At a time when many conferences and workshops are cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Committee of Stochastic Programming (COSP) is pleased to announce a new Virtual Seminar series organized by the Stochastic Programming Society ( 

The seminar series is called “Decision Making in an Uncertain World” and it aims to bring together researchers and practitioners around the world working on decision making under uncertainty. The seminars will take place biweekly on Fridays 7-8 AM PT (10-11 AM ET,  2-3 PM GMT, 4-5 PM CEST, 10-11 PM Singapore Time). With the permission of the presenters, we will also post recordings of the seminars on the Stochastic Programming Society YouTube channel.

Please mark your calendars for the following upcoming talk in the series:

When: August 7, 7-8 AM PT (10-11 AM ET,  2-3 PM GMT, 4-5 PM CEST, 10-11 PM Singapore Time)
Speaker: David Morton
Title: COVID-19: How to relax social distancing if you must


Following the April 16, 2020 release of the "Opening Up America Again" guidelines for relaxing COVID-19 social distancing policies, local leaders in the US have been concerned about future pandemic waves and lack robust strategies for tracking and suppressing transmission. We present a strategy for restricting and relaxing social distancing orders when hospital admissions surpass optimized thresholds. We formulate a chance-constrained model on top of a simulation model of epidemiological dynamics with age-group, risk-group, and temporal fidelity. From the model, we derive triggers that ensure, with high probability, that hospital surges will not exceed local capacity while minimizing the expected number of days in lock-down. We discuss how the model is being employed in Austin, Texas. This is joint work with Daniel Duque, Achyut Kasi, Cindy Sanchez, Bismark Singh, Ozge Surer, Haoxiang Yang and Zhanwei Du, Remy Pasco, Kelly Pierce, Paul Rathouz, and Lauren Ancel Meyers. 


Dave Morton is the Sachs Professor and Department Chair in Industrial Engineering & Management Sciences at Northwestern University. Prior to joining the faculty at Northwestern, he was the Engineering Foundation Professor at the University of Texas at Austin and a National Research Council Postdoctoral Fellow at the Naval Postgraduate School. He worked as a Fulbright Research Scholar at Charles University in Prague, and is an INFORMS Fellow. He has served as Chair of the INFORMS Optimization Society and he chaired the Committee on Stochastic Programming.

We are also looking forward to the following upcoming talk:

  • August 21: Katya Scheinberg

More information on those talks will be provided in due course.

The Webinars will be delivered and recorded via Zoom.  A few days before the webinar we will send you the Zoom-link. If you are interested in participating to the Webinars, please sign up here: