Isenberg School at UMass Amherst Launches Center for Supernetworks

AMHERST, Mass. - The Isenberg School of Management at the UMass announces the creation of the Virtual Center for Supernetworks. Supernetworks are "above and beyond" existing networks, i.e., supernetworks encompass large scale and scope in such areas as transportation, logistics, finance, economics, and social interactions. The new, interdisciplinary center, will expand the knowledge base of network research, and bring together faculty, students, and participants from industry and government for education and collaboration in disseminating information about networks and their management in the Information Age and the Network Economy.

The center will focus on applications in transportation and logistical networks, telecommunications networks, and economics and financial networks and their interactions. Specific topics of study will include supply chains, telecommuting versus commuting, decision making, electronic commerce, and financial networks with financial intermediaries.

The virtual center was established with funding from several grants from the National Science Foundation as well as the John F. Smith Memorial Fund. The center currently supports, in part, four doctoral students and five undergraduates in the Operations Management major at the Isenberg School. It also includes participants from universities and corporations in the United States and abroad.

According to the center’s director, John F. Smith Memorial Professor Anna Nagurney, a faculty member in the department of finance and operations management, "We live in extraordinary times in which the importance of networks, from transportation to telecommunications networks, to business, the economy, and social interactions, has never been more essential. This virtual center and its products will be accessible to everyone interested in the exchange and pursuit of knowledge about supernetworks."

The idea for the center emanated from Professor Nagurney’s April 5, 2000 Distinguished Faculty Lecture, "Networks for Fun and Profit," and a related invited article, "Navigating the Network Economy," published in the June 2000 issue of OR/MS Today. [pp. 74-75, Lionheart Publishing Company, Atlanta, Georgia. Nagurney’s book, co-authored with June Dong, Supernetworks: Decision-Making for the Information Age, Edward Elgar Publishers, is now in press and should be available in February 2002.

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