The Department of Mathematical Sciences will continue its free Math Seminar Series on Wednesday, May 15, at 12 p.m. in Armitage Hall, Room 121. Dr. Sommer Gentry, Professor of Mathematics at the US Naval Academy, will present, “Faster, Safer, Healthier with Operations Research.” This special math seminar will honor Josephine Johansen, Assistant Teaching Professor, who will retire after thirty years of service to Rutgers–Camden. A catered lunch in West ABC will immediately follow the lecture.

The abstract of Dr. Sommer’s talk is as follows:

While mathematical advances of all sorts have impacted our world for the better, operations research is a branch of mathematics that is expressly focused on applying advanced analytical methods to help make better decisions. Operations researchers have eased traffic jams by closing selected streets, and gotten packages to you more quickly by planning U.P.S. routes with fewer left turns. Operations researchers have shown which personal decisions are the leading causes of death, and planned maintenance schedules to minimize bridge collapses. The mathematical tools of operations research, like using random numbers to simulate a range of outcomes when some data are unknown, or finding clever algorithms that shortcut the need to try every possible decision in order to find the best one, can be recycled to solve problems everywhere in our world. These days, I am using O.R. to increase the supply of kidneys available for patients who need a transplant, and to make organ allocation more equitable to patients across the U.S. In this talk, I will describe some of my O.R. forays into far-flung fields, and tell my favorite stories about O.R.