Decision, Operations & Information Technologies

Computers Match Doctors in Predicting Patient Discharges

A computer can do as good a job of predicting how many patients will be discharged from a hospital unit on a given day as doctors and nurses can, according to new research from Smith School professor Sean Barnes. In some cases, the computer does even better. Accurate estimates of patient discharges are an important component of keeping costs down because they allow hospitals to make the most efficient use of resources — namely, hospital beds. Read more...

In Defense of the Unpopular Health Care 'Cadillac Tax'

Hillary Clinton on Tuesday aligned herself with a growing political movement: People who seek repeal of the Affordable Care Act's "Cadillac Tax," a surcharge on the most generous plans offered by employers. Many businesses have opposed the tax, but so have unions and other advocates for employees — not the usual anti-Obamacare coalition. Smith School senior associate dean for faculty and research Ritu Agarwal takes the opposite view. She says the tax has upsides that many critics overlook. Read more...

What Your Facebook Friends Say About Your Credit Worthiness

Joining a social network means trading privacy for information. Criminal investigators and advertisers are increasingly inventive in the ways they use Facebook to mine data. Add creditors to this mix. Facebook, last month, received approval for a patent for a mobile payment system that could be used to evaluate a loan applicant’s credit worthiness based on that person’s Facebook friends. Smith School professor Siva Viswanathan discusses the implications. Read more...

Reform the Patent Office to Unleash Innovation

The U.S. patent system is supposed to reward and therefore encourage innovation, but is beset with challenges: Patent applications are growing exponentially, patent "trolls" file expensive lawsuits, and companies like Apple and Samsung sometimes appear to be competing as much through patent litigation as in the marketplace. Smith professor Joseph P. Bailey outlines possible solutions, including some that the patent office already is pursuing. Read more...

UMD-FDA Workshop on Mobile Health and Social Media Analytics for Product Safety

The Food and Drug Administration is looking to get, and stay, on the same page with producers and users of medical wearables. The FDA mission to regulate medical devices to protect consumers is challenged by the mobile health field continuously innovating new products. Harnessing user data is one way to keep pace. Thus, regulators and experts from industry and academia will gather on Friday, Sept. 11, 2015 in the University of Maryland’s Adele H. Stamp Student Union to discuss the opportunities and challenges these data sources create.

Weiming Zhu

Weiming Zhu began the program in Fall 2011. His research interests include supply chain finance intersection and supply chain management. Weiming's working papers explore intermediation in supplier finance, buy back finance, and spatial onsumption inequality and welfare gains from e-commerce.

Mustafa Sahin

Mustafa Sahin began the program in Fall 2012. His research interests include combinatorial optimization, large scale optimization, graph theory and network flow problems, and implementation of metaheuristics and exact algorithms for NP-Hard problems. Mustafa's work has been published in Networks, Computers & Operations Research, and Transportation Research, Part: C.

Liu Ming

Liu Ming began the program in Fall 2012. His research interests include modeling and empirical study in areas of pricing and supply chain management.

Wenchang Zhang

Wenchang Zhang began the program in Fall 2013. His research interests include data driven behavior analysis in healthcare and marketing. Wenchang's work has been featured in the Journal of Immunology


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