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« Reconnect 2023: Risk Assessment

Reconnect 2023: Risk Assessment

June 18, 2023 - June 23, 2023


Omni Hotel

Providence, Rhode Island


Tamra Carpenter, DIMACS

Margaret (Midge) Cozzens, DIMACS

Jun Zhuang, University at Buffalo


Isha Cole-Glaster
CoRE Building
96 Frelinghuysen Road
Piscataway, NJ 08854
E: ishadc@dimacs.rutgers.edu
V: 848-445-4521

Reconnect workshops expose faculty teaching undergraduates to current applications of mathematical and computational sciences and provide an opportunity for government or industry professionals to learn about recent research in related areas. The topic will be presented over the course of 4.5 days in a series of lectures and activities. Participants will be involved in activities that they and their students can continue to use and explore after the workshop. They will begin to draft modules that can be used in their classrooms and others around the country.

The featured topic for Reconnect changes each year. This year’s topic is Risk Assessment.

Risk assessment is an overall process identifying, analyzing, and preparing for potential risks (e.g., natural or man-made disasters), which is extremely important to ensure the continuity of organization operations, and wellbeing of people involved. The goals of risk assessment include: (a) to better understand the vulnerability and the potential impact to the organization and people involved; and (b) to prescribe control measures and contingency plans to minimize the potential impacts. 

Reconnect 2023 will review classic methods and tools for risk assessment for various risks and hazards through real-world case studies. Several researchers affiliated with the newly established DHS Center of Excellence, SENTRY, will provide an overview of SENTRY’s research mission and offer examples of how they will use risk assessment methods in the center’s research. These include allocating resources for disaster management facing adaptive adversaries, deploying “virtual sentries” to protect civilian spaces—so-called “soft targets”—around the country, and several others.

Confirmed Speakers:

  • Auroop Ganguly, Professor of Civil & Environmental Engineering, Northeastern University
  • Seth Guikema, Professor of Industrial & Operations Engineering and of Civil & Environmental Engineering, University of Michigan
  • Allison Coffey Reilly, Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Maryland
  • Jun Zhuang, Morton C. Frank Professor of Industrial and Systems Engineering, University at Buffalo

Speaker Bios:

Auroop R. Ganguly is a professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, a College of Engineering Distinguished Professor, and Co-Director of the Global Resilience Institute, at Northeastern University, where he has affiliate appointments with the Khoury College of Computer Science and the School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs. His research intersects weather and hydrologic extremes under climate change, lifeline infrastructures resilience under compound extremes, as well as machine learning and nonlinear physics. He has a joint role as a Chief Scientist at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. Dr. Ganguly co-founded the Boston-based climate analytics startup risQ which has now been acquired by the Fortune 500 company Intercontinental Exchange (ICE). He has been in review panels of the United Nations (UN) Environmental Programme and other US and global agencies, his work has been cited by the UN and US intergovernmental and national reports, and he has delivered invited/keynote talks at workshops organized by the US National Academies and NSF. Dr. Ganguly is a Fellow of the ASCE, Senior Member of both ACM and IEEE, obtained a Ph.D. from MIT, and has 25 years of full-time professional experience spanning the private industry, government research laboratory, and academia.

Seth Guikema is a professor in the departments of Industrial & Operations Engineering and Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Michigan. Research in Professor Guikema’s group is focused on issues of resilience, risk, sustainability, and equity, particularly in areas prone to significant natural hazards. His research is strongly interdisciplinary and is grounded in and advances risk analysis, predictive machine learning, agent based modeling, stochastic simulation, and decision analysis. Professor Guikema completed a B.S. in Civil & Environmental Engineering at Cornell University, a M.S. in Civil & Environmental Engineering at Stanford, a M.Eng. by thesis in Civil Engineering at the University of Canterbury (New Zealand), and a Ph.D. in Engineering Risk and Decision Analysis in the Department of Management Science and Engineering at Stanford University. Professor Guikema was the President of the Society for Risk Analysis (SRA) in 2020 and previously served as the chairperson of both the Foundations of Risk Analysis and Engineering and Infrastructure specialty groups and served a three-year term on the SRA Council. He is a Fellow of the Society for Risk Analysis and is active in INFORMS and served on the INFORMS Decision Analysis Society Council for three years. He also is active in the American Statistical Association and the American Society of Civil Engineers.

Allison Reilly is an assistant professor in Civil and Environmental Engineering and the Pedro E. Wasmer Professor in Engineering at the University of Maryland. She is a civil engineer specializing in risk and resilience of infrastructure systems and is particularly interested in unpacking the dynamics among policy and social norms, human decisions, and infrastructure vulnerability so that natural hazards do not become disasters. Her recent work has focused on risk equity in rural, coastal communities vulnerable to sea-level rise, and how investments in infrastructure that are integrated within broader resilience strategies may enable more just climate transitions. Dr. Reilly holds a Ph.D. and M.S. in Civil Engineering from Cornell University, in Ithaca, NY and a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Johns Hopkins University. She is a member of the Society for Risk Analysis, INFORMS Decision Analysis Society, the American Society of Civil Engineers, and the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management.

Jun Zhuang is the Morton C. Frank Professor of Industrial and Systems Engineering at the University at Buffalo, the State University of New York. Dr. Zhuang’s long-term research goal is to integrate operations research, big data analytics, game theory, and decision analysis to improve mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery for natural and man-made disasters. Other areas of interest include applications to health care, sports, transportation, supply chain management, sustainability, and architecture. Dr. Zhuang has received numerous awards for his teaching, leadership, service, and research. His awards include 2021 SUNY Chancellor's Awards for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities, 2020 UB Teaching Innovation Award, 2019 Chauncey Starr Distinguished Young Risk Analyst Award, the 2018 Volunteer Service Award from INFORMS, and the 2017 Koopman Prize from the INFORMS' Military Applications Society. He is a fellow of the Society for Risk Analysis and a member of INFORMS and IISE. Dr. Zhuang received his Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2008.


Anyone may apply to attend Reconnect. Preference will be given to Community College faculty.


Accepted participants from US academic institutions receive lodging in a single room and meals at no charge. Limited funds may be available to provide partial support for travel or for international participants. Such support can be requested when you apply.


The deadline to apply is March 15, 2022 or until all slots are filled. Applications will be reviewed as they are received.


Applicants who are selected to attend are expected to stay for the entire duration of the program. To apply to attend, complete and submit the online Reconnect 2023 application.


View the Reconnect flyer.


Go to Reconnect application.