Current News - April/May 2018
AMSI Optimise 2018
ASOR is pleased to advise members of the Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute (AMSI) event AMSI Optimise, being held 18-22 June 2018 at the University of Melbourne. AMSI Optimise is an annual networking and research-training event that aims to strengthen mathematical optimisation research engagement and its applications across industry.
This event will comprise a three-day industry-focused conference, followed by a two-day research workshop. The symposium features expert and end-user talks, international guest speakers, collaboration showcases, industry challenge sessions and tutorials. The themes of the 2018 conference are Decision Making Under Uncertainty and Humanitarian Applications.
AMSI Optimise is aimed at:
- anyone using optimisation, with opportunities to learn more about the current state of the art and to connect with others who have similar interests
- industry practitioners interested in exploring the benefits of engagement with optimisation research
- academics and postgraduate students wanting to better understand drivers and needs in this area
The event provides a forum to bring together people from the diverse companies and research disciplines that use and develop optimisation models and software. It provides a platform for research training and developing new collaborations in this vital area through PhD internships, research partnerships and postgraduate research projects
General information, a call for submission of abstracts, and registration details can be found on the AMSI Website.
Sci+Tech in the City
This seminar series centred on Melbourne (Docklands) and co-hosted by Data61, ASOR and Risklab, is running fortnightly during 2018. Registration is free, and a small donation on the day to the Brotherhood of St Laurence David Sier Fellowship is encouraged. Sci+Tech in the City is held every second Thursday evenings from 5:00pm to 6:30pm, starting 12 April 2018, in the Data61 Demonstration Room at 710 Collins St Melbourne. At least three and sometimes four speakers each week present on selected topics within a theme, with the talks ranging from innovation stories, to showcases of science, to demonstrations of technology.
ASOR National Conference 2018
ASOR's National Conference for 2018 will be held joint with the Defence OR Symposium (DORS), at Rydges Hotel Melbourne, 4-6 December 2018.
ASOR 2018 / DORS 2018 is the 26th National Conference of the Australian Society of Operations Research. It will be held in Melbourne from 4 to 6 December 2018. The ASOR / DORS 2018 conference brings together research in optimisation, operations planning, informatics, operations research, defence, simulation and modelling of industrial operations, statistics and big data analytics.
Further information can be found at ASOR Conferences.
The ASOR Ren Potts Medal and ASOR Rising Star Award return in 2018. Applications will open in July 2018 and will close 28 September 2018, with the recipients announced at the ASOR/DORS 2018 Conference in December. The ASOR National Committee is presently seeking nominations for the awards selection panel, which in immediately past years has been chaired by Jerzy Filar and comprised of Jerzy, Hussein Abbass (as current National President) and Simon Dunstall (immediate past National President).
ASOR is pleased to once again join with the MODSIM Conference, this time in Canberra, 1-6 December 2019. The announcement of the conference is at MODSIM 2019 on the MSSANZ website.
Functional Programming Workshop - A Review
ASOR and Data61 organised a 3-day Functional Programming (FP) workshop in CSIRO Parkville, 29-31 of January 2018. The course was given by Tony Morris from Data61 Functional Programming Lab and his team, who came from Fortitude Valley in Queensland to promote this alternative paradigm for computer programming among Melbourne optimisation and software development communities. The course was split in an introductory track and an applied FP track, both of which enjoyed full attendance. The course was clearly a success and required no prior experience with functional programming, whose concepts were illustrated using the Haskell computer language. Attendees came from diverse backgrounds, including academics, researchers at CSIRO and universities, freelancers, web developers and general public, many of which were registered after ASOR's mailing list invitation. The teaching method was dynamic, with a brief introduction of the concepts followed by hands-on exercises and the instructors roaming the room, willing to answer questions from the audience if needed. We expect that training activities like these will benefit the optimisation community by helping them develop simpler, less error-prone code to implement their research ideas and applications, and we hope this is the first of many such events.
- Rodolfo Garcia-Flores, ASOR Melbourne
ASOR Website Changes
Andy Wong has indicated to ASOR National that he wishes to resign as ASOR webmaster. Andy has held down this role admirably for countless years. ASOR thanks Andy for his long-term contribution!
Simon Dunstall / Data61 will be taking on full responsibility for the website from now on. We have a standing invitation for contributions, content, editors and/or site maintainers to help us keep things ticking over.
ASOR News - December 2017 / January 2018
Functional Programming Workshop
Data61 invites ASOR members to participate in a free 3-day Functional Programming workshop in Melbourne, 29-31 January 2018. This workshop is being run by the Queensland Functional Programming Lab (a Data61/CSIRO and Queensland Government initiative), and can accommodate up to 50 people (as of mid-January there are less than ten positions remaining). The workshop will be split into two tracks of focus:
1. **Introduction to Functional Programming**. This is the traditional workshop that has been run by Data61 for many years. This track is targeted toward people who have some basic programming experience, but little or no exposure to Functional Programming.
2. **Applied Functional Programming**. This is new course material that is targeted toward programmers who have become proficient with navigating Functional Programming concepts, and in particular, Haskell data structures. This course material involves writing a web application with a database backend.
Who should attend? Anyone who is interested in Functional Programming (FP) is encouraged to register. The introductory workshop track is designed to be inclusive
and requires no prior experience with functional programming. Each session will be instructed by team members of the QFPL and you will be using the Haskell programming language to help you along your path of FP discovery. The Applied FP track will also be instructed by QFPL team members.
Program Details: Monday 29 January 2018 – Wednesday 31 January 2018 (9am to 5pm), at CSIRO, 343 Royal Parade, Parkville VIC 3052
There is no cost but participants will be required to bring a suitable development machine (portable) for working through the exercises. You will also need to install the Glasgow Haskell Compiler (http://www.haskell.org/ghc/) version 7.8 or higher on that machine.
Sci+Tech in the City 2018
|Alan Dormer presenting at Sci+Tech in the City's Optimisation event on November 2017||Packed house in the Data61 demo room on Collins Street|
Round Up of ASOR National Conference 2017 and ASOR Award Winners 2017
The ASOR National Conference 2017 was held alongside the Defence OR Symposium (DORS) within the MODSIM conference at the Grand Chancellor Hotel on the waterfront in Hobart between 3 December and 8 December 2017. The ASOR/MODSIM/DORS conference had around 1000 delegates, including approximately 50 ASOR talks. ASOR members' OR contributions were in ASOR streams and well as DORS and the mainstream MODSIM sessions. An ASOR Invited Presentation was delivered by Rodolfo Garcia-Flores, on his experiences with Constraint Programming. The 2016 ASOR Ren Potts winner Leonid Churilov presented one of six plenary talks at the conference (on Thursday morning), and was insightful and entertaining in his talk titled The Art, Science, and Joy of Healthcare Modelling: being an important part of the effort to combat the world’s third biggest killer. He presented a broad perspective on past, present, and potential future of healthcare modelling that he has acquired from both ends of the “academic divide” over the last twenty-plus years. His special focus was on modelling work performed while contributing to the effort of combatting the world’s third biggest killer, which is stroke.
The ASOR Annual General Meeting was held on Tuesday at 6pm, and an exchange of ideas about how to engage member was prominent in the discussion.
For ASOR's major annual awards, we congratulate Peter Taylor on receiving the ASOR Ren Potts Medal for 2017, and Ali Eshragh (pictured above) for receiving the ASOR Rising Star Award for 2017. ASOR members nominated multiple high-quality candidates for both of these awards, and this kept the adjudicating panel of Jerzy Filar (chair), Hussein Abbas and Simon Dunstall on their toes. The awards were presented at the conference dinner on 7 December.
The best student paper award went to Nigel Clay for Discrete time stochastic control for blood inventories. There were several other high-quality student papers/presentations. For the numerous ASOR members who attend it, the final session on Optimal Decisions under Uncertainty (stream J6) was a highlight and is hopefully indicative of the future, both in terms of who presented (mainly, several young researchers making substantial contributions to the field) and what was presented (whole-hearted and successful attempts at progressing non-deterministic optimisation and analytics). Presenters in this session included (left-to-right, top-to-bottom below) Nicolas Langrene, Monica Chen, Nicholas Davey and James Looker.
ASOR again extends its thanks to MSSANZ for their great conference organisation work and for allowing us to co-locate in 2017. We are particularly indebted to the efforts of Julia Piantadosi, Karen Moobs and David Post. It was announced in Hobart that MODSIM 2019 will be held in Canberra, and ASOR has been invited to be part of the event once more.
ASOR National Conference 2018
ASOR Melbourne will host this in December 2018. The organising committee at present consists of David Marlow, Rodolfo Garcia-Flores and Simon Dunstall.
Past News Items
ASOR National Conference 2016
Updated 14 November 2016
The 2016 ASOR National Conference will be hosted by the ASOR Canberra branch, will be joint with Defence OR Symposium (DORS), and will take place in Canberra on 16-17 November 2016. Further information is found at ASOR Conferences. ASOR gratefully acknowledges the generous sponsorship and support it is receiving from Defence Science and Technology Group (DSTG) and CSIRO Data61 for the 2016 National Conference.
Posted 27 August 2016
ASOR is pleased to be once again joining with the MODSIM conference in 2017. This will be held in early December 2017 in Tasmania. The conference website is at http://www.mssanz.org.au/modsim2017/.
Ren Potts Medal and ASOR Rising Star Award 2016
Posted 27 August 2016
As alerted earlier in August via the email list, ASOR will be awarding the Ren Potts medal and Rising Star Award again in 2016. Nominations are currently open, and will close at the end of September. See ASOR Ren Potts Medal and ASOR Rising Star Award for further information.
Updated 7 June 2016
Robert Burdett (Chairperson ASOR-Qld 2016), on behalf of ASOR, is pleased to invite members and non-members to attend our workshop on Health Care Planning and Operational Research.
The one day workshop will be held on Friday the 7th of October at the Queensland Treasury Casino from 8.30am to 5pm. Morning and afternoon tea and lunch will be provided.
Further conference details can be found on the flyer for the event
We expect everyone who attends this workshop will receive value from the program and will enjoy the atmosphere and surroundings of this first class venue.
If you have any queries please don’t hesitate to contact Robert.
Matheuristic Algorithms for Synchromodal Network Design
Updated 7 June 2016
1 Post-Doctoral Fellow and 2 PhDs required, Monash University, Melbourne.
This is an industry sponsored project focusing on integer programming optimisation methods and modelling of the movement of containers through the system between ships and the destination/origin of the containers being imported/exported. This requires consideration of:
- Ship loading/unloading and possibly temporary storage at the port,
- Truck and train unloading/loading at the port,
- Routing of containers via possibly one or more inland terminals,
- Mode choice between trains and trucks and scheduling of container movements,
- Storage at the inland terminals as well as scheduling of loading and unloading operations.
At the strategic level, choices need to be made regarding capital investment decisions relating to truck fleet size, railing capacities, equipment for handling containers at the terminals and storage capacities. Operating this transport infrastructure in a synchromodal manner requires adaptively making decisions on timing, mode choice and route choice of container movements. Container movements are restricted by release times and due dates, that is time windows between which they must be picked up and delivered. These time windows are typically determined by customers and shipping companies and subject to change. The travel times of trucks are also likely to vary significantly during periods of congestion. Hence the need for an adaptive, synchromodal operating mode.
The project requires one Post-Doctoral Fellow and two Doctoral (PhD) students working on specific aspects of the overall problem.
ASOR Recent Advances 2016
Updated 19 May 2016
Recent Advances was held on 31 March and 1 April 2016, at the School of Mathematical Sciences, Monash University Clayton Campus (see Recent Advances 2016 for more info).
We had two full days of presentations, as well as a welcome reception and the ASOR National AGM.
Data61's Alban Grestian presenting at ASOR Recent Advances 2016, on 1 April, about diagnosis in planning and scheduling.
MAXIMA @Monash and CSIRO Data61 provided in-kind support and significant funding for the event, and this assistance and partnership is very much appreciated by ASOR.
ASOR Melbourne AGM and Seminar
Updated 10 March 2016
The Melbourne chapter of ASOR, including representation from South Australia and Newcastle, will hold its Annual General Meeting on 16 March 2016, 3:30pm, in Room 7.84 of Building H at Monash University Caulfield Campus. Attendance by teleconference will be facilitated.
At the AGM we will present annual reports and also hold elections for 2016 office bearers.
The AGM will be followed at 4pm by a seminar by Yury Kryvasheyeu from CSIRO Data61.
Rapid assessment of disaster damage using social media activity
Could social media data aid in disaster response and damage assessment? Countries face both an increasing frequency and an increasing intensity of natural disasters resulting from climate change. During such events, citizens turn to social media platforms for disaster-related communication and information. Social media improves situational awareness, facilitates dissemination of emergency information, enables early warning systems, and helps coordinate relief efforts. In addition, the spatio-temporal distribution of disaster-related messages helps with the real-time monitoring and assessment of the disaster itself. We present a multiscale analysis of Twitter activity before, during, and after Hurricane Sandy. We examine the online response of 50 metropolitan areas of the United States and find a strong relationship between proximity to Sandy’s path and hurricane-related social media activity. We show that real and perceived threats, together with physical disaster effects,
are directly observable through the intensity and composition of Twitter’s message stream. We demonstrate that per-capita Twitter activity strongly correlates with the per-capita economic damage inflicted by the hurricane. We verify our findings for a wide range of disasters and suggest that massive online social networks can be used for rapid assessment of damage caused by a large-scale disaster.
Call for Committee Nominations
ASOR Melbourne encourages its members to nominate for the 2016 ASOR Melbourne Committee. Get involved and make a difference to your OR & Analytics commercial, industrial and R&D community. We are seeking nominations for the office bearer positions (President, Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary), representative positions (DSTG Representative, SA Representative, Newcastle Representative, Student Representative), and general committee positions.
Nomination forms are available at http://asor.org.au/files/forms/asormelbctenomform2016.pdf
ASOR Rising Star and Ren Potts Medal
30 November 2015, updated 17 February 2016
ASOR is proud to announce that at the first day of the ASOR/MODSIM/DORS 2015 conference on 30 November, we awarded Ren Potts medals to Erhan Kozan and to Phil Howlett, and the ASOR Rising Star Award to Hassan Hijazi. Congratulations to these three extremely worthy winners. Citations for Erhan and Phil can be found at ASOR Ren Potts Medal, and Hassan at ASOR Rising Star Award.
30 November 2015
If you're into twitter keep up with the hashtags #ASOR and #MODSIM2015. The final program for ASOR/MODSIM/DORS 2015 can be found at the MODSIM 2015 website.
September 2015 Seminar
On 30 September 2015, Andreas Ernst presented "A retrospective of over two decades of Operations Research at CSIRO" at Monash Caulfield. Andreas explained that the Operations Research group at CSIRO was formed in the early 1990s, driven significantly by vision from Noel Barton, and in the early days included several people including Graham Mills, Mark Westcott, Mohan Krishnamoorthy and David Sier. This group has since been a significant part of the OR scene in Australia, though it is now coming to an end, to be reborn as part of the new Data61 Optimisation Group led by Toby Walsh. The talk by Andreas surveyed some key achievements over the past 20 years, in applications in hub location, rostering, and bulk material (mining) supply chains in particular, and also in nurturing and inspiring many across the Australian and international OR community. A recording of the seminar will be available on the ASOR Youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/AusORSoc
Awards and Careers
REMINDER: ASOR Ren Potts Medal and ASOR Rising Star Award
Updated 22 September 2015
We have a current call for nominations for these ASOR-awarded achievement prizes:
Nominations close on 30 September 2015, and the awards will be presented at the ASOR/MODSIM/DORS conference in December.
PhD Scholarship Opportunities Monash-NICTA Victorian Research Lab
22 September 2015
Monash/NICTA are seeking two enthusiastic students to undertake two research topics in the area of Optimisation entitled:
1. Incremental Power Network Transformation with Uncertainty
2. Co-Optimisation of Power Network Operations and Renewable Investment
Successful scholarship applicants will be supervised by at least one NICTA affiliated academic staff member from the Faculty of Information Technology.
For detailed information see http://www.seek.com.au/job/29032623
ASOR Canberra Student Prize
24 August 2015
ASOR ACT Chapter calls for nominees for the best Operations Research (OR) Postgraduate Research Award 2015. The award aims to encourage and reward students for excellence in the OR field, and provides a forum for students to share their academic excellence and research findings. See http://asor.org.au/files/ACT_Student_Award.pdf for more information. Nominations close 7 September 2015.
Social Media and Networking
Latest YouTube Channel Additions
We've recently added:
- The Science Foundation of Evidence-Based Policy and Decision Making, an ASOR Canberra seminar by Dr Alex Zelinsky (Chief Defence Scientist).
- Degeneracy - Design Principle for Adaptable and Robust Complex Systems, an ASOR Wednesday seminar by Dr Axel Bender (DSTO) presenting from University of South Australia, Mawson Lakes on 20 May 2015.
Visit https://www.youtube.com/user/AusORSoc for our ASOR YouTube Channel
Conferences and Meetings
ASOR National Conference 2015
The ASOR National Conference 2015 is embedded within MODSIM 2015 on the Gold Coast, 29 November to 4 December 2015.
Submission of Full Papers or Extended Abstracts was due on 31 July 2015. Authors should expect peer reviews to be communicated to them in early September, and final versions of papers must be ready by 2 October to enable printing for the conference as well as for indexing by ISI.
Earlybird registration closes on 28 August, and the price rises by over $100 for standard registrations.
ASOR National AGM 2015
ASOR will hold its Annual General Meeting for 2015 during ASOR/MODSIM/DORS 2015 on the Gold Coast.
Membership and Admin Matters
President's Reports for 2013 and 2014
Updated 1 September
President's Reports, for 2013 and 2014, have been posted at ASOR Annual Reports.
From a time when we had newsletters rather than a rolling news feed...