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Naval Academy Hosts Research Society’s Colloquium

Posted on: April 29, 2013 08:00 EDT by Lt. Teng K. Ooi and Capt. Linda J. Beltra

The Naval Academy hosted this year’s Military Operations Research Society (MORS) Education and Professional Development (EPD) Colloquium April 17-18 in Alumni Hall. 

This annual event brings together students, academics, and professionals from the Operations Research (OR) community to meet, share, and learn about current trends in OR education and professional development and about new research to emerge from OR programs at service academies, universities and colleges. 

Additionally, the event provides insight into how OR is being used and applied throughout the Department of Defense and industry. “Maintaining the OR in Our Future Workers” was this year’s theme. 

“This event focuses on students and young OR analysts to continue to pass along the solid foundation of analysis knowledge that the MORS has nurtured and to freshen the body of knowledge with younger perspectives,” said Lynda Liptak, EPD’s chair. “We need to continue to maintain the health and functioning of the society by sharing our techniques, perspectives, methods, ideas, and even errors in our analysis that we have tackled.

“With this in mind, we are casting a wide net to include as much diversity as possible in both our attendants and discussions,” said Liptak.

The attendee final count was 137 people registered with 62 students representing nine educational institutions and other attendees from government agencies and  private companies.

The colloquium consisted of numerous activities including student and seasoned OR analysts’ presentations, student and poster competitions, young analyst and deployed analyst panel discussions, and presentations by Rear Adm. James G. Foggo, III and retired Army Major Gen. Ronald Johnson as well as other guest speakers.  The students also engaged in networking opportunities with government, military and industry representatives.

A significant component of the colloquium was the Dr. Richard E. Rosenthal student competition in which the winning team analyzed and presented a possible study approach to the topic, “Helicopter Search and Rescue Missions.” The team was given a real-life operational problem of scheduling pilot and aircraft readiness. In the five hours they were given, the team organized, and formulated an integer programming optimization model to provide a solution.

Team members included Mr. Nathan Jones (George Mason University), Cadet Maj. Wei-Ming Chiu (The Citadel), Cadet Lt. Jason Pancoe (U.S. Military Academy), Cadet Lt. Christopher Pawlik (U.S Military Academy), Midshipman 1st Class Justin Mueller (U.S. Naval Academy), Cadet Lt. Wayne Pak (U.S Military Academy), and Shu-Yu Mao (The Citadel).

Naval Academy Midshipman 1st Class Brooke Pitcher won top prize in the poster competition for her poster entitled, “Predicting High School Attrition,” which considered the factors that lead to success and failure for high school students. 

Midshipman 1st Class Brooke Pitcher

Photo courtesy of Dr. Julie Seton

This event offered presenters the chance to demonstrate and share their techniques/methods, and other tools to the OR community.  The student competition involved assigning students from various schools to teams that analyzed real-world problems and reported back on how they approached solving these particular problems that they were given and their solutions. 

Presenters also displayed posters during the posters session, which allowed students to share their projects and provided additional opportunities for presenting problem and solution techniques, learning and collaboration.

“Judges evaluate the teams on their approach to solving problems and their abilities to think, analyze and present their collaborative work. The poster competition criteria include creativity and aesthetics of the poster design, problem explanation, solution methodology and expected results,” said Dr. Julie A. Seton, chief executive officer of Indelible Enterprises, LLC.

The annual event served to uphold the mission of the EPD Colloquium to foster the interchange of information between seasoned and new analysts to spread “good” OR.  This colloquium is also geared to prepare, train and provide a uniquely qualified next generation of national security analysts for the challenges of the OR profession, an important responsibility which depends on and is maintained through guidance from experienced analysts.

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