April 8 – Georgia Tech – Large Scale Benchmarking of Manufacturing Performance


Establishment level manufacturing data are gathered from several countries around the world. These datasets are gathered by the Census Bureau of the respective countries and is an exhaustive Census of all establishments in some years. For example the U.S. Census Bureau performs a full Census of all manufacturing establishments in years ending in 2 and 7 and performs a survey sampling only 15 percent of establishments in other years.

This talk will be structured around three topics regarding census manufacturing datasets. First we will describe model development, estimation, and data challenges related to analyzing these datasets. Second, we propose a framework using the actual dataset to determine the best functional estimation method in contrast to the standard framework of Monte Carlo simulation. The results from our framework provide insights regarding the appropriate survey sizes needed in non-census years. Third, we will describe results from analyzing Japanese and Chilean data and will discuss future questions to investigate for these and other countries.

May 26-27 – Workshop on Setting a Broader Impact innovation Roadmap Investigators Supported by the Division of Civil, Mechanical, and Manufacturing Innovation (CMMI) within the Engineering Directorate at the National Science Foundation


This workshop brings together thought-leaders from the Civil, Mechanical and Industrial Engineering academic research communities to define a roadmap for Broader Impact innovations for CMMI. This 1.5-day workshop will include academic researcher leaders who have demonstrated innovation in Broader Impact activities, creating measurable economic, human capital, and societal value through their research. People in positions who can advance and promulgate the vision from this workshop will also be invited to participate and contribute to this effort. The output of this workshop will be a report and road map that outlines how new thinking on Broader Impact and institution initiatives can facilitate greater value for NSF investments, how to support panelists to identify, evaluate, and value innovative Broad Impact ideas, and how researchers can reposition their Broader Impact activities to provide a wider footprint of value for NSF investments.

May 16-20 – Nonparametric statistical inference under shape constraints Workshop – Edinburgh, Scotland


Nonparametric shape constraints, such as monotonicity, convexity or log-concavity, offer statisticians the potential of freedom from restrictive parametric assumptions, while still permitting fully automatic procedures. In this sense, they combine the best of both the parametric and nonparametric worlds. Fundamental statistical problems such as density estimation and regression problems will be treated, along with more exotic questions related to, for example, semiparametric inference.

Inference under shape constraints is a core area of statistical theory and methodology, but the methods often involve challenging optimisation problems and have important applications in many areas, including biology and econometrics.

May 14-15 – CICHME 2016 Spring Meeting – Atlanta, Georgia


The College-Industry Council on Material Handling Education (CICMHE) will holds its bi-annual business meeting May 14th and 15th in Atlanta, Georgia. CICHME is an academic/industry council of the Material Handling Industry (MHI) that promotes increased awareness of material handling and logistics through a variety of educational and research activities. The council is organized into two working committees: Events and Projects. At this meeting we will be welcoming 5 new members.

Cichme3 Cichme1 Cichme2

April 4-7 – MODEX 2016 – in Atlanta Georgia


MODEX is the greatest supply chain show on earth feature 850 leading manufacturing and supply chain providers gathered to showcase their latest and greatest solutions hosted by the Material Handling Industry (MHI). This is the 3rd Modex show which have all been held in Atlanta Georgia. Modex is held in even years while ProMat is held in odd years in Chicago. The College-Industry Council on Material Handling Education (CICMHE) has partnered with the Material Handling Equipment Distributors Association (MHEDA) to offer a special program for students and professors in engineering, technology, manufacturing, operations, supply chain and logistics at the MODEX and ProMat trade shows.


March 10-11: Bodhi Sen visits Texas A&M University to give ISEN Seminar


Bodhi Sen is an Associate Professor in the Statistics Department at Columbia University. One of his research interests is nonparametric functional estimation with shape restrictions. He introduces his work by saying,

“Nonparametric function estimation is mostly concerned with understanding the structure (trend/pattern) in the data without making strong parametric assumptions on its form. Most estimation procedures for a nonparametric function (e.g., kernel smoothing), be it a regression function or a probability density, make smoothness assumptions on the underlying function and use local averaging techniques. These estimators depend crucially on tuning parameter(s) (e.g., smoothing bandwidths) and the choice of such parameter(s) can be very problematic.”

His seminar will be held on March 11 at 1:40pm in ETB room 1005; he will also be presenting related work in the Statistics Department on March 10th.

Title: Nonparametric Convex Regression
Abstract: We consider nonparametric least squares estimation of a
convex regression function. We will discuss the characterization,
computation and consistency of the estimator. A computational
framework for multivariate convex regression and some of its variants
— non-decreasing/non-increasing convex regression and Lipschitz
convex regression — will also be presented.

An approach to obtaining smooth convex approximations to the fitted
(piecewise affine) convex least squares estimator, with provide formal
bounds on the quality of approximation, will also be discussed. If
time permits, dimension reduction techniques in this setup will also
be presented.

December 2 – Workshop 2015 -Advances in DEA Theory and Applications – Predictive Efficiency Analysis: A Study of U.S. Hospitals


Healthcare costs are higher in the U.S. then anywhere else in the world. A significant portion of the costs are generated in hospitals. We investigate both the efficiency and the effectiveness of U.S. community hospitals using the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project 2009-2011 Nationwide Inpatient Sample, a data set which contains all discharges from an approximate 20% sample of hospitals.

Here efficiency is the productivity of the hospital measured relative to the most productive hospitals and effectiveness is how closely the hospital produced relative to the forecasted services needed. We find the effectiveness levels are slightly higher than the efficiency levels in both 2010 and 2011 indicating that hospitals are producing closer to the forecasted level than the actual service level needed. Further, both efficiency and effectiveness levels are low indicating a large variability in the level of resources hospitals use to provide the same set of services. The low effectiveness scores indicate that many hospitals have a high level of resources even relative to the forecasted demand providing some evidence for a medical arms race.