Group for Research in Decision Analysis

Message from the director

September 2015

GERAD is a research centre focused on decision mathematics that are applicable to large-scale technological, commercial and economic systems. The centre brings together some 70 regular members specialized in a range of disciplines, including operations research, statistics, quantitative management methods, mathematical engineering, financial engineering, applied mathematics and computer science. For the most part, these specialists are professors with one of GERAD's four supporting institutions: HEC Montréal, Polytechnique Montréal, McGill University and Université du Québec à Montréal. Our members oversee the research projects of over 400 graduate students, who make a significant contribution to the centre's life and success. GERAD was founded in 1979 and has, for many years now, been recognized worldwide for the quality of its research in decision mathematics. In addition, its members collaborate with a large number of international researchers.

GERAD is financed in part by the FRQNT, Quebec's research funding agency, as a strategic research cluster. The centre's specialized expertise enables it to develop analytical tools for various areas that are conducive to partnership, such as sustainable development, aerospace and biodiversity, but also that apply to the emerging issues set out in Quebec's national research and innovation policy (PNRI), such as intelligent systems, transport electrification and real-time solutions.

GERAD's success can largely be ascribed to the importance that its members give to defining research projects that combine theoretical/methodological developments with their applications. This combination allows for outstanding scientific productivity and sustained activity in the area of technological transfer. Thus, GERAD counts on many industrial partners in various areas, such as transportation, energy, the environment, finance, engineering, health, production, telecom and non-governmental organizations.

My term (2015-2019) at GERAD should be a period of strong growth, thanks to the creation of the Institut de valorisation des données (IVADO) and the Canada Excellence Research Chair (CERC) in Data Science for Real-Time Decision-Making. Indeed, IVADO's primary mission is to promote the considerable expertise in decision mathematics and data science available at Campus Montréal, especially to large Quebec companies and organizations. This should result in new collaborations between GERAD researchers and industry. As for the CERC, it will also combine optimization and artificial intelligence to develop efficient algorithms to mine massive databases and offer optimized solutions to real-time decision problems. This chair is led by new GERAD member Professor Andrea Lodi, who will be working in close partnership with several other GERAD members. I plan to ensure that these two initiatives have a positive impact at GERAD.

I am very proud of GERAD and I intend to lead with enthusiasm. I hope the centre will offer researchers and students a stimulating research environment that fosters the development of new knowledge in decision mathematics and further enhances GERAD's international reputation. I also hope for more—highly productive—collaboration with industry and government agencies.

I wish everyone success in their research and collaborations!

Guy Desaulniers