Six Invited Pieces (Que sais-je?)

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Clearly, the title pays homage to Feynman’s two collections of physics exposition (and Montaigne). Of course, the content and purpose of their pieces (and essays) are distinctly different from mine:

I am thrilled to provide the link for my most recent invited non-technical article – sixth – that, along with the previous five, has allowed me to elaboratesummarize, reflect and philosophize on various aspects of my professional life spanning over three decades (33 years!) covering research, teaching, industrial implementations, software and social entrepreneurship.

Before I get to that, let me continue on the lines of my companion post (Conversational Vita) by asking:

Why am I being invited to write such articles? 

Why did The White House invite me when Obama was President? (Hint: Not the reason why the Biden White House consulted me last year.) Why did a National Academies for Science, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) committee seek my comments? Why are there two Teaching Cases – one from Darden and one from Harvard – with me as the protagonist? Why has a Nobel laureate blogged about me several times on the topic of Market Design? Why am I an invited speaker at WEF Schwab Social Entrepreneurship Leadership Program (at HKS)? Why did NASA/USRA want to use my lectures for their Feynman Academy? Why was I invited – jointly by three different Directorates – to give a NSF Distinguished Lecture?

Let me quote others so I may better express myself.😉

What do I know?🤔

Perhaps of greater interest is:

How do I know what you think I know?

You know (from Portrait of an Academic Capitalist as a Young Man) that I like Dante (Paradiso, Canto 14):

Whoever laments that here we must die in order to live up above…does not see that the refreshment of the eternal shower is here.

Refreshment 1: Private Jets

My high school (HPS Begumpet) classmate Javed Zaidi called me out of the blue one Spring morning – it had been over 10 years since we had last interacted – wondering if I would be interested in developing algorithms for a new business model. This was even before Warren Buffett had bought NetJets.

P. KESKINOCAK AND S. TAYUR. Scheduling of Time-Shared Jet Aircraft.

I. KARAESMEN, P. KESKINOCAK, S. TAYUR AND W. YANG. Aircraft and Crew Constraints Scheduling in Fractional Ownership Programs.

There is a reason why you do not ordinarily see Tom Cruise (Planes, Trains and Automobiles) or Taylor Swift or Jerry Seinfeld in the commercial airport terminal although they travel quite a bit.

Refreshment 2: Management Consulting

Beyond being an Individual Consultant, on an ad-hoc basis, whenever a charming situation arises, as I have written in Meditations on McKinsey, I was a Consultant to the Firm, engaged in projects related to Lean Manufacturing, Just-in-Time (JIT) and Supply Chain Management. I will not disclose the various clients involved, except say that they were mostly in the Automotive Sector, in the US and in Europe. You probably own a car that they make.

(Someday I may write about the FBI calling me to discuss Rajat Gupta as he was an angel investor of SmartOps. 😳)

Additionally, I have been involved in Executive Education, first to upskill McKinsey folks themselves during the fin de seicle, in the area of supply chain when the Internet was new, and then, through them, to elevate their customers, particularly those in the traditional news media, being disrupted by digital platforms.

Refreshment 3: Video Games

Easily the most fun project (after Private Jets), this came about when a McKinsey BA – who met his wife during his MBA at Harvard, who had just then co-founded Massive Incorporated, later acquired by Microsoft (by Satya Nadella, also a HPS Begumpet alum that I know from our teenage years, way, way before he became CEO) – came over to our house for brunch during Thanksgiving break, and we discussed how OR can be used to optimize their revenue generation in their new business model:

J. TURNER, A. SCHELLER-WOLF AND S. TAYUR. Scheduling of Dynamic In-game Advertisements.

(By the way, Satya had popped into my office, way back in 1994 or so, as he was considering GSIA for getting his MBA,  but was interested in a program that would allow him to keep working (in Seattle). He chose University of Chicago as they had a Weekend MBA Program. If we had then the Part-Time On-line Hybrid program (PTOH) that we have now at Tepper, things may have been different.)

Refreshment 4: Healthcare Operations Management (HOM)

Healthcare in the US should be properly called sick care.

To really understand what is going on, one should look beyond appearances (Maya) and see the underlying invisible substratum! This construct is not just for Physics where Classical Viewpoint completely misses the Quantum Foundations.

What I am saying is that we should look through the

The Matrix is a 1999 science fiction action film written and directed by the Wachowskis. It had box office revenues of over $465 million (on a budget of $63 million).

How? By using the Healthcare Ecosystem Map (HEM) that reveals the reasons of why things are the way they are.

T. DAI AND S. TAYUR. Healthcare Operations Management: A Snapshot of Emerging Research.

My first exposure to the substratum began when UPMC Physicians contacted me for some help.

T. DAI, M. AKAN AND S. TAYUR. Imaging Room and Beyond: The Underlying Economics Behind Physicians’ Test-Ordering Behavior in Outpatient Services.

My first clinical study – Warfarin dosage based on genetic information, an example of personalized treatment – was with cardiologists at AGH.

M. AKAN, S. TAYUR, S. MURALI AND A. RADHAKRISHNAN. Economic Analysis of Pharmacogenic Information for the Anti-Coagulation Treatment of the Elderly.

Here to improving consistency of care.

V. SLAUGH, A. SCHELLER-WOLF AND S. TAYUR. Consistent Staffing for Long-tem Care through On-call Pools.

Of course, we care about the Opioid crisis.

K. GAN, A. SCHELLER-WOLF AND S. TAYUR. Personalized Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder.

Refreshment 5: Organ Transplantation

By the time I founded OrganJet (see À la recherche de moins de temps), I was already able to see past appearances (as I had worked with UPMC and several Pharmaceutical, Medical Devices and Drug Distribution companies who were customers of SmartOps).

However, working closely with Transplant Surgeons and Nephrologists and Insurance Companies and CMS and Dialysis Companies and Oncologists and Hepatologists and Organ Procurement Organizations (OPOs) and United Network of Organ Sharing (UNOS) took me way, way deeper into the circles 😉 of US healthcare system.

This maybe an inappropriate place 😏 to put this movie clip from:

Malice is a 1993 American neo-noir thriller film starring Alec Baldwin, Nicole Kidman and Bill Pullman.

B. ATA, A. SKARO AND S. TAYUR. OrganJet: Reducing Geographic Disparity in Kidney Transplant Waiting Times in the US.

J. KUSH AND S. TAYUR. Video intervention to increase decedent tissue donation by next-of-kin.

The above two initiatives – also see Making Death Enhance Life – are why I was invited to the Obama White House.

One of my presentations on these is Re-imagining the US Organ Transplantation System (at Aspen Business+Society Conference held at Michigan Ross).

You know that I really like Split Liver Transplantation (To Split, or not to Split?)

T. KIM, J. ROBERTS, A. STRUDLER AND S. TAYUR. Ethics of Split Liver Transplantation: should a large liver always be split if medically safe?

Y. TANG, A. SCHELLER-WOLF, S. TAYUR, E. PERITO AND J. ROBERTS. Split Liver Transplantation: An Analytical Decision Support Model.

And care about equity and fairness:

S. BERNARDS, E. LEE, N. LEUNG, M. AKAN, K. GAN, H. ZHAO, M. SARKAR, S. TAYUR AND N. MEHTA. Awarding additional MELD points to the shortest waitlist candidates improves sex disparity in access to liver transplant in the United States.

M. AKAN, M. CELDIR AND S. TAYUR. Dynamic Exception Points for Fair Liver Allocation. 

My comments to the NASEM Committee essentially summarized the above papers.

Indeed, my initiatives in Market Design (thanks Al Roth for your support and insights) can be summarized as follows:

Refreshment 6: Machine Learning

Can you be at CMU and not do ML? (No! Even our English Department does ML. 😳 More on this in a future post.)

A. PATEL, K. GAN, A. A. LI, J. WEISS, S. M.  NOURAIE, S. TAYUR, AND E. M. NOVELLI. Machine Learning Algorithms for Predicting Hospital Readmissions in Sickle Cell Disease.

How can we respond to 21st Century Cures Act (signed by President Obama) to help in Drug Repositioning?

K. GAN, A. LI, Z. LIPTON AND S. TAYUR. Causal Inference with Selectively Deconfounded Data.

This is Holy Grail of Holy Grail:

K. GAN, S. JIA, A. LI AND S. TAYUR. Towards a Liquid Biopsy: Greedy Approximation Algorithms for Active Sequential Hypothesis Testing.

What about ML in Organ Transplantation?

Y. TANG, A. LI, A. SCHELLER-WOLF AND S. TAYUR. Multi-Armed Bandits with Endogenous Learning Curves: An Application to Split Liver Transplantation.

The future is already here:

T. DAI AND S. TAYUR. Designing AI-augmented Healthcare Delivery Systems for Physician Buy-in and Patient Acceptance.

Refreshment 7: The Second Quantum Revolution

I founded the field of Quantum Integer Programming (QuIP) in 2018. This is one of the reasons why I was invited to give the NSF Distinguished Lecture. Let me tease you with Eight Paths☺️ (see Tepper Quantum Group for more), to begin your journey into Quantum Computing, Quantum Communication and Quantum Information Science (with applications to Quantum Sensing).

Let us tackle a canonical problem in an entirely new way:

R. DRIDI, H. ALGHASSI AND S. TAYUR. Minimizing polynomial functions on a quantum computer.

Let us build unconventional quantum-inspired semi-classical devices:

A. PRABHAKAR, P. SHAW, U. GAUTHAM, V. NATARAJAN, V. RAMESH, N. CHANDACHOODAN AND S. TAYUR. Optimization using photonic wave based annealers.

For those devices that need logical qubits mapped to physical qubits:

D. BERNAL, K. BOOTH, R. DRIDI, H. ALGHASSI, S. TAYUR AND D. VENTURELLI. Integer Programming techniques for minor-embedding in quantum annealers.

If you serious about Quantum:

V. SIDDHU AND S. TAYUR. Five Starter Pieces: Quantum Information Science via Semi-definite Programs.

Getting ahead of operational problems in the Quantum Internet:

V. SIDDHU, A. CHATTERJEE, K. JAGANNATHAN, P. MANDAYAM AND S. TAYUR. Unital Qubit Queue-channels: Classical Capacity and Product Decoding. 
How to design optimal switches for Quantum Communications?

V. KUMAR, N.K. CHANDRA, K.P. SESHADREESHAN, A. SCHELLER-WOLF AND S. TAYUR. Optimal Entanglement Distillation Policies for Quantum Switches.

How could I not do (Quantum + Machine Learning + Healthcare) ☺️ using Graver Augmented Multi-seed Algorithm (GAMA):

S. GUDDANTI, A. PADHYE, A. PRABHAKAR AND S. TAYUR. Pneumonia Detection by Binary Classification: Classical, Quantum and Hybrid Approaches for Support Vector Machine.

You know that I am a very practical person (and enjoy working with Hedge Funds, Quantum for Billionaires?):

M. SODHI and S. TAYUR. Make Your Business Quantum-Ready Today.

Refreshment 8: Streaming

As a cinephile, how could I resist? Indeed, It is The Sticking Point That’s Keeping Actors on Strike😏.

F. BERBEGLIA, T. DERDENGER AND S. TAYUR. The Price of Streaming.


Let me summarize  – using Frivolous-Business-Gravitas framing –  Earthly Refreshments:

         Dante: Paradiso == Tayur: Paradise Reimagined.

And now, finally, to the Six Invited Pieces.

Let me take this occasion to recognize all the Editors-in-Chief, for not only inviting me, but also for giving me an unusually wide latitude in not just what, but also how, I write.☺️

In 2010, Jeff Camm (for the 40th Anniversary of Interfaces):

How to Monetize the Value of OR.

In 2013, Alexandre Dolgui (for the 50th Anniversary of IJPR):

Planned Spontaneity for Product Availability.

In 2016, Srinagesh Gavirneni (on the occasion of celebrating Joe Thomas):

On Operations Management MBA Teaching in 21st Century Business Schools.

In 2017, Chris Tang (on my election as MSOM Distinguished Fellow) for MSOM Journal:

An Essay on Operations Management.

In 2019, Bikas Chakrabarti (for the special issue in Science and Culture):

When Business Management meets Quantum Computation.

In 2023, Kostas Nicolopolous and Aris Syntetos (for IMA Journal of Management Mathematics):

Management Mathematics: The Audacity of BOPE*.

The print version is scheduled to appear as the opening article of the first issue of 2024.

And, thank you to all my collaborators, including PhD students and Post-docs

What about Private Equity and Venture Capital? Advising Startups on how to scale? What about my Philanthropic initiatives through RAGS Foundation? Micro-Financing? Combating Human Trafficking? Research on RNAi therapy to tackle rare neurological diseases? Film Festivals? Documentary Films? Tayur Prizes? Tayur Scholars? Gifts to Universities, Public Media and National Institutions? Perhaps in future posts.

(*Business Optimizing Professor-Entrepreneur. I suppose, it is just another way of saying Academic-Capitalist-Philanthropist. You may enjoy watching the video of my TiE Pittsburgh Charter Member Dinner speech, from four years ago: An Academic Capitalist View of Life.)


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