100 episodes

Resoundingly Human, the podcast from INFORMS, is dedicated to bringing O.R. and analytics to life by highlighting the incredible contributions of the men and women who are using O.R. and analytics to save lives, save money, and solve problems.

Resoundingly Human INFORMS

    • Science

Resoundingly Human, the podcast from INFORMS, is dedicated to bringing O.R. and analytics to life by highlighting the incredible contributions of the men and women who are using O.R. and analytics to save lives, save money, and solve problems.

    Semiconductors ... what's all the fuss about?

    Semiconductors ... what's all the fuss about?

    Semiconductors. Everyone uses them, but how many of us really know what they are, what they do, and the increasingly important role they play in our modern world? Much like supply chains, artificial intelligence and other O.R. buzzwords that are making their way into the public conscious, semiconductor is a term that most of us have probably heard, but their actual significance might remain a bit of a mystery.
    And perhaps even less well known are the challenges associated with their manufacturing, especially with the ongoing issues relating to supply chains, and alarmingly, the risk this could pose to national security.
    In this episode I’m joined by Zachary Collier, professor with Radford University and a visiting scholar at the Center for Hardware and Embedded Systems Security and Trust (CHEST), to take a deep dive into all things semiconductor and tackle some of these questions and growing concerns.

    • 12 min
    Beer me! The rise of craft brands and why we love the beers that we do

    Beer me! The rise of craft brands and why we love the beers that we do

    It’s the end of a long day, or maybe the start to a fun weekend … you lean back in your chair, hammock, front porch step, wherever, and crack open your favorite brew. Life. Is. Good.
    But have you ever thought why your favorite beer IS your favorite? Nowadays, chances are (especially if you are a millennial) you’re drinking the product of one of nearly 10,000 craft breweries here in the U.S. and NOT one of the large traditional beer companies that have been such a significant part of the history of brewing in America (Budweiser Clydesdales, anyone?). And why are the beers that are popular today are so different from those our parents and grandparents enjoyed in previous decades?
    Today I’m excited to dive into the takeoff of craft beer brands with Bart Bronnenberg, a professor with the Tilburg School of Economics and Management at Tilburg University in the Netherlands. His study “Millennials and the Takeoff of Craft Brands: Preference Formation in the U.S. Beer Industry” looks at the rise of craft brands, particularly beer, in the U.S. and their impact on the market.

    • 19 min
    Wading through the hype to find the best solutions for your business

    Wading through the hype to find the best solutions for your business

    Operations research, analytics and data science can provide a wide range of solutions to many of the challenges facing organizations, from staffing to resource allotment to evaluating success and failure, if you have a business problem, O.R. and analytics can provide an effective, data-based solution.
    But making sure you are picking the correct solution, the right approach for your unique problem, is just as important. Sure, having AI or machine learning-based solutions might sound super cool, but how do you know it’s actually the right answer to your problem? And when organizations are investing thousands if not more in these solutions, a lot is riding on the choice you make.   
    We’ll be exploring the answers to these questions and more, with a particular focus on data-centric vs. decision-centric analytics and solutions, with Karen O’Brien. Karen O’Brien is an analytics leader and a 20-year public servant, having served in diverse analytics and leadership roles within the Department of the Army as a member of the Army Civilian Corps. Her applied operations research experience ranges from ballistics to logistics and she has built advanced data analytics capabilities in multiple organizations. By training, her undergraduate work was in physics and chemistry, and she leverages her MS in Predictive Analytics from Northwestern University to bridge the worlds of big data analytics and classic operations research.

    • 24 min
    We’re gonna need a bigger … data set: Shark attacks and wicked problems

    We’re gonna need a bigger … data set: Shark attacks and wicked problems

    Today’s episode will be a little different than most, we’re going to take a bit of a detour but stick with me and I promise, I’ll bring us back around to data science.
    I’m going to take us back in time a little, back to the first time I watched what was to become my favorite movie, Jaws. It was the summer between 4th and 5th grade (probably way too young to be watching a movie about a killer shark) and I was at a sleepover where the next day, after being thoroughly terrified by this movie, we went to the beach where, wait for it, a shark had washed up on shore! Needless to say, I spent much of the rest of that summer playing in the dunes, BUT, it cemented in me an absolute fascination and, let’s be honest, fear of sharks.
    So fast forward a couple of decades to this summer, I’m on my morning run through the Pennsylvania woods, far from any beach, and listening to my newest podcast obsession, “Réunion: Shark Attacks in Paradise,” which is about a series of unprecedented shark attacks on the French island of Réunion. All of a sudden, I hear the host mention “the totally fascinating academic journal Management Science.” That’s right, the INFORMS journal Management Science! He’s referring to an article by UC Berkeley professor Charles West Churchman titled “Wicked Problems” and proceeds to lay out the shark attacks on Reunion as a wicked problem! I literally stop dead in my track, I’m texting my coworkers, “The coolest thing ever just happened!” and of course, I keep bingeing the podcast.
    So needless to say, I am beyond excited to welcome Daniel Duane, award winning journalist and author, and host of my new favorite podcast, to talk about what exactly data science has to do with a series of shark attacks on a small island in the Indian Ocean.

    • 53 min
    How to ‘up the ante’ on your Fitbit goals!

    How to ‘up the ante’ on your Fitbit goals!

    We’re just about halfway through the summer, and with many days of warm weather still ahead, most of us are planning fun outdoor activities or family adventures, or maybe just working toward our summertime fitness goals.
    But for some, ok many of us, staying active can be a struggle, not only to reach our fitness goals, but to stick to our good exercise habits in the long run. The use of wearable heath devices, such as a Fitbit can serve as a valuable tool not just for tracking progress, but of setting goals and helping motivate users to meet them.
    However, new research shows that there are ways to enhance the effectiveness of these tools, for even longer-term benefits through a process called gain-loss incentives. I’m pleased to introduce Idris Adjerid from Virginia Tech to discuss the findings of his study, “Gain-Loss Incentives and Physical Activity: The Role of Choice and Wearable Health Tools,” which will be published in the INFORMS journal Management Science.

    • 16 min
    27 each day: Understanding and combatting human trafficking

    27 each day: Understanding and combatting human trafficking

    There is not a single country in the world that is not touched by human trafficking. Let that sink in. The number of people victimized by human slavery across the globe is currently greater than the populations of London, New York and Los Angeles combined. This is not a problem affecting people on the other side of the world, it’s one here at home, very likely in our own communities. One that will require collaboration and diverse and innovative approaches to combat.
    Joining me today is Renata Konrad, professor of industrial engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, who is using her background and experience to explore the role that engineering can play in combatting the complex and growing challenges involved in combatting human trafficking.

    • 32 min

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