University of Tennessee Faculty Hosts International Analytics Conference

November 14, 2016

profile photo of Bogdan BichescuBogdan Bichescu, an associate professor of management science at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, is serving as program chair for the annual conference of the Institute for Operations Research and Management Sciences (INFORMS). Seven faculty members from the Haslam College of Business and Tickle College of Engineering join him on the conference’s organizing committee.

INFORMS is the world’s largest association of business analytics and operations research professionals, with more than 10,000 members. Approximately 5,000 professionals from all over the world are expected to attend the conference on November 13-16 in Nashville, Tennessee.

“UT joins the ranks of a select few universities that have hosted the conference, thus contributing to our growing reputation in business analytics and operations management,” Bichescu says.

The organizing committee has helped to arrange more than 1,000 presentations each day of the conference as well as seven keynote speeches. Combined contributions from the colleges of business and engineering make UT the largest financial sponsor of the event.

“Our colleges are both well regarded among public institutions and each of them bring some particular strengths to this venture,” says Mingzhou Jin, professor of industrial and systems engineering and a member of the conference organizing committee. “Combing those assets will really help this program take off and succeed for years to come, possibly even making it the model for others to follow.”

Haslam was among the first colleges in the country to offer business analytics degrees, and the Tickle College of Engineering leads the country in research and education for lean manufacturing. This summer, the two schools opened an advanced analytics lab, providing students and faculty the ability to perform research on massive, unorganized data sets.

The lineup of keynote lectures at the conference includes: Jeff Nichols, director at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, on creating the Exascale ecosystem for science; Jason Murray, vice president of worldwide retail systems at Amazon, on optimizing supply chains; Edmund Jackson, chief data scientist at the Hospital Corporation of America, on analytics in health care; Stephen Prather of SportSource Analytics, on sports analytics and the pursuit of usefulness; and Gerald Brown, of the Naval Postgraduate School, on what the goals of analysis should be.

Fifteen academics from seven universities comprise the conference’s organizing committee. UT’s members include Bogdan Bichescu, Melissa Bowers, Christine Vossler and Sean Willems from Haslam and James Ostrowski, Oleg Shylo, Anahita Khojandi and Minzhou Jin from the Tickle College of Engineering.

For more information about INFORMS and its annual conference, visit

To learn more about the Haslam College of Business, go to To learn more about the Tickle College of Engineering visit