Monthly Archives: May 2016

Teaching Recap- Spring 2016

I taught 3 sections of BUS-P 300: Introduction to Operations Management this spring. It is a course for business minors, and I get a broad spectrum of student majors. Most students were second-semester seniors. Each section had 40-43 students. Here is a bit of postmortem for me for the course.

Things that went well:
-Each test was worth 137 points. This makes it harder for the student to calculate their grade percentage immediately and leads to less complaining. Even if someone gets a 90/137, that still looks like a good score, even though it is really close to a failing grade. Thanks to Richard Thaler for the suggestion.
-All hands-on activities went really well. We simulated a production line to make paper airplanes. We played the beer game online. We tried out some wisdom of the crowd forecasting. I wish there were more ready-made activities for operations courses.
-I added a significant segment on sustainability and a full lecture on behavioral OM. I think both subjects were enjoyable.
-Most students seemed to enjoy the final group project setup, where they got to select their own groups (if desired) and their own topics. Some students wanted more rigidity in the process (forced topics, forced groups, or a more detailed rubric), but more students enjoyed the creativity that the process allowed.
-Videos of manufacturing and service environments helped drive discussion points home. Most students have little/no experience with real-world operational settings.
-I’m glad I stuck with Managing Operations Across the Supply Chain, 2nd edition, by Swink et al. It’s a good introduction to operations for non-technical undergrads. All the necessary material was there. Choosing a more technical book would have been a disaster.
-This was my entire required teaching load at Kelley. While it was hard to teach three courses in a day in the short-term, I think it will be a good long-term decision when I have the next year+ to focus on research.

Things that didn’t go particularly well:
-I allowed students to use laptops during class if they wished. In the future, I will be more discerning about when/how I let them use computers. Getting attention and participation in one of my three sections was like pulling teeth. They all seemed to collude and decide to pay more attention to their computers than me. The other sections didn’t have major issues.
-I tried to steer students toward interesting research projects for their final group project, but I would say that about 25-33% of the topics chosen were just dull or simplistic. Most of these came from groups that didn’t give any indication of their choice prior to the topic deadline. I should make groups come talk to me about their topic prior to selection. Perhaps just before/after class in the 2 weeks leading up to topic selection deadline. (On the other hand, 25-33% of the topics were extraordinary for an intro course.)
-I used half a lecture to teach EOQ and Newsvendor basics. Without showing the solution (calculus) technique (for EOQ) or understanding statistics distributions (for Newsvendor), these topics aren’t memorable, and they were among the most-missed subjects on the homeworks/exams. Most students were not proficient in calculus or statistics. Find a way to teach their insights without showing the derivation next time. Besides these, all other simple equations/derivations seemed to go over well.
-My lectures got more interesting as the semester went on. I was building upon old slides from other grad students, and early on I was not altering them enough for my teaching style. I think some of the early lectures were probably boring. I should have made more significant edits early on.

Overall, a successful course.

Book Review- The Mind’s Eye

The Mind’s Eye
by Oliver Sacks, 2010

the mind's eye

It’s hard to get past the overwhelming sensation that this book is just sad. It describes the neural and visual states of people who have lost certain visual abilities (through a stroke, mental illness, eye injury, etc.). While scientifically interesting, these cases are just heart-breaking. One case study covers people who lose the ability to recognize faces. Another person wakes up and can no longer read text. Others can not see in three dimensions; the whole world is flat. Others cannot visualize images in their minds. Others are just blind. The author was a neurologist who studied these kind of cases for much of his life. His more famous books are “The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat” and “An Anthropologist on Mars”. While I do like neurology, I had trouble finishing this book due to its difficult subject matter and somewhat slow pace. Maria read it independently of me and thought it was well-written and thought-provoking.

I listened to this book on CD. It would be interesting to get a blind person’s take on this audiobook.

Actual Baseball

So many awesome things happened in actual baseball games last night.

-Max Scherzer strikes out 20 (tying major league record) in a complete game while throwing only 23 balls.
-Noah Syndergaard (pitcher for Mets) hits 2 home runs in a game.
-4 are ejected in the Reds/Pirates game as they set a new GABP record for number of hit batsmen in one game.
-Ender Inciarte gets a double play via “I lost the ball in the clouds” fake.

And yet the only mention of baseball on the front page of ESPN is Bam-Bam’s (Bryce Harper’s) suspension. I miss the time when ESPN used to talk about actual game-play. Apparently that’s too boring, nowadays.

Talks I attended at POMS 2016

These are the talks I attended at the Production and Operations Management Society Conference, mostly listed for my future reference:

Friday 8am, Track 4:
-Optimal Workload Management During a Physician’s Shift in an Emergency Dept by Zhankun Sun and Nan Liu
-The Impact of Delay announcements on Hospital Networks Coordination and Waiting Times by Jing Dong, Elad Yom-Tov and Galit Yom-Tov
-An Empirical Study of the Impact of Introducing Physician Assistants During Critical Care Consultations by Mor Armony, Carri Chan, and Yunchao Xu
-Steady-State Approximation for Discrete Queue in Hospital Inpatient Flow Management by Pengyi Shi and Jim Dai

Friday 9:45am, Track 56
-Understanding Customers’ Retrials in Call Centers: Preference of Service Speed and Service Quality by Kejia Hu, Gad Allon, and Achal Bassamboo
-Modelling Service Times in a Call Center by Rouba Ibrahim, Pierre L’Ecuyer, Haipeng Shen, and Mamadou Thiongane
-Vertical Probabilistic Selling: The Role of Consumer Anticipated Regret by Yong Chao, Lin Liu, and Dongyuan Zhan
-Want Priority Access? Refer Your Friends to Skip the Line by Luyi Yang and Laurens Debo

Friday Plenary: Fulfillment Challenges Create Research Opportunities at Amazon by Russell Allgor

Friday 1:30pm, Track 80:
-Project Management under Risk-Sharing Contracts by Sina Shokoohyar, Elena Katok, and Anyan Qi
-The Impact of Decision Rights and Long Term Relationships on Innovation Sharing by Ruth Beer, Hyun-Soo Ahn, and Stephen Leider
(PRESENTING)-Linking Customer Behavior and Delay Announcements Using a Duration Model by Qiuping Yu, Eric Webb, and Kurt Bretthauer
-Equity Bargaining in Startups by Evgeny Kagan, Stephen Leider, and William Lovejoy

Friday 3:15pm, Track 133:
-Closing a Supplier’s Energy Efficiency Gap: The Role of Assessment Assistance and Procurement Commitment by Jason Nguyen, Karen Donohue, and Mili Mehrotra
(PRESENTING)-Energy Efficiency and Demand Response on a Production Line by Eric Webb, Kyle Cattani, and Owen Wu

Friday 5pm, Track 170:
-How to Get the Conflict Out of the Mineral Supply Chain by Han Zhang, Goker Aydin, and Sebastian Heese

Friday 5pm, Track 169:
-Carbon Leakage: The Impact of Asymmetric Emission Regulation on Technology and Capacity Investments by Kristel Hoen, Natalie Huang, Tarkan Tan, and Beril Toktay
-Carbon Tariffs: Effects in Settings with Technology Choice by David Drake
-Dynamics of Capacity Investment in Renewable Energy Projects by Nur Sunar and John Birge

Saturday 8am, Track 182:
-Variability in Labor Schedules: Effects on Customer Satisfaction and Employee Turnover by Hyun Seok Lee, Saravanan Kesavan, and Camelia Kuhnen
-Social Media and Traffic: A Cross-Section Study by Dennis Zhang and Ruomeng Cui
-Do Consumers Benefit from Dynamic Pricing? Evidence from SFpark by Pnina Feldman, Jun Li, and Hsin-Tien Tsai

Saturday 9:30am, Track 220:
-Impact of Severity-Adjusted Workload on Health Status of Patients Discharged from an ICU by Song-Hee Kim, Edieal Pinker, Joan Rimar, and Elizabeth Bradley
-Public Relative Performance Feedback in Complex Service Systems by Hummy Song, Anita Tucker, Karen Murrell, and David Vinson
-Quantifying the Impact of Care Coordination on Health Outcomes by Vishal Ahuja and Hari Balasubramanian
-Are Patients Patient? The Effect of Universal Healthcare on Emergency Department Visits by Diwas Kc

Saturday Plenary: Data-Driven Research in Revenue Management by David Simchi-Levi

Saturday 1:30pm, Track 267:
-An Analysis of Time-Based Pricing in Electricity Supply Chains by Baris Ata, Asligul Duran, and Ozge Islegen
-Kicking Ash: Who (or What) is Winning the War on Coal? by David Drake and Jeff York
-Feed-In Tariff Versus Rebate for Renewable Energy Generation by Ruben Lobel and Volodymyr Babich
-A New Approach to Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) Design for Wind Energy Projects by Xinyuan Zhu and Qingbin Cui

Saturday 3:15pm, Track 303:
-The Effect of Sourcing Policies on a Supplier’s Sustainable Practices by Vishal Agrawal and Deishin Lee
-Trust and Transparency in Social Responsibility by Tim Kraft, Leon Valdes, and Yanchong Zheng
-Design and Technology Choice for Recycling: The Value of Capacity Ownership and collaboration by Luyi Gui, Morvarid Rahmani, and Atalay Atasu
-Truth-Inducing Mechanism for Medical Surplus Product Allocation by Can Zhang, Atalay Atasu, Turgay Ayer, and Beril Toktay

Sunday 9:45am, Track 373:
-A Hybrid Data Envelopment Analysis Approach for Performance Evaluation: A Food Industry Case Study by Gazi Duman, Ozden Tozanli, and Elif Kongar
-Evaluation of Different Designs of End-of-Life Products Using Linear Physical Programming by Aditi Joshi and Surendra Gupta
-Application of Multi Criteria Decision Making in Optimizing End-of-Life Processes by Aditya Pandit and Surendra Gupta
-Two-Dimensional Warranty for an End-of-life Derived Products by Ammar Alqahtani and Surendra Gupta

Sunday Plenary: Being Relevant in the Age of Analytics by Mark Spearman

Sunday 2:30pm, Track 409:
-The Implication of Extended Warranties on a Closed-Loop Supply Chain by Wayne Fu and Atalay Atasu
-A Framework to Measure the True Impact of Take-Back Legislation by Megan Jaunich, Hadi Gashti, Joe DeCarolis, Robert Handfield, Eda Kemahlioglu-Ziya, and Ranji Ranjithan
-The Effect of Refurbished Products’ Quality on Recycling Incentive Strategies under Retailer Take-back Mode by Xiaoyan Wang and Weilai Huang
-When Remanufacturing Meets Product Innovation by Gendao Li and Marc Reimann
-Lemons, Trade-Ins, and Remanufacturing by Natalie Huang, Atalay Atasu, and Beril Toktay

Sunday 4:15pm, Track 440:
-Competitive Dynamic Pricing Under Capacity Constraints: An Experimental Study by Bahriye Cesaret and Elena Katok

Monday 8am, Track 492:
-A Dynamic Clustering Approach to Data-Driven Assortment Personalization by Sajad Modaresi, Fernando Bernstein, and Denis Saure
-Managing Product Transitions via Strategic Customer Selection by Adam Elmachtoub, Vineet Goyal, and Roger Lederman

Monday 9:45am, Track 509:
-The Role of an Inpatient Value-Based Purchasing (VBP) Program and Slack in Improving Hospital Performance by John Ni and Xiaowen Huang
-Bundle Payment vs. Fee-For-Service: Impact of Payment Scheme on Performance by Elodie Adida, Hamed Mamani, and Shima Nassiri
-Impact of Healthcare Reform on Hospital Suppliers by Sayan Mukherjee, David Dobrzykowski, and Alok Baveja
-Are Penalties “Sticky” in the Long Term? An Empirical Investigation in U.S. Nursing Homes by Rachna Shah, Gopalakrishnan Narayanamurthy, and Anand Gurumurthy

Monday 11:30am, track 556:
-Impact of Digital Embeddedness on Organizational Purchase Behaviors by Haris Krijestorac and Rajiv Garg
-An Empirical Analysis of the Effect of Jump Bidding in Overlapping Online Auctions by Lin Hao, Yong Tan, and Arvind Tripathi
-Exploring the Drivers of Success of Mobile Apps by Eunho Park, Ram Janakiraman, Kaushik Dutta, and Subodha Kumar

Uber Price Differential

$64 to go from Orlando airport to hotel in a cab.
$18.83 to go from hotel to Orlando airport via Uber.
No significant traffic either way.

That is a ridiculous difference. It was a ~17 mile trip. How do Uber drivers make any money?

Book Review- Superfreakonomics

by Stephen J. Dubner and Steven Levitt, 2009


I know I’m super late to the party on this one, so there’s not much to say. Interesting as always, but by this point, I’ve heard most of their arguments in other contexts outside of the book (mostly blogs). The part about the first documented case of monkey prostitution at the end was very funny. I’m surprised I haven’t seen more progress on geo-engineering to fight global warming in the last 7 years.

I’ll just point out that this was the first book I listened to on audio loan from the library via my phone. The Monroe County Public Library allows you to rent audiobooks through the apps Overdrive and hoopla. Useful for when you want to listen to an audiobook but don’t have a CD player.

My Presentations at POMS in Orlando this Friday

I will be at POMS’ conference in Orlando this week. POMS is the Production and Operations Management Society. Here are my presentations:
1. At 1:30pm Friday, I will be presenting my behavioral paper with Qiuping Yu and Kurt Bretthauer in session 80. I’m guessing the room is “Lanai”? The paper’s working title is “Linking Customer Behavior and Delay Announcements: Are Customers Really Rational?”, though it says “Linking Customer Behavior and Delay Announcements Using a Duration Model” on the schedule.
2. At 3:15pm Friday, I will be presenting my energy paper with Owen Wu and Kyle Cattani in session 133. I’m guessing the room is “Camelia”? The paper’s working title is “Mind the Gap: Coordinating Energy Efficiency and Demand Response”, though it says “Energy Efficiency and Demand Response on a Production Line” on the schedule.

Bonus presentation: If you’re more into healthcare,
3. Also at 1:30 Friday, in Salon 6, Alex Mills will be presenting “Incentive-Compatible Pre-hospital Triage in Emergency Medical Services”. I am listed as the presenter on the schedule for that presentation, but I cannot be in two places at once. I’m not particularly happy at POMS for putting all three of my presentations in the span of 3 hours during a 4 day conference.

I will be at the Behavioral Mini-Conference in the morning on Thursday and the Supply Chain Tour in the afternoon on Thursday. See you in Orlando!