Wednesday, 20 August 2014

OR56 The OR Society annual conference

Only 3 weeks to go until #or56. A great place and a great conference for academics and practitioners. 

OR56 is a unique opportunity to develop your professional skills, build your knowledge of the latest developments, use other people’s experiences to spark your imagination, and meet, discuss and share with others in the field. 

24 STREAMS and around 200 presentations of interest to academics and practitioners alike, including for example, case studies and presentations in methodological areas such as simulation, analytics, forecasting, problem-structuring; and application areas such as health, public policy, third sector, and supply chain.

PRACTITIONERS – be they Analytics professionals, Data Scientists, Systems Engineers, Decision Supporters, or just plain analysts, a dedicated Making an Impact (MAI) day on Wednesday 10th September: focused sessions for consultants, analysts and decision makers – and anyone with a passion for making the world work more effectively.

PLENARY talks from : -
- Ursula Brennan (Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Justice) 
- Andrew Jennings, (Senior Vice President and Chief Analytics Officer at FICO)
- Stewart Robinson, (Professor of Mgmt. Science at Loughborough University and President of the OR Society).

A DEBATE – Our first! “Is Good Enough Good Enough?”
Come and join a contest between optimisers and satisficers with Join Jacek Gondzio, Professor in the School of Mathematics, Edinburgh University and Konstantinos Katsikopoulos a senior researcher and associate professor at the Centre for Adaptive Behaviour and Cognition of the Max Planck Institute for Human Development.

PANEL DISCUSSION - On the emerging field of Behavioural OR. 
This plenary panel will try to help to shape a conceptual view of what ‘Behavioural Operational Research’ is, what it should be, and what its perspective can contribute to the theory and practice of OR.

There's still time to book  OR56

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Pro Bono O.R. in the UK & Internationally (Conference talk by Graham Rand) at IFORS (Barcelona 2014)

A member of the Pro Bono steering group (Graham Rand) was invited to give a talk at the IFORS (International Federation of Operational Research Societies) conference in Barcelona (July 2014).  The talk looks at how Pro Bono O.R. is operated and looks at some case studies both in the UK and abroad.  Conference slides

On the back of this, Graham has been invited to the INFORMS (The Institute fr Operations Research and the Management Sciences) conference in San Francisco to deliver a similar talk.  INFORMS is the largest society in the world for professionals in the field of Operational Research, management science and analytics.


Monday, 4 August 2014

Volunteering is win win-both the volunteer and the organisation benefits

The feedback from both the Pro Bono O.R. volunteers and the Third Sector organisations we've worked with have been overwhelmingly positive.
Pro Bono O.R. has so far completed 7 projects and is working on a further 12 organisations.
The Pro Bono O.R. project provides opportunities for both volunteers and the Third sector. It gives volunteers an opportunity to practise in a wider arena and develop their knowledge and skills and it helps third sector organisations to increase efficiency, help to reduce costs, plan strategy, demonstrate impact etc. by using the skills of volunteers.
What the volunteers have to say:
'Working as a pro bono volunteer is a great way to contribute some professional expertise to some truly worthwhile causes. The Third Sector is full of people who feel passionately about their Mission, so working with them is invariably a positive learning experience' (Ian Seath, Pro Bono O.R. volunteer)
'The assignment really opened my eyes to the challenges of the third sector, which I will bear in mind in my day job. It has got me thinking about how important this is for all in roles that are far removed from front-line but involved in developing policy that affects the front line. I also appreciated seeing the direct impact of my work and using OR skills in a new environment.' (Sarah Culkin, Pro Bono O.R. volunteer)
'Being a volunteer was a great way to make a real difference for an organisation with people that were clearly passionate about what they do. At the same time I’ve added some interesting people to my network and expanded the breadth of projects I’ve undertaken on my CV' (Sam MacKay, Pro Bono O.R. volunteer)
What the organisations have to say:
'Brilliant-it makes the predictions of risk visible. This will be so useful.' (Lafora Screening Coordinators)
'We have really benefited from having a fresh pair of eyes coming in to review a particular service in a very structured and rigorous way. Sarah has helped us to gain a fuller understanding of the way in which the services benefit clients and made some very helpful recommendations for the future development of the service.' (Karen Weaver, CEO HARCVS)
'We’ve benefited hugely from your work and support in all areas of the project. And from an organisational perspective you’ve enabled us to take a highly professional approach to increasing the efficiency of our charity' (Performance Manager, Crimestoppers)
'The work is already supporting our planning and development for next year and allowing us to focus our thoughts and decisions on the places of most importance for our organisation. It has helped us to come up with new solutions already.' (Mary Dawson, CEO Springboard)
To recieve support from Pro Bono O.R. or to sign up as a volunteer please get in touch or visit: Pro Bono O.R.

Friday, 1 August 2014

New Pro Bono O.R. Case Study: A tool to help dog breeders identify genetic risks

The Dachshund Breed Council (DBC): A tool to help dog

 breeders identify genetic risks


Two of our Pro Bono O.R. volunteers, Dr. Sophie Carr (Bays Consulting Ltd.) and Ian Seath (Chairman of the DBC) undertook a project with the DBC. 


Some Miniature Wirehaired Dachshunds suffer from a form of epilepsy called Lafora Disease. 2 DNA tests are available, but are not yet used by all breeders. The DBC wanted a tool to help predict the probability of breeding puppies with Lafora Disease.

To see the case study please click here


The feedback from DBC 'Brilliant-it makes the predictions of risk visible.  This will be so useful'