The Ninth Talk of the CUFSAA-NA Distinguished Speaker Series organized in association with the Faculty of Science, University of Colombo was delivered by Prof. Sandun Perera on January 29th 2024, 10:00AM Eastern Time (January 29th 2024, 8:30pm Sri Lankan Time).
Talk Video: View the recorded talk from this youtube window. The details of the talk, speaker bio, and other details are described below.
Title: Enhancing your career options through data-driven or industry-focused research
Speaker: Sandun Perera, Associate Professor of Business Analytics and Operations in the College of Business at the University of Nevada, Reno.
Abstract: It is a common misconception that students and researchers in physical science and engineering streams can’t smoothly navigate through the academic world in business. However, most mainstream business school programs are fundamentally built upon science, especially managerial sciences. Moreover, these terminal degrees in business not only open the door for lucrative academic jobs in business schools but also provide outside options for desirable industrial jobs. In this presentation, I plan to demonstrate how scientific tools—including mathematical and statistical methods such as optimization and data analysis—can be used to conduct rigorous academic and industrial research as a managerial scientist. Moreover, I will talk about the main areas in managerial sciences and possible paths for postgraduate studies in those areas. Finally, I will conclude the presentation with trends, challenges, and opportunities.
Education: Sandun Perera received his Ph.D. in Operations Management as well as an MBA and an M.S. in Supply Chain Management from the Jindal School of Management at the University of Texas at Dallas. He also holds a Ph.D. in Financial Mathematics, and Master of Science degrees in Statistics and Applied Mathematics, and in Mathematics from Florida Atlantic University. He earned his B.S. in Finance, Business and Computational Mathematics with first-class honors from the University of Colombo, Sri Lanka. With a total of seven academic degrees (including two PhDs and four master’s degrees), Sandun was recognized as the most credentialed Sri Lankan in 2018.
Research & Work Experience: In his research, he has explored various challenges within supply chains and provided strategies for managing inventory, sharing information among partners, coordinating with fair allocations, aligning development aid toward the United Nation’s SDGs, throttling demand surges in e-tailing, the timing of service efforts, bundling products at up- versus down-stream stages under both wholesale and agency contracts, enhancing online buyer perceptions, scheduling elective surgeries, managing online healthcare platforms, and more. Sandun has worked collaboratively with multinational technology companies, retailers, hospitals, blood banks, and pharmaceutical companies for his research and his work has appeared in numerous journals including Financial Times’ Top 50 Journals: https://www.sandunperera.com/research.html. His research on last-mile delivery using drones has received global attention including a partnership invitation from Alphabet’s Project Wing Team and featured in more than fifty media outlets. Before joining the College of Business (COB), Dr. Perera was affiliated with the Flint School of Management (SOM) and the Michigan Institute for Data Science (MIDAS) at the University of Michigan. He has received multiple research awards and grants including the Financial Services Section Best Research Paper Award (Second Place) from the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS), the Beta Gamma Sigma Junior Faculty Researcher Award from the COB, and the Outstanding Faculty Award for Research from the SOM.
Sandun has 20 years of teaching experience that spans over six different universities in three different countries. He has received several Golden Apple Awards for teaching excellence from the SOM at Michigan. He currently serves as an associate editor for Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review and on the editorial review boards of Production and Operations Management Journal and Decision Sciences Journal. He is a board member of the Production and Operations Management Society (POMS) and an active member of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS) and the Decision Sciences Institute (DSI) and has regularly chaired research tracks/clusters for the annual conferences of these professional organizations.
He enjoys spending his free time with his wife, Erandi, and daughter, Nisangi. He is also a huge fan of classical music and sports.
Additional Ways to view: You can listen to the talk via FBLive and YouTube Live as well.
We sincerely thank Dr. Champa Magalla, Senior Lecturer at the Department of Statistics for delivering the vote of thanks on behalf of Dr. Rushan Abeygunawardena, the Head of the Department of Statistics, University of Colombo.
This talk was moderated by Dr. Sachith Dissanayake on behalf of the Speaker Series subcommittee of CUFSAA-NA.