UF ISE Seminar Series


11:45 am-12:35 pm
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Laura Albert, Ph.D.
Chair, Industrial & Systems Engineering
University of Wisconsin-Madison

Abstract Title: Advances in Operations Research for Public Safety

Public safety efforts aim to protect the welfare of the public from risks and emergencies. Researchers have been developing optimization models and methods to support public safety for more than 50 years. Over this time, researchers have created a body of knowledge for locating and dispatching ambulances, fire engines, police cars, and other vehicles. Additionally, research have studied how to inform design and operational decisions to protect critical infrastructure. Public safety leaders must continually adapt to address new risks in budget-constrained environments. As a result, many research challenges remain.

To manage costs while serving patients with different health needs, many emergency medical service systems employ a tiered system that uses multiple types of emergency vehicles and service providers with different service capabilities for responding to patients. Accounting for multiple types of vehicles, including non-transport vehicles, and prioritized calls for service introduces complexity to existing models and allows for new response protocols. In this talk, Dr. Laura Albert will discuss her research in tiered emergency medical service systems that has advanced our knowledge of how to locate and dispatch vehicles. She will introduce a two-stage stochastic-programming model that informs how to locate two types of ambulances, and she will introduce Markov decision process models for dispatching vehicles to prioritized calls for service. She will demonstrate how the models can be adapted to include non-transport vehicles. The results inform fleet mix decisions and inform when sending multiple vehicles to a call is warranted.

At the end of the talk, Dr. Albert will discuss broader opportunities and challenges in public safety from policing and election resilience, and she will outline how operations research can help address these challenges.

About Laura Albert, Ph.D.

Laura Albert, Ph.D., is a Professor and the David Gustafson Department Chair of Industrial & Systems Engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her research interests are in the field of operations research, with a particular focus on discrete optimization with application to homeland security and emergency response problems. Dr. Albert’s research has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of the Army, and Sandia National Laboratory. She has authored or co-authored more than 70 publications in archival journals and refereed proceedings. She has been awarded many honors for her research, including the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Fellow Award, Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers (IISE) Fellow Award, the INFORMS Impact Prize, four publication awards, a National Science Foundation CAREER award, a Fulbright Award, and a Department of the Army Young Investigator Award. She is the President-Elect of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS). She is the author of the blog “Punk Rock Operations Research.” You can find her on twitter at @lauraalbertphd.

To attend this seminar virtually:

Meeting ID: 975 8764 4164
Password: 671640


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Department of Industrial & Systems Engineering