Engineering Management Seminar Series: Applications in Risk Analysis, Game Theory, and Network Analysis John Coles, SUNY Buffalo

Thursday, December 19, 2013 2:00 pm

Location: Babbio Center 321

Engineering Management Seminar Series
Applications in Risk Analysis, Game Theory, and Network Analysis
John Coles, Ph.D. Candidate
Industrial & Systems Engineering, State University of New York at Buffalo

ABSTRACT: Disasters, both natural and manmade, have significantly impacted the world. While it is important to mitigate the effects of a disaster before it happens, it is also important to prepare an effective and flexible response structure for helping people, organizations, and governments make the best possible decision about how to respond once a disaster has happened. Marked progress in the literature and in practice has helped humanitarian organizations become more inter-operable, and also improved predictive capability for natural and manmade disasters. However, new problems and failures are brought to light with each new bombing, flood, hurricane, earthquake, or tsunami. By simulating the cumulated effect of an agency’s operations, partnerships, and commitment, we hope to improve out understand of the dynamics that occur within networks of agencies in response to extreme events. In this talk, we discuss the tools that are being used at the University at Buffalo to predict, assess, and improve our understanding of agency motivation and coordination, and explore some of the applications of this work.

BIO: John Coles is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering at the University at Buffalo in Buffalo, New York with a concentration in Operations Research. He currently works on problems in counter-terrorism and disaster relief, focusing on inter-agency partnerships and service improvements for disaster survivors. He has been working with disaster relief organizations around the world to try and identify ways to improve coordination and resource allocation in complex and dynamic networks. His work has been supported by the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF), by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) through the National Center for Risk and Economic Analysis of Terrorism Events (CREATE).

Mr. Coles is a NSF Graduate Research Fellow, and has received multiple awards for his dissertation work. For the past 3 years Mr. Coles has been involved in the development and management of a wide variety of research projects, working closely with Dr. Jun Zhuang and fellow students to do research in the fields of disaster relief, counter-terrorism, and decision analysis. Mr. Coles consistently champions the use of new and innovative techniques for data analysis, modeling, and integration to find practical solutions to real-world problems, and has three papers in peer-reviewed journals and two book chapters. Mr. Coles also led the reactivation, and subsequent rapid growth, of the UB Institute for Operations Research and Management Science (INFORMS) student chapter, and now serves in an advisory role for the current executive board.