Consultancy Opportunity with the Global Partnership for AI (GPAI)

In collaboration with the CEIMIA, the GPAI’s AI and Pandemic Response Working Group is launching a Call for Proposal in connection with its project entitled “AI-powered immediate response to pandemics”. The consultancy is for updating and upgrading an existing living repository of AI initiatives to help in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic to be presented at the 2021 GPAI Summit in November. Please refer to the Call for Proposal linked down below for more information. Proposals must be submitted before Midnight AoE, JUNE 18, 2021.

The importance of complexity modelling during and after the COVID-19 pandemic

Joint ORSNZ-TPM seminar at University of Canterbury

Time: Monday 14 June 12.30-1.30pm
Place: Jack Erskine 315, University of Canterbury

The modelling of complex systems has been critical in informing the Aotearoa New Zealand response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and will continue to be important in our recovery. The Operations Research Society of New Zealand and Te Pūnaha Matatini invite you to join Dr Mike O’Sullivan (President, ORSNZ, and Incoming Deputy Director, TPM) for a seminar and discussion panel on complexity modelling. Mike will present some case studies of complex systems models that have been used to inform decisions during the pandemic, and concepts for models that can be used to help decision makers during the pandemic recovery and into the future. His 30-minute seminar will be followed by a discussion panel amongst complexity modellers from the Ōtautahi Christchurch area.

The room has a capacity of 33, so please RSVP to michael.osullivan AT if you have an opportunity to do so.

ORAHS (Operational Research Applied to Health Services) 2021

Kia ora koutou,

Please find below an email from the ORAHS organisers. Note that their preferred date for completing the survey has passed, so I think if anyone interested fills it in ASAP is fine.

Noho ora mai, Mike (President, ORSNZ)

“ORAHS 2021 is on.  It will run in the week 5th -9th July 2021 entirely online and organized by Marion Penn from the University of Southampton and Sandy Rutherford from Simon Fraser University.  Please put the dates in your diary.

We were hoping that some of our family would be able to meet in person for ORAHS this year, and the decision about how to organise the conference has been delayed in the hope that it would become clear how this would work.  It is still looking uncertain/unlikely that travel will be possible so the decision has been made to have an entirely online conference.  We know that the later notice will mean some now have other plans, but hope to see as many of you as possible.

Over the last year the technology has been improving and new software has become available so we will be including time for discussion and social spaces to recreate the family feeling of the conference online as much as possible.

In order promote interactive discussion in the online format, we plan to replace some of the parallel sessions with discussion-based sessions. These would begin with 2-minute elevator talks by all of the speakers in the sessions. Each speaker would then have 30 minutes in a breakout room to expand on their talk or engage in interactive discussion. Participants would be able to choose which breakout room to attend and have the ability to switch between breakout rooms. For PhD students: the poster session – including the Steve Gallivan Award for PhD students – would be replaced by a special session in this format.

There will also be the usual small number of plenary talks by leaders in the field and a limited number of parallel sessions for 15 minute talks.

We are aiming to keep costs down and pass on the savings created by moving online.  We expect to have a cost of 20 euros for PhD students, and keep the cost as low as possible for everyone else.

It would greatly help us with budgeting (and other planning) if you could complete this short survey to let us know if you expect to be able to attend and what type of session you would like to contribute to:

Please complete the survey asap, if you can before the 9th of April.

Please mail Melanie Reuter-Oppermann oppermann AT with any questions.”

ORSNZ Strategic Planning

ORSNZ is an organisation with about over 100 academic/ student/practitioner members, and is dedicated to the promotion  and support of a rather specialised mathematically oriented profession, which has seen declining activity levels and public profile in recent years, particularly outside Auckland.  ORSNZ would like to do some strategic planning on the purpose and direction of ORSNZ. The scope of work is:

      1. Facilitate a strategic conversation with ORSNZ Council and, as appropriate, other ORSNZ members on the purpose and direction of ORSNZ;
      2. Link the strategic conversation to specific actions such as brand refresh, website development, etc.

Interested parties should contact Mike O’Sullivan (President, ORSNZ, at president AT with any questions and to provide a plan and estimated cost for the work.

ORSNZ website refresh

ORSNZ is looking to review and refresh our WordPress web environment. The scope of work is as follows:

1) Engage with a representative group of our stakeholders to:
a. review previous planning docs;
b. review the current site; and
c. investigate other relevant sites;
and, consequently, produce a refresh plan including, but not limited to, suggested functionality, third-party plugins, and information architecture;

2) Work with the ORSNZ webmaster and other members to create a template, i.e., functionality but not content, for the new site;

3) Provide easy-to-understand, tested documentation for ORSNZ members to add content and manage the site.

Interested parties should contact Mike O’Sullivan (President, ORSNZ, at president AT with any questions and to provide a plan and estimated cost for the work.

IFORS Global Webinar 5 Feb 2021

Kia ora koutou,

Happy New Year! I hope you and your whanau are staying well and I wish you all a good 2021.

IFORS have asked me to invite you to the fourth IFORS Global Webinar. Below is the relevant part of the email.

“It is to invite you to the 4th IFORS webinar organizing by North America OR Society (NORAM includes USA and Canada) with following

information on the IFORS website

or register here for free:

Noho ora mai, Mike

IFORS Global Webinar 30 Nov 2020

Kia ora koutou,

I hope you and your whanau are staying well.

The IFORS president, Grazia Speranza, has asked me to let you know about the third IFORS Global Webinar. Below is the relevant part of her email.

“This webinar is being hosted by the EURO regional grouping on November 30 at 3:00 pm Rome time (9:00 am Washington DC time) and will focused on “Topics That Matter”.

Please visit the IFORS website to register for the webinar.

Noho ora mai, Mike

AGM, Conference, Local Events

Kia ora koutou,

I hope you are staying well and have not been too disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic. I certainly feel lucky to be in New Zealand as I watch news from overseas about rising cases and new lockdowns. I hope everyone’s whanau and colleagues overseas are also staying safe.

The disrupted year has meant that planning for the ORSNZ conference has not really been possible. The decision from Council was to support smaller locally organised events, e.g., half- or full-day workshops, instead of trying to hold a national conference either physically or online. Anyone interested in organising local events can access Regional Interest Group (RIG) funding and/or Special Interest Group (SIG) funding to support the events (see ORSNZ_SIG_Processes.pdf, particularly footnote 7). Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you’d like more information.

Although we are not holding our annual conference in 2020, we would like to hold our AGM online via Zoom. If you are interested in attending please use the link below to select one or more times you can make.

Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with any questions or concerns.

Noho ora mai, Mike