of 50 minutes, each table will have a reporter who will tell the others the summary of what their group has discussed.  A secretary will record all key points and this could be included in a report or article for IFORS.  ​

I am inviting you to participate in this session. While I realize that you may not be able to come, I do hope that you’ll exert every effort to see that your society is represented. You may have some associates who are presenting papers and they could still participate in the session as this is exempted from the one-author-one-abstract rule.

The session is still being scheduled. Please coordinate with former IFORS President Elise del Rosario (REDACTED) who is putting together this session.

Grazia Speranza
President, IFORS